Elections and Events 1965-1981


February 16: constituent assembly election

Anderson 1981:  “(N)o pains were spared to make sure that the National Party would win so that López Arellano himself might be the chosen president.  If the election of 1957 had been the most free in Honduran history, the election of 1965 was perhaps the most corrupt.  To induce the Liberals to participate, the government invited representatives from the Organization of American States to witness the elections, an invitation which was withdrawn as soon as it had served its purpose.  On the day of the elections, Mancha Brava thugs and government forces roamed the rural areas, intimidating and even attacking potential Liberal or Reformista voters” (page 62).  “In the end the party in power gave themselves thirty-five seats out of sixty-four, a figure nicely calculated to give them control, but not to drive the Liberals into open rebellion” (page 63).

Anderson 1988: “The elections, which took place on 16 February 1965, were obviously fraudulent, despite the presence of observers from the Organization of American States.  Ricardo Zúñiga Augustinas, leader of [the] National Party, was in charge of orchestrating the election.  He made sure that ‘Mancha Brava’ thugs and compliant army men were at the polling places to insure the proper result.  The Nationals then gave themselves 35 of the 64 seats in the Assembly” (page 131).

Bardales B. 1980: Describes the election and gives the results (page 53).

Becerra 1983: Gives votes and seats won by the PN/PUN and PL (page 179).

Bertrand Anduray 1992:  “El 16 de febrero de 1965 se eligieron nuevamente diputados, quedando tres mujeres dentro de las planillas del Congreso” (page 23).  Gives their names (page 40).

Euraque 1996:  “Widespread violence and fraud marred those elections in February 1965” (page 123).

Fernández 1983: The PN won 54.6% of the vote (page 29).  “Elecciones de febrero de 1965 (asamblea constituyente: 64 bancas)” (page 33).  Gives party, number of votes, percent of vote, and seats won.

Haggerty and Millet 1995: “The PNH had pledged throughout the campaign that if it gained control of the Congress, its members would select López Arellano as president.  The vote was held on February 16, 1965; the PNH won thirty-five seats, the PLH twenty-nine” (page 38).

Kantor 1969: The February 16, 1965 elections “resulted in a victory for the National Party, which received, according to the official results, 328,412 votes to 267,808 votes for the Liberal Party” (page 144).

Morris 1984: “With the Liberals in disarray and the National party firmly in control of the electoral machinery, the vote results were destined to assure López Arellano his place as chief of state from 1965-1971" (page 40).

Roberts 1968:  “Congressional” (page 173).  Gives party, number of votes, and percent of vote  won in election of 1965.

Roberts 1968a: Gives total population,  total vote, and percent of population voting in election of 1965 (page 183).

Rojas Bolaños 1994: “(E)l 12 de febrero de 1965 se realizaron elecciones para una Asamblea Nacional Constituyente.  En estas elecciones, calificadas como fraudulentas por la oposición, el Partido Nacional, que apoyaba a López Arellano, obtuvo la mayoría absoluta: 335.315 votos, contra 272.712 del Partido Liberal” (page 130).

Sabillón Pineda de Flores 1998:  “Honduras:  diputadas según partido político, 1965” (page 34).  Gives name and party.

Schooley 1987: “Elections for a new constituent assembly took place in February 1965, resulting in 35 seats for the PN against 29 for the PL, which then boycotted it” (page 38).

Schulz 1994: “To give the regime a facade of popular support, elections for a Constituent Assembly were held in early 1965.  The result was a carefully orchestrated fraud” (page 33).


Anderson 1981:  “The opposition leaders, following the election, set up a Comité Cívico Nacional, of Liberals, Popular Progressives, and the unions, but failed to block the election by the Assembly of López Arellano” (page 63).

Anderson 1988:   “(T)he Constituent Assembly proceeded to give itself the power of election and then chose, to no one’s surprise, López Arellano as the new president.  Some liberal members of the Assembly, led by labor leader Céleo González, refused to participate in this election; but the majority went along, thus giving the election of  López a certain veneer of legitimacy” (page 132).

Becerra 1994: “La Constitución de 1965, producto de un golpe castrense, repite al pie de la letra los artículos electorales de la anterior” (volume 1 page 343).

Bulmer-Thomas 1991: “The Partido Nacional majority in the new Assembly introduced a new constitution confirming the autonomy of the armed forces and promptly elected López Arellano (now promoted to brigadier general) as president for six years” (page 211).

Euraque 1996:  “The National Party deputies to the Constituent Assembly of March 1965 represented a majority that, like the liberals in 1957, ‘elected’ López Arellano president” (page 119).

Schooley 1987: “The Assembly held its first session in March and elected Col. López to serve as president for a six-year term with effect from June, when it was redesignated a full legislative assembly” (page 38).


Anderson 1988:   “The government of López Arellano soon found itself caught up in the land-reform issue…(T)he ‘hacendados’…were rapidly extending their domain, by fair means and foul, to take advantage of the sudden spurt in the profitability of cotton and cattle raising.  The peasantry, more militant and better organized than that of any other Central American country, responded with ‘tomas,’ or land seizures…FENAGH, the landholders’ organization, became quite alarmed at this turn of events, especially as the agitation was increased to make effective use of INA and the Land Reform Act of 1962” (page 132).

Sarmiento 2004:  “En 1965 se reduce el período de duración de los Diputados al Congreso Nacional de 6 a 4 años, y se establece el número fijo de 128 diputados, cuya distribución departamental se hará de acuerdo al cociente electoral establecido por el Tribunal Nacional de Elecciones” (page 5).

Rojas Bolaños 1994: “El 3 de junio se promulgó la nueva Constitución, y López inició el período constitucional el 6 de ese mes; en mayo la Asamblea lo había ascendido al grado de general” (page 130).


