Location: Tegucigalpa, Honduras | Hosted By: José “Chencho” Alas
Honduras is the second poorest country in the Americas and has the highest rate of intentional homicide in the world. Since the 2009 coup d’état against former president, Manuel Zelaya, the country has been plagued by rising levels of violence, a lack of functioning democratic and judicial institutions, and political persecution. In response, Honduran grassroots organizations, NGOs, churches, students, labor unions, peasants, and indigenous groups formed a coalition called the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular (FNRP), with nearly one million members nationwide. The group aims to restore the voice of the people through a participatory democratic process.
Peacemaker José “Chencho” Alas works with the FNRP coalition to restore the people’s voice and build a participatory democratic process. In 2011 he organized an intervention with South African Peacemaker Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge to train over 50 coalition leaders in peaceful organizing methods. During the collaboration:
- Nozizwe drew on her experiences as a Quaker leader during the apartheid era, and later as Deputy Minister of Defense in post-apartheid South Africa, to equip participants – including former Honduran President, Manuel Zelaya – with the skills to engage peacefully with the military during civic action .
- Chencho used the appreciative inquiry methodology to help participants identify strengths and opportunities for greater collaboration among the coalition’s diverse membership.
As a result of this work, over 50 participants received concrete skills and knowledge in nonviolent resistance, democratic consolidation and collective action. The FNRP also established a continuing relationship with the African National Congress: as a result, the ANC declared its intent to provide technical aid to the FNRP.