The paper 'Development of Democratic Stability in Honduras' is a perfect example of a research paper on politics,
Different governments of the world are managed on various models of leadership styles that define the manner in which people participate or are involved in the governance functions. One of the leadership or governance systems in various countries is democracy. Democracy is a way of governance where eligible citizens are expected to have equal participation in the development and establishment of various systems of governance in the country. The participation is either done directly or indirectly through representation by people elected on popular vote.
Governments that run under the rule of democracy are known to respect the rights of all people, by giving them opportunities to make their views and opinions towards government systems and functions. Under the rule of democracy, the voice of the majority is paramount and has to be respected. It represents the will of the people and is the basis upon which government functions are conducted. On the other hand, dictatorship and other systems of governance are known not to respect and uphold the rule of the majority. Instead, the powerful figures or authorities in the land often have the bigger voice, determining the systems of governance and how people operate, despite the fact that some of the decisions may not be in tandem with the will of the people.
Development of democracy
One of the factors that play a critical role in the development and implementation of democracy is a peaceful environment that allows all people to air their views and ideas on the way the government is to run. In this case, peace is important in any country in the process of creating democratic institutions of governance. Most countries that have political instability make it hard for people to express themselves freely for fear of victimization and hence effective political governance. For this reason, peace has to be maintained first before a country can begin initiating democratic institutions.
The case of Criminal Gangs in Honduras and its neighboring countries
Currently, Honduras and neighboring countries like Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Costa Rica are struggling with an enormous challenge that has been affecting their development of democratic governance. The problem of criminal gangs has been a key issue that these countries have been struggling with (Malone, 2010). This has been influenced by two main factors; first, it is the problem of transnational flows, which have necessitated the emergence of drug trafficking, as well as the proliferation of different kinds of small arms by criminal gangs.
It is believed that the efforts initiated by the U.S on fighting the drug traffickers and criminal gangs in this region have resulted in a drastic increase in violence by people that want to carry on with this business at the expense of poor citizens (Tickner 2007). The second factor that has been fueling the increase in criminal activities has been continuous disagreements in the form of governance among other internal factors. It is believed that the introduction and implementation of neoliberal policies in the 1990s brought about many inequalities. These inequalities, according to analysts, have been the driving force behind the increasing cases of violence in Honduras and its neighbors (Malone, 2010).
The Situation in Honduras
Honduras, one of the Latin American countries has been struggling in a bid to fight criminal groups and develop effective democratic systems of governance. However, the country has been finding it difficult to manage the problem of insecurity, which has crippled most of its governance and management functions, hampering people’s freedom to participate in their social and economic activities.
The strategic geographical location of Honduras has contributed to it being the most convenient midway point for most of the drug dealers in Latin America (Bosworth, 2010). Though a precise number has not been put forth, estimates show that several thousands of tons of illicit drugs, including cocaine transit through Honduras on an annual basis. This has led to the presence of highly funded and organized criminal gangs that are created to protect these businesses. These gangs have been critical in frustrating the government’s efforts in creating democratic systems of governance for the benefit of the Hondurans.
The criminal gangs in the country have made it one of the most feared and dangerous to visit. These criminal gangs have been undermining the government’s efforts to put in place leaders that can aid in hunting them down and prosecuting them. In general, a place where the rule of the law is not in operation makes it difficult for the rules and leaders to improve the systems of proper governance and people management.
How Criminal Violence has been affecting the development of democratic stability in Honduras
It is important to note that the state of affairs as far as the public security situation is concerned in Honduras has been one of the worst, not only in Latin America but also in the entire world. This has made Honduras to be ranked among the top five nations in the world that have high numbers of violent crimes, as well as murder cases per capita (Smith, 2005).
According to government estimates, at least one person is murdered every 88 minutes. On the other hand, the turmoil witnessed in the country’s political structure in recent years has been critical in increasing the number of criminal activities in the country. In the past years, Honduras has been faced with attempts of a military coup; various institutional battles as well as complications in the country’s international recognition, which are to blame for the poor democratic systems.
In Honduras, the high rate of criminal activities that have been fueled by various criminal groupings during the military coup has to be taken as the reason for reflection by the wider international community (Smith, 2005). In as much as it is not the main reason, the financial and diplomatic isolation for the de fact governing system has also provided the criminal organizations with prime opportunities to increase their activities with less concern over their outcomes.
It is also important to point out that the recommendations in many of the reports on drug trafficking and criminal activities should not be overlooked. These reports have emphasized the need for cooperation, reliable information sharing, as well as the establishment of effective and comprehensive strategies to deal with this issue and establish a peaceful environment that can lead to the development of a stable democracy in the country. Normally, values in democratic governance and promotion explain that countries that seem to go against the fundamental norms of democracy be isolated.These two issues have been in continuous conflict in Honduras, something that has given the criminal gangs the benefit of doubt (Smith, 2005). The gangs have continued to enjoy the freedom to run their activities while the government tries to appease the international community to assist it in the creation of democratic systems of governance and political stability. It is believed that until the country manages to clean out the criminal gangs, then efforts to establish systems of democracy will continue to face various problems and challenges both at present and in the future. This is because, democracy can only be practiced best where people are secure and free to make their views and carry out their social, political and economic activities.
Bosworth J. (2010). Honduras: Organized Crime Gaining Amid Political Crisis. New York: Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.
Malone, M. (2010). “The Verdict Is In: The Impact of Crime on Public Trust in Central American Justice Systems.” Journal of Politics in Latin America. 2(3): 99–128.
Smith, P. H. (2005). Democracy in Latin America: Political Change in Comparative Perspective. New York: Oxford University Press.
Tickner, A. (2007). Latin America and the Caribbean: Domestic and Transnational Insecurity. Coping with Crisis Working Paper Series, New York: International Peace Academy.