Anderson 1981:  “(T)he large landholders banded together to form an anti’campesino,’ antisquatter, and above all anti-Salvadorean group in 1966.  This was the Federación Nacional de Agricultores y Ganaderos de Honduras…This group was and is dedicated to the preservation of the great landholdings, and to their furtherance through the seizure of lands.  As the Salvadoreans were often squatting on public land and were fair game, FENAGH launched a great propaganda campaign against all things Salvadorean” (page 64).

Somoza 2005:  “The 1966 Electoral Law stipulated that parties could only participate in the elections if they had been registered.  To do so, they had to prove a minimum of 15,000 members” (page 402).  “Until 1966, the president was elected by absolute majority.  If no candidate reached 50% of the valid votes, congress chose the president from the two (sometimes the three) best-placed candidates.  Since 1966, the system of plurality has been applied” (page 403).


Anderson 1988:  “The ‘Mancha Brava,’ urged on by FENAGH, which sought to divert attention from the land grabs by its members, began anti-Salvadoran activities on a large scale in 1967” (page 133).


Acker 1988: “The Christian Democrat Party (PDCH) was formed in 1968, but was blocked from legal status for thirteen years by a Supreme Court largely controlled by the National Party” (page 76).

Anderson 1981:  “Rigoberto Sandoval Corea…became director of the Instituto Nacional Agrario in 1968 with the blessings of Ricardo Zúñiga…The instrument for Sandoval’s activities was the agrarian reform law…which at the end of 1968, after so long a period in limbo, began to be applied in earnest.  But the method of application, given the conservative nature of the López Arellano regime, would have to take into account the power of the great landholders and the banana companies” (pages 91-92).

Democracia y partidos políticos en Honduras 2004:  “En 1968 un grupo de laicos ligados al trabajo social de la iglesia fundó el Movimiento Demócrata Cristiano de Honduras (MDCH)” (page 7).

March 31: municipal election

Anderson 1981:  “Municipal elections were scheduled for 31 March 1968, giving some hope of a return to democratic procedures; but it was not to be, for López Arellano had no intention of giving any power to the out groups.  Again gunmen were very much in evidence, although Martín Pérez, the honest president of the electoral tribunal, appealed unsuccessfully to the chief of the armed forces, Colonel Andrés Ramírez Ortega, to stop the violence.  However, in the northern zone Colonel Juan Alberto Mélgar Castro made a name for himself by trying to curb the excesses of the Nationalists.  In the end the Liberals gained only 35 out of 260 mayorships; and there were widespread demands…that the elections be annulled” (page 69).  “In the March 1968 municipal and legislative elections, the PDC carried a great many localities, substantially increasing its representation in the legislature and on the municipal level” (page 88).

Anderson 1988: “The deepening governmental crisis was not helped by the fraudulent municipal elections of March 1968, in which the government saw to it that the Liberals won only 35 of the 260 mayoralties being contested” (page 132).

Bowdler 1982: “(I)n spite of U.S. Embassy observers throughout the country and the supposed embassy interest in preserving the two-party system, the Liberals were literally trampled under foot in 1968.  Embassy observers reported a considerable amount of fraud in the election” (page 185).

Fernández  1970: “Results of municipal elections on March 31, 1968" (page 86).  Gives by department the number of votes for the National and Liberal parties, null votes, abstentions, and total votes.  “Of the 281 municipalities at stake, the official results gave 246 to the Nationalists and 35 to the Liberals.”

Haggerty and Millet 1995:”Municipal elections were held in March 1968 to the accompaniment of violence and charges of open fraud, producing PNH victories but also fueling public discontent” (page 39).

Morris 1984: “Coercion and other illegal tactics were used in municipal elections, after which the National party controlled almost 90 percent of the local governments” (page 40).

Rosenberg 1990: “(I)n the context of growing popular dissatisfaction with the government’s lackluster performance, municipal elections were held in 1968.  Violence, ballot-box stuffing, and confusion marked this effort and resulted in a Liberal party boycott of the unicameral national Congress” (page 521-522).

Sieder 1995:  “Opposition to the López-PN regime increased after the municipal
elections of March 1968 . The PL was deeply divided and failed to capitalise on the blatant manipulation of the poll by the PN, propelling government opponents towards other, more corporate forms of representation in order to voice their dissent” (page 110).


Schulz 1994:  “(I)n the countryside, land poverty was steadily worsening…The population explosion continued to swell the ranks of the landless and unemployed.  At the same time, the U.S. demand for beef, sugar, and cotton provided large landowners with a powerful incentive to expand their export operations…Growing numbers of peasants were driven off their own and public lands…It was at this juncture that the Salvadoran immigrants became a major issue…As bad as things were in Honduras, they were even worse in El Salvador…Lacking the means of survival in their homeland, the Salvadorans flooded into Honduras.  By 1969 they numbered some 300,000” (page 35).


Haggerty and Millet 1995: “As the political situation deteriorated, the Honduran government and some private groups came increasingly to place blame for the nation’s economic problems on the approximately 300,000 undocumented Salvadoran immigrants in Honduras...(I)n January 1969, the Honduran government refused to renew the 1967 Bilateral Treaty on Immigration with El Salvador” (page 39). 


Anderson 1981:  “In April 1969 the director of the INA declared publicly that the institute would proceed immediately to order Salvadorean ‘campesinos’ dispossessed of their lands, although many had cultivated them for many years.  Sandoval declared that he was applying Article 68 of the agrarian reform law, which did indeed state that only born Hondurans might lay claim to national lands” (page 92).


Anderson 1988:  “As the economic situation of Honduras deteriorated in the spring of 1969, the government decided to apply fully the provisions of the Agrarian Reform Law of 1963.  The director of INA…, encouraged by the president and Zúñiga,…began to expropriate lands upon which Salvadorans were squatting, in May 1969” (page 133).


Anderson 1981:  “(B)y the first of June some five hundred families had been officially dispossessed” (page 92).  “Not only were the lands forcibly taken from the squatters, but in many cases the rest of their possessions were also taken…In some cases a measure of brutality was used to effect the expulsions, and government thugs, the so-called Mancha Brava, participated in these acts of violence.  The Honduran press, moreover, now began to whip up sentiment in favor of the INA and against the Salvadoreans” (page 93).  “In the midst of all this came the games which were to give the war its name and to confuse the outside world into believing temporarily that the conflict was some kind of comic-opera battle over soccer.  The World Cup eliminations were going on that spring and summer, and Honduras was slated to play El Salvador in a best-of-three-game series” (page 95).

Durham 1979:  A “critical issue concerned the presence in Honduras of some 300,000 Salvadorean immigrants, or roughly one of every eight persons in Honduras in 1969.  In June [of 1969], Honduras reversed its policy of tolerating the immigration and suddenly began expelling large numbers of these Salvadoreans from their rural homesteads.  This action prompted the government of El Salvador to close its borders to refugees and to file a complaint before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights” (page 2).

Schulz 1994:  “As socioeconomic and political conditions in Honduras deteriorated in spring 1969, the government moved to expel the Salvadorans from the lands on which they were squatting.  By early June, some five hundred families, many of which had worked these lands for years, had been dispossessed…To make matters worse, in the midst of all this the two countries were facing each other in the World Cup soccer eliminations” (page 37).  “(T)he Salvadoran government sealed its borders and filed a complaint of genocide with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.  Diplomatic relations were broken” (page 38).


Anderson 1988:  “War actually broke out when El Salvador invaded Honduras on the evening of 14 July.  Thanks to OAS intervention, the fighting lasted less than a week, but the Honduran army was humiliated on the ground…At first, the war brought an outpouring of patriotism…; but it also brought in its wake further disenchantment with the government of López Arellano” (page 134).

Dunkerley 1996: “After defeat in the 1969 war with El Salvador, a more reformist tendency within the army briefly gained the upper hand” (page 71).

Durham 1979:  “On July 14, 1969, the armed forces of the Republic of El Salvador invaded the territory of the neighboring Republic of Honduras.  The attack began a war that lasted only 100 hours, but left several thousand dead on both sides, turned 100,000 people into homeless and jobless refugees, destroyed half of El Salvador’s oil refining and storage facilities, and paralyzed the nine-year-old Central American Common Market” (page 1). 

Euraque 1996:  “An OAS-ordered cease-fire stopped most of the fighting on 18 July 1969” (page 140).

Ruhl 2000:  “During the…war with El Salvador in 1969, Honduran peasants, trade unions, and North Coast entrepreneurs won military approval when they rallied patriotically to support the armed forces” (page 50).

Schulz 1994:  “By early July fighting had broken out on the frontier…The fighting lasted only a hundred hours.  There were no victors.  By the war’s end some 130,000 Salvadorans had been expelled or had fled from Honduras, producing serious economic damage on both side of the border…Not until 1980 would a peace treaty, formally terminating hostilities, finally be signed.  On the positive side, the war did unite Hondurans as never before.  A surge of nationalistic emotion submerged the socioeconomic and political conflicts that had been threatening to tear the country apart…In the short run, the tactics of xenophobia worked brilliantly…Once the fighting ended, all the old problems and conflicts reemerged” (page 38).


Anderson 1988:  “Not until August did the troops from El Salvador leave the occupied territory” (page 134).


Dodd 2005:  “Tiburcio Carías died peacefully at home in Tegucigalpa, the capital, on December 23, 1969” (page 1).



Anderson 1981:  “At the end of January 1970, the tension along the border again erupted into large-scale fighting…These incidents led to renewed negotiation” (page 132).


Cerdas Cruz  1993: “El PINU surgió como respuesta a una coyuntura política muy particular: la guerra de El Salvador y Honduras en 1969, y se fundó el 5 de noviembre de 1970" (page 75).

Democracia y partidos políticos en Honduras 2004:  “El PINU fue creado en el ambiente post bélico que se desarrolló después de la Guerra entre Honduras y El Salvador (1969).  La crisis de liderazgo y la falta de soluciones a los problemas del país se hicieron evidentes en la incapacidad manifiesta de los militares y del partido gobernante (Partido Nacional) de hacerle frenta a la Guerra.  A raíz de lo anterior se creó el Comité Cívico por la Defensa Nacional, conformado por disidentes de los dos partidos tradicionales del país, con el propósito de impulsar una política de unidad nacional y reformas sociales” (page 8).

Ruhl 2000:  In 1970, “López broke with the National Party and formed a new progressive political alliance” (page 50).

Schooley 1987: “President López announced in November 1970 that general elections would be held the following March” (page 39).


Democracia y partidos políticos en Honduras 2004:  El MDCH “surgió a la luz pública el 15 de diciembre de 1970” (page 7).

Schulz 1994:  “Over the next year and a half, pressure would be brought on López and Zúniga to step aside so that Hondurans might choose a ‘national unity’ government in the elections scheduled for March 1971.  As months passed and sentiment against a Zúniga candidacy grew, the president began to look for a way out.  In December 1970, he agreed to a national unity plan that placed responsibility for creating a government of national integration in the hands of the two major parties…Unfortunately, the plan was unworkable” (page 39).



Anderson 1981:  “One result of the war had been that Oswaldo López Arellano was largely discredited, for if El Salvador had not really won the war, Honduras clearly appeared to have lost it.  Whatever ambitions [López Arellano] might have had to be a new Carías Andino were dashed by the fiasco of 1969, and his military associates made it clear that he ought not try to extend his governance beyond the legal five-year limit.  The problem was to revive politics and parties long dormant under the military regime.  The Nationals were easiest to get back into the lists as they had close ties to the regime; the Liberals were harder to corral; but in the end a compromise was worked out in which the election for the presidency would be truly contested between the two parties, and the representation in the Legislative Assembly would be divided equally in advance of the election with each party getting half of the sixty-four seats in the Assembly” (page 157).

Haggerty and Millet 1995: “After considerable discussion and debate, the PLH and PNH parties responded to pressures from labor, business, and the military.  On January 7, 1971, they signed a political pact agreeing to establish a national-unity government after the March elections. [One of the purposes] was to present a single slate of congressional candidates that would divide the Congress equally between the PLH and PNH” (pages 41-42).

Izaguirre 2000:  “La Guerra de 1969 con El Salvador dio como uno de sus resultados la fundación del Partido de Innovación y Unidad (PINU) y un pacto de unidad del Partido Liberal de Honduras y el Partido Nacional de Honduras en el que practicamente se dividían el poder por partes iguales” (page 204).

Schulz 1994:  “The Liberals proceeded to nominate Jorge Bueso Arias and the Nationals Ernesto Cruz.  Operating on the assumption that the opposition would win an honest balloting, Zúniga contented himself with negotiating the composition of the new administration with the Liberals.  The day before the vote a ‘pactito’ was reached that divided up the spoils of office” (page 39).

March 28: general election (Cruz Ucles / PN)

Anderson 1981:  “This was to be a direct election contest by popular vote, the first since 1932.  In the elections since that time, the Assembly had in fact chosen the president…(T)he contest was probably orchestrated to attain the desired result, with López Arellano moving behind the scenes” (page 158).

Anderson 1988: “The two major parties got together and agreed that although the presidency would be actually contested, the legislative elections would be rigged so as to give equal representation to both parties in the 64-member Assembly…There was so little popular faith in the system that only 900,000 voters turned out for the March 1971 contest, which pitted Liberal Jorge Buezo Arias against Nationalist Rámon Ernesto Cruz.  Cruz, backed by López, won the election” (page 134). 

Bardales B. 1980: Gives the full text of the pact, describes the election, and gives the results (pages 53-58).

Becerra 1983: Gives votes for PN and PL (page 197).

Bertrand Anduray 1992:  “Durante las elecciones del 28 de marzo de 1971 se eligieron 6 diputadas propietarias y 9 suplentes.  En 1971 también se eligieron mediante el voto popular 3 Alcadesas” (page 24).  Gives the names of the new mayors and the towns they will lead and the names of the new deputies and the districts they will represent (page 42).

Chronicle of parliamentary elections 5 1971: Gives the reason for the election, the characteristics of congress, and gives details of the electoral system (pages 39-40).  “The percentage of voters abstaining during the elections amounted to 31,9%; left-wing groups, which had not proposed any candidates, had recommended abstention.”  “Results of the elections and distribution of seats in the National Congress” (page 40).  Gives number of registered voters, number of voters and percent they constitute of registered voters, blank or void ballot papers, valid votes, and the number of votes and seats won by the National Party and the Liberal Party.

Euraque 1996:  “After March 1971…the nationalists now dominated 188 municipalities and the liberals only 94” (page 149).

Haggerty and Millet 1995: Gives votes for presidential candidates (page 42).

Fernández 1983: Gives number who voted, percent of vote for winning candidate, and margin by which he won (page 30).  “Cifras finales que arrojaron las elecciones del 28 de marzo de 1971" (page 33).  Gives votes and percent of vote for PL and PN candidates, number and percent of null votes, number and percent of blank votes, number of voters and percent they constitute of registered voters, number and percent of abstentions, and total who voted.  “Por departamentos” (pages 34-36).  Gives by department the information summarized in the previously cited table.

Leonard 1998: “The National Party won the presidency and control of Congress in 1971, but President Ramón Ernesto Cruz, not a decisive leader, did not seek to cooperate with the Liberals” (page 101).

Posas 1983: “En marzo de 1971 con un abstencionismo de más o menos el 50% del electorado, cerca del 23 por ciento del total de la población votante lleva a la presidencia al Doctor Ramón Ernesto Cruz” (page 232).

Rojas Bolaños 1994: “Cruz alcanzó el triunfo en las elecciones de marzo de 1971, con 306.028 votos, mientras que el candidato liberal obtuvo 276.777 votos; el abstencionismo fue del 32%” (page 133).

Sabillón Pineda de Flores 1998:  “Honduras:  diputadas y alcaldesas según departamento, 1971” (page 35).  Gives names and for mayors also gives the town.

Weaver 1994: “The 1971 elections were carefully choreographed by the National and Liberal parties...The low turnout demonstrated voters’ apathy about this kind of politics” (pages 209- 210).


Anderson 1981:  “In the new government López Arellano remained the chief of the armed forces, which gave him a virtual veto over all acts of President Cruz.  It soon became apparent that he did not like what he saw.  Rigoberto Sandoval was dismissed by Cruz as head of the INA, and a ‘go-slow’ approach was taken toward land reform.  The pact between the Nationals and the Liberals also broke down, and the two establishment parties began openly feuding” (page 158).

Busey 1985: “Cruz was uncommonly inconspicuous, but troubles broke out between Liberals and Nationals over a power-sharing national pact into which they had entered” (page 33).

Durham 1979:  “Throughout 1970 and into 1971, the INA responded favorably to the occupations of public lands and assisted the campesinos in establishing more than 70 production cooperatives.  ANACH and UNC, which handled the land petitions from local peasant groups grew rapidly in both size and influence.  But with the election of President Ramón Ernesto Cruz…FENAGH succeeded in getting [Rigoberto] Sandoval removed from office.  Without his direction, the INA’s reform projects lost much of their momentum” (page 168).

Euraque 1996:  “Cruz [assumed] power on 6 June 1971” (page 149).

Rosenberg 1990: “(W)hen...Cruz took office in mid-1971 he confronted three major obstacles.  First, a still-ambitious López Arellano had remained in his post as chief of the armed forces. Second, Zuñiga had also remained in the government as a cabinet minister, and third, organized labor had high expectations about the new president’s ability to effect the needed reforms.  From the outset it was clear that López wanted to return to the presidency” (page 522).

Schulz 1994:  “To the surprise of almost everyone, the Nationalist candidate, Cruz, won.  From the beginning, his administration was a disaster” (page 39).


Vallejo Hernández 1990:  “Con el fallecimiento en Washington del Dr. Ramón Villeda Morales (8 de octubre de 1971), surge la figura del Dr. Modesto Rodas Alvarado como nuevo ‘León del liberalismo’ (el primero lo había sido Angel Zúñiga Hueste) y como máximo líder del Partido” (page 62).


Schulz 1994:  “By spring 1972 the government had isolated itself from all but the most conservative elements…Those who had placed their faith in the national unity plan saw their hopes dashed as Zúniga and his cronies ravaged the bureaucracy for their own ends” (page 40).


Anderson 1988:  “López Arellano launched a bloodless military coup on 3 December 1972, overthrowing the National Party government after a scant 20 months in office.  It was the fourth coup since 1954” (page 135).

Dunkerley 1996: “(T)he military administration which governed between 1972 and 1975 was characterised by a mixture of structural reforms (most notably land reform) and partially successful cooption of the popular movement” (page 71).

Durham 1979:  “The campesino federations regained their influence when, with their support, the conservative regime was toppled in a bloodless military coup in 1972.  The government of President Oswaldo López Arellano quickly issued Interim Decree No. 8, enabling INA to force landowners to rent under-utilized portions of their holdings.  In the next two years, more than 500 peasant settlements were established, largely on lands belonging to private estates” (page 168).

Euraque 1996:  “Unlike the 1963 coup, the 1972 military intervention produced no bloodshed, no state of siege, no curfews, no exiles, and no imprisonments…In fact, rather than an institutional alliance between the military and a political party, the new regime immediately mounted a direct attack on the traditional parties” (page 153).

LaFeber 1993: “López’s hand-picked civilian government won the 1971 presidential election, but quickly made economic and political misjudgments.  With the approval of nearly all the key civilian sectors, López disavowed his own creation and, on behalf of the military, seized the presidency for himself in 1972" (page 262).

Leonard 1998: “The political tenseness that ensued [from Cruz’s inability to cooperate with the Liberals] prompted General López to engineer yet another coup in December 1972 and set in motion a decade of direct military rule” (page 101).

Morris 1984: “On the morning of December 4, 1972, President Cruz was sent home by the military, which then formally installed Gen. Oswaldo López Arellano as chief of state” (page 44).

Nickson 1995: After 1972 “all municipal officeholders were appointed by military rulers until 1981" (page 192).

Ruhl 2000:  “When a bipartisan civilian government elected in 1971 headed by Ramón Cruz failed to enact reforms, General López staged another military coup in late 1972.  From 1972 to 1975, López led a populist military regime that redistributed land to about one-fifth of the peasants identified as landless or land poor at a time when the governments of El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala still fiercely opposed peasant organization and land redistribution” (page 50).

Schooley 1987: “The president was accused of taking the country into ‘economic chaos’ and was placed under house arrest...López was confirmed in power as head of state for at least five years, and as C.-in-C. of the Armed Forces he enjoyed virtual independence of any civilian authority” (page 41).

Schulz 1994:  “In December 1972 thousands of peasants descended on the capital for a ‘hunger march.’  At this point, the military informed President Cruz that his services would no longer be required.  López Arellano, who had remained chief of the armed forces, was reinstalled as president…(O)ne of the first acts of the new government was the issuance of Decree Law 8, which gave peasants immediate, though temporary, use of disputed national and ejido lands held by the INA” (page 40).

Sieder 1995:  “The coup of 4 December 1972 ushered in a regime, variously referred to
as 'populist' or reformist.  Military rule was marked by an initial phase of radicalisation which then gave way to more conservative policies.  Changes were driven primarily by shifts in the attitudes of local elites and by the intervention of external actors (principally US capital)” (page 101).  “Three weeks after the coup an emergency measure, DL No. 8, was introduced. This gave landless ‘campesinos’ the right (subject to INA's approval) temporarily to occupy national and ‘ejido’ land. It also introduced a controversial clause forcing the rental of idle privately owned land to INA for allocation to landless beneficiaries.  DL No. 8 remained in force for two years while a new agrarian reform law was drawn up and land occupations all but ceased during this period” (page 114).



Sieder 1995:  “In December 1973, a year after the coup, the Plan Nacional de Desarrollo
(PND) was announced” (page 114).


Bertrand Anduray 1992:  “1974:  Profa. Victoria B. de Castellón, primera Gobernadora Política nombrada en Honduras, por el Departamento de Francisco Morazán” (page 44).


Durham 1979:  “The [land reform] campaign gained momentum when Hurricane Fifi ravaged the north coast in 1974, destroying an estimated 60 percent of the country’s agricultural production and intensifying the plight of the rural poor” (page 168).

LaFeber 1993: In September 1974 “Hurricane Fifi blasted into the country, killing 8,000, leaving 300,000 homeless, and tearing apart the nation’s most productive agricultural-industrial areas” (page 263).


González 1998:  “Como consecuencia de la guerra con El Salvador, en 1969, el Gobierno adoptó una política nacionalista y desarrollista y promulgó una nueva ley agraria y de desarrollo forestal en 1974.  Esta ley, de carácter reformista, terminó con las consideraciones especiales establecidas en 1962” (page 70).

Schulz 1994:  “Decree Law 8 expired in late 1974, but on 30 December a more comprehensive reform was issued.  Decree Law 170…was designed to break up the traditional less productive…landholding arrangements, replacing them with a more efficient and capital-intensive system of medium-sized and large farms.  Simultaneously, it was intended to co-opt the peasantry and contain the land invasions that had become epidemic in the wake of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Fifí” (page 41).


Busey 1985: “The presidency of López Arellano came to an ignominious conclusion when a U.S. congressional probe discovered that he had accepted a $1,250,000 bribe from United Brands Company (formerly United Fruit), allegedly for reduction of the export tax on bananas as well as for other favors.  In ‘defense of the national honor,’ Colonel Juan Alberto Melgar ejected López from power on April 22, 1975, and took over the presidency himself, after which he was promoted to the rank of general” (page 33).

Cerdas Cruz 1993: “El Partido Demócrata Cristiano de Honduras, surgió primero como Movimiento en la ciudad de Choluteca el 10 de setiembre de 1968 y siete años después, en 1975, se convirtió en Partido propiamente hablando.  En su aparición ejerce una influencia importante el Concilio Vaticano II, que inspira a sus fundadores no obstante el tradicional carácter conservador y ajeno al movimiento de la Iglesia Católica hondureña” (page 76). 

Dunkerley 1996: “A transcendental change occurred in 1975, when decision-making within the armed forces changed from what had been essentially a form of personalised ‘caudillo’ rule towards a more collegiate form embodied in COSUFFAA (Consejo Superior de las Fuerzas Armadas)” (page 71).

González 1998:  “En 1975 las leyes agrarias y forestales, promulgadas de acuerdo a esta nueva política estatal, cambiaron la actitud proteccionista hacia el indígena…Esta situación perjudicó a las poblaciones indígenas, al disminuir la propiedad comunal a favor de la propiedad individual y sobreexplotar el bosque en áreas ocupadas por comunidades indígenas” (page 71).

Lapper 1985: “López resigns after the ‘Bananagate scandal’ and General Juan Melgar Castro takes over as president.  The army and local landowners kill 15 peasant demonstrators, including two priests, at Los Horcones” (page 5).   PASOH is “formed by Christian Democrat dissidents following the 1975 Los Horcones massacre” (page 9).

Schooley 1987: “In March 1975 a group of young dissident officers managed to instigate a purge in the higher ranks of the army, forcing over 40 colonels into retirement and replacing López by Col. Juan Alberto Melgar Castro as C.-in-C.  The same group of officers, led by Melgar Castro, staged a coup against López on April 22 ” (Page 40).


Anderson 1981:  “In January of 1975, López Arellano initiated a new land reform act, Decree 170.  This act was designed to distribute six hundred thousand hectares among 120,000 families over the space of five years” (page 159).

Durham 1979:  “After long debate, a new agrarian reform law, No. 170, was enacted in January 1975.  The law called for some 600,000 hectares of land to be redistributed among 120,000 families over a five-year period…Predictably, the promulgation of Law 170 drew opposition from FENAGH, as well as the Honduran Council of Private Business (COHEP)” (page 168).

Schulz 1994:  “In late January 1975 a major shake-up occurred.  A Superior Council of the Armed Forces (Consejo Superior de las Fuerzas Armadas—COSUFFAA), formed mainly of lieutenant colonels, was established in place of the Superior Council of National Defense and the full colonels who had composed it” (page 44).


Anderson 1981:  “The revelation of Bananagate brought about a military coup in Honduras on 31 March 1975 with Gen. Juan Alberto Mélgar Castro taking control as the chief of state.  It was he who had to deal with the agrarian unrest that now gripped the country.  Because of the scandal, the focus of this discontent was now the existence of the great banana concessions” (page 161).

Schulz 1994:  “In March, the COSUFFAA ordered that the position of armed forces chief be separated from that of chief of state.  López lost his primary power base as Colonel Juan Alberto Melgar Castro became the new military leader” (page 44).


Anderson 1988:  “The man who assumed the presidency of the military junta, and therefore became chief of state, was Col. Juan Alberto Melgar Castro” (page 136).  “Although Melgar was running the government, he was not running the army.  The new commander in chief, Policarpo Paz García, presided over the army’s policy-making group, the ‘Consejo Superior de las Fuerzas Armadas’ (CONSUFA), composed of 25 senior officers…It was a sign of Melgar’s weakness that he was forced to give up the role of commander in chief” (page 137).

Durham 1979:  With Arrellano’s resignation, “implementation of Law 170 was delayed, causing the campesino groups to mobilize again in protest” (page 169).

Rosenberg 1996: “Although [Oswaldo López Arrellano’s] ouster in 1975 was directly attributed to allegations that he was linked to bribery, it coincided with a period of growing demands for participation in decision making by other senior officers.  It was during this period that the Superior Council emerged to play the central military decision-making role” (page 74).

Schulz 1994:  “On 22 April [López] was removed from his post as chief of state” (page 44).

Soluri 2005:  “When Hondurans turned on their radios the morning of April 22, 1975, they learned from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces that Colonel Juan Melgar Castro was the new Chief of State, replacing General Oswaldo López Arellano, who two weeks earlier had been accused of accepting a bribe from the United Brands Corporation…Eli Black [United Brands former president] reportedly authorized the bribe in order to obtain a reduction in the banana export tax” (page 216).


Durham 1979:  “On May 19, 1975, the UNC sponsored the invasion of nearly 120 haciendas in ten departments” (page 169).


Durham 1979:  “In June of that year, a local military commander in Olancho sided with the landowners in organizing an armed attack on a UNC training headquarters.  Five peasant leaders were killed in the assault…The Olancho murders stimulated further protest by campesino groups, which formed a united front with a total membership of over 150,000” (page 169).

