Country Listing

Honduras Table of Contents



Government: In 1982 freely elected civilian president and National Congress inaugurated, returning country to constitutional rule after ten years of military-led government. New constitution, country's sixteenth, devised and ratified by Constituent Assembly in 1982. President, three presidential designates (vice presidents), deputies of 134-member Congress, and nine justices of Supreme Court of Justice all serve four-year terms. President appoints and dismisses twelve secretaries of state and two other agency directors, who form Council of Ministers, or cabinet. Most heads of various decentralized autonomous and semiautonomous agencies appointed by, or with concurrence of, president, who also appoints eighteen departmental governors. Local governments (municipios), including mayor and five- to seven-member council, normally elected every two to three years.

Politics: Revolve around Liberal Party of Honduras and National Party of Honduras. Since late 1960s, armed forces have evolved as principal political force, governing directly, influencing general policy, or controlling national security affairs. Private enterprise sector, labor, peasants, teachers, and professionals all highly organized and actively pursue own interests through a variety of means, including media, personal contact with officials, rallies, and demonstrations.

Judicial System: Judicial system consists of Supreme Court of Justice, which handles both civil and criminal cases, courts of appeal, courts of first instance at departmental level, and justices of the peace at municipal level.

Administrative Divisions: Eighteen departments, further divided into 291 municipalities.

Foreign Relations: During 1980s focused on national defense and efforts to achieve peace and stability within Central America. Regional political crisis, arrival of thousands of refugees in Honduras, and presence of anti-Sandinista counterrevolutionaries on Honduran territory burdened country and drew it closer to conflict. Involvement in regional politics deepened as Honduras expanded military ties with United States through increased levels of military aid, modification and construction of airfields, establishment of regional training center, and series of large military exercises. Following early 1990s' peace accords, relations with neighbors have improved, and Honduras has become less dependent on United States aid.

International Agreements and Memberships: Membership in Organization of American States (OAS), Central American Common Market, Central American Integration System, and United Nations and its specialized agencies. Important treaties include: 1947 InterAmerican Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (Rio Treaty), Treaty for the Proscription of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America (Tlatelolco Treaty), and Central American Peace Agreement (Esquipulas II).

Data as of December 1993