As naturalized citizens of Honduras, experiencing the political events as they unfolded last week was disheartening - a collective indignation condemning an audaciously opaque electoral process with no semblance of transparency and smelling, frankly, like a rat. And I observed, generally, a lack of surprise that corruption made such a flashy appearance in the election. I mean, this was the culmination of many anterior political maneuvers by the incumbent president. (See the NY Times article.)
Twenty-four hours after the election Sunday, there was still no final count. You never really get everything about a country you didn't grow up in, even after living there many years and even becoming a citizen, so I rely heavily on the local chatter I pick up socially from my friends and work colleagues to really dig in and get a panorama of the situation.
Even before the riots and road blocks began on Thursday, the entire week was, well, eerie. Monday I heard citizens complain of intimidation at the polls. I heard of direct monetary incentives collected by merely texting the image of the marked ballot to an anonymous number. All week I heard complaints that a final count had never taken more than 24 hours for a presidential election.
One general lesson I've learned is that when I can't make sense of what's going on, it's probably because I don't have all of the information. Like the coup d'etat back in 2009. This is somewhat reminiscent of that, and all the facts definitely were not presented at that time either. The truth is that it's hard to tell a good guy from a bad guy in a system where the question isn't, "Is there corruption?" but rather, "To what degree is there corruption?" Like there's an acceptable margin of corruption down here, but don't cross the line.
Honduras is saying that the line has been crossed. These behaviors -- the road blocks, protests, riots, looting - it's an outcry against a large-scale injustice. These behaviors are not effective; in fact they are counter-productive, but I find something to admire in them, anyway. Because it means that Honduras, the people, don't buy in to the smokescreen created by political agendas, that the citizens aren't taking it lying down, that their spirit is not defeated by helplessness or hopelessness. When a caged lion roars, it doesn't get him out of the cage, but it does demand attention and respect.
I don't want anyone else to get hurt. Apparently the national police feel the same. Many are refusing to subdue the protesters. They don't want to harm their own. When you consider the spiritual perspective, the outcome of this election - whether fair or fraudulent - is insignificant. God is not to be thwarted no matter who leads Honduras, just like God is God no matter who is in the White House.
Pray for peace; pray for this turbulent time to be an opportunity for the Christians of Honduras to demonstrate unity of purpose, wisdom, and influence because their identity, their real identity, is not on earth but in heaven.
Jesus, come quickly.