Sieder 1995:  “Ideological and tactical schisms had become acute after the June 1975 massacres in Olancho, which had prompted the withdrawal of the mainstream of the church from association with the grassroots of the Christian Democrat movement, considerably reducing both the support and protection previously afforded to UNC affiliates by their relations with local clergy” (page 123).


Durham 1979:  “In October the front issued an ultimatum, threatening more land invasions if the redistribution of land under the new law was further delayed.  In an apparent victory for the campesino groups, the new president…decided to reappoint Sandoval Corea to head the INA.  Yet throughout 1976 and early 1977, the efforts of INA officials to implement Law 170 were undermined by continued denunciations on the part of FENAGH, COHEP, and other organizations representing the interests of large landowners” (page 169).


Bertrand Anduray 1992:  “En 1976 el Partido Nacional eligió a la Ingeniera Irma Acosta de Fortín como su Presidenta, honor recaído por vez primera en una mujer” (page 24). 
“En 1976 se eligieron como Alcaldesas 12 mujeres” (page 26).   “1976:  nominadas para desempeñar cargos de Alcaldesas en el país” (page 47).  Gives their names and towns.

Martínez 1999:  “(E)l Partido Revolucionario Hondureño…data desde el año 1976, cuando…grupos de la Asociación Nacional de Campesinos de Honduras (ANACH) y algunos cooperativistas decidieron fundar un partido de tendencia socialdemócrata en el país, al cual dieron el nombre de PRH” (page 145).

Posas 1980: “In 1976 the military regime created the Consejo Asesor del Jefe de Estado (CONASE), a type of parliamentary body to draw up a new electoral law and to supervise some of the national projects” (page 53).

Sabillón Pineda de Flores 1998:  “Honduras:  alcaldesas municipales, según departamento, 1976” (page 36).

Schooley 1987: “The new government faced considerable opposition to its land-reform programme, and the opposition increased in January 1976 when President Melgar Castro said that the army would retain political power at least until 1979 in order to implement the policies it had promised.  Elections would be held in 1979" (page 41).

Sieder 1995:  “By mid-1976 divisions became acute as a group of militants on the left of the PDCH openly questioned the close ties of the popular organisations to the party. A split developed between the national leadership of the PDCH (which included UNC president Pedro Mendoza) and those pushing for a more radical, less top-down and electorally-led strategy. The conflict provoked a backlash by the PDCH leadership,
which accused their challengers of communist sympathies” (page 123).


Paz Aguilar 2008:  “(L)a transición comenzó en marzo de 1976, cuando el gobierno militar publicó un cronograma mediante el cual creaba el Consejo Asesor de la Jefatura de Estado y uno de sus objetivos era la elaboración de una nueva ley electoral” (page 623).


Sieder 1995:  “Many regional leaders of the UNC enjoying widespread support at the grassroots were expelled from the party in 1977, further dividing the movement.  In the
same year, a number of these expelled activists set up the Movimiento a1 Socialismo (MAS), a radical but non-communist body influenced by liberation theology which enjoyed considerable support amongst the UNC membership” (pages 123-124).


Durham 1979:  “Opposition slowed the momentum of the [land] reform to the point where, on March 15, 1977, Sandoval Corea resigned—an action that many observers believe marks the end of the reform policy initiated in 1972.  The UNC responded to this development by staging a new wave of land invasions” (page 169).

Schulz 1994:  “In March 1977 an agrarian policy coordinating commission, stacked with rich landowners, was created, with the power to override the INA director…Support for the reform sector now dramatically declined” (page 45).


Schooley 1987: “There had earlier, on Oct. 21, 1977, been an unsuccessful attempted coup by right-wing civilian and military elements opposed to the government’s reforms” (page 41).


Cid 1990:  La Ley Electoral “mandaba a los partidos políticos a celebrar elecciones internas para seleccionar a sus autoridades y a sus candidatos a cargos de elección popular; además, incluía el principio de la representatividad proporcional” (page 5).  “De acuerdo a la Ley Electoral, el Tribunal Nacional de Elecciones (TNE) y el Registro Nacional de las Personas (RNP) son los organismos de alcance nacional que tienen a su cargo la organización, dirección y supervisión del proceso electoral y la elaboración del censo electoral” (page 10).

Izaguirre 2000:  “Ley Electoral y de las Organizaciones Políticas de 1977” (pages 204-214).  Gives details of the law.

Una mirada al proceso electoral primario 2005: resultados del sistema de indicadores de seguimiento 2005:  “(L)a Ley Electoral y de Organizaciones Políticas (1977)…dio un marco legislativo jurídico a los procesos electorales” (page 14).

Paz Aguilar 2008:  La Ley Electoral “fue decretada en 1977 por el general Juan Alberto Melgar Castro, jefe de Estado, en Consejo de Ministros con base en el proyecto elaborado por el Consejo Asesor que derogó la ley electoral de 1966” (page 623).  “Esta Ley fue de corta duración, pues únicamente reguló el proceso electoral para elegir a los diputados a la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente del 20 de abril de 1980” (page 625).  Gives details (pages 625-626).

Schooley 1987: “The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces approved a new electoral law on Dec. 27, 1977, in preparation for these elections, providing for the full resumption of political activity (banned since 1972)” (page 41).

Sieder 1998: “La legislación de 1977 constituyó un avance institucional importante; ésta puso un énfasis sin precedente en la democratización interna de los partidos políticos...Una innovación importante fue la creación del Tribunal Nacional Electoral” (pages 20-21). 

Somoza 2005:  Parties have to prove a minimum of 10,000 members to register (page 402).


Anderson 1988:   “The discontent in the country was fueled by a series of scandals among the ruling officer elite…Perhaps the last straw was the fact that the preparations for the long-delayed Assembly elections, and especially the registration of voters, seemed to be grinding to a halt” (page 139).

Bertrand Anduray 1992:  “En 1978 el número [de Alcaldesas] aumentó a 12” (page 24).

