What do South Africa and Honduras have in common? Quite a lot if you ask Tanenbaum Peacemakers in Action Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, a former parliamentarian in South Africa, and José “Chencho” Alas, a lifelong El Salvadorian peacebuilder. The Peacemakers realized the similarities between their countries in 2011, when Chencho invited Nozizwe to Central America to work with a group of peace activists seeking to restore justice and democracy in Honduras. There, Nozizwe led trainings and shared about South Africa’s experience with reconciliation and democratic transition after Apartheid.
After seeing that the challenges facing Hondurans resemble those during the Apartheid years, Nozizwe invited Chencho to Cape Town to garner support from the African National Congress (ANC). As you read this, Chencho and Nozizwe are meeting with high-level government officials, learning about South Africa’s transition and gaining technical support for the peace movement in Honduras. Since former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya was deposed in 2009, peace, justice and participatory democracy in Honduras have disintegrated. Similar to the ANC’s struggle against the repressive Apartheid government, the Honduran peace movement faces a series of formidable challenges. This Peacemakers in Action Network intervention will bring much needed support for all Hondurans working to restore peace and democracy in their country. We look forward to hearing more about their incredible work in South Africa and Honduras and will be sure to let you know when we do.