Dunkerley 1996: “(M)ilitary reformism in Honduras lacked both strategic vision and ideological coherence and by 1978 had reached an advanced state of decomposition, being largely characterised by selective repression of the popular movement and increased corruption within the officer corps” (page 71).

Posas 1980: “The conservative posture that had characterized the Melgar Castro government increased when the military junta took his place...It closed down CONASE, ending all channels of popular expression” (page 53).

Rosenberg 1983: “The Carter administration carefully brought along the Honduran military utilizing a two fold strategy: nurturing strong-man Policarpo Paz García with a series of meetings with high level US officials both in and outside of Honduras and by significantly increasing both military and economic aid.  Paz García made good on his commitments to guarantee the Constitutional Assembly elections, and was duly rewarded by being named the country’s provisional president, overseeing both the writing of the new constitution and the second round of elections, elections which would provide the country’s civilian president” (page 13).


Anderson 1988:   The new electoral law goes into effect on January 1, 1978 (page 145).


Cid 1990:  “El RNP fue suprimido mediante el Decreto No. 633 del 31 de mayo de 1978 y, según se especulaba, tal medida buscaba facilitar el fraude que nacionalistas y militares pensaban montar para las elecciones de abril de 1980” (page 10).


Anderson 1988:  “(I)n July 1978, the Liberal Party held a convention, cemented itself together, and made its internal workings more democratic, clearly hoping that it would have an election to contest” (page 138).


Anderson 1988:   “The leaders of the coup were Commander in Chief Policarpo Paz García, air force commander Lt. Col. Domingo Alvarez, and national police commander Lt. Col. Amílcar Zelaya Rodríguez; but behind them and supporting the coup were López Arellano, who managed to be out of the country for the event, as he had been in 1971, and Ricardo Zúñiga, the secretary general of the National Party…A three-man junta was set up, composed of the three leaders of the coup, with Paz García taking the role of chief [of] state and president of the junta” (page 139).

Haggerty and Millet 1995: “When demonstrators took to the streets to support Melgar Castro, right-wing elements within the military charged Melgar Castro had lost control of public order and ousted him.  On August 7, 1978, Melgar Castro and his cabinet were replaced by a three-member junta” (page 44). 

Schooley 1987: “President Melgar Castro was overthrown in a right-wing coup on Aug. 7, 1978, by the C.-in-C., Gen. Policarpo Paz García, who then headed a junta” (page 41).

Sieder 1995:  “The regime was eventually overthrown in a palace coup in August 1978 led by Head of the Armed Forces, General Policarpo Paz García. The Paz government subsequently developed closer links with the PN and right-wing economic elites” (pages 119-120).


Anderson 1988:   “One way in which the conservatism of the government did indeed show was in its go-slow approach to land reform…Paz, like Melgar before him, imprisoned a number of peasants who tried to invade estates or who presented their demands too forcefully.  In September 1978, more than 400 such peasants were being held” (page 143).


Anderson 1988:   “The various campesino organizations…had formed a ‘Frente de Unidad Nacional Campesina de Honduras (FUNANCAMPH), which, in November of [1978], called for and forced the resignation of Fabio David Salgado, the head of the INA, because of his corruption” (page 143).


Allison 2006:  “At the height of its power, the Morazán Front for the Liberation of Honduras (FMLH or FMLNH) counted on the support of up to three hundred combatants.  It engaged in minor actions in the mid-1970s before increasing activities beginning in 1979” (page 149

Binns 2000:  “The July 1979 collapse of the Anastasio Somoza regime in Nicaragua…struck Central America with seismic force…Before the year was out…the ruling military [in Honduras] agreed to allow elections and turn power over to civilians” (pages 5-6).  “Except for a brief period in 1974 and 1975, the Honduran military had been in power since 1963, nearly 17 years” (page 10).

Pearson 1982: “In 1979, the government of Army General Policarpo Paz called elections for a constituent assembly for April 20, 1980, to draft a new constitution and procedures for the transfer of power to an elected government” (page 440).


Anderson 1988:   “Prior to the victory of the Sandinista movement in Nicaragua, on 19 July 1979, the Honduran military had been deeply divided, with the senior officers generally supporting Somoza and the younger ones favoring the [FSLN].  The government was also divided on the issue, though Paz personally favored Somoza, as did the National Party” (page 142).

Lapper 1985:   “Following the overthrow of the Nicaraguan president, Anastasio Somoza, in July, the Carter administration strengthens its relations with Honduras” (page 5).

Schulz 1994:  “Prior to the Sandinista revolution, U.S. policy toward Honduras was characterized primarily by ignorance and neglect” (page 55).  “After the death of Modesto Rodas in 1979, a split had occurred between the traditional leaders of the Liberal Party (the ‘rodistas’) and a social democratic reform faction (Alianza Liberal del Pueblo—ALIPO) led by the Reina brothers” (page 70).

Vallejo Hernández 1990:  “(E)l deceso inesperado del Dr. Modesto Rodas Alvarado (10 de julio de 1979), en la víspera de las elecciones, viene a complicar la situación interna del Partido [Liberal]” (page 63).


Allison 2006:  “Another guerrilla group, the Popular Movement of Liberation ‘Cinchoneros’ (MPLC), was founded in 1980 after members of the Communist Party of Honduras abandoned the ‘reformist approach’ to political change.  The third major Honduran revolutionary group was that of the Popular Revolutionary Forces Lorenzo Zelaya (FPR-LZ).  Like the MPLC, the FPR-LZ was founded in 1980.  Individually, none of the groups was very powerful, nor did any of them count on the support of a significant number of combatants” (page 150).

Anderson 1988:   “It was not only the land problem that continued to give the government trouble with the masses.  Labor, both urban and rural, was also on the warpath…Still another problem of the Paz government was its reputation for unbridled corruption.  Corruption in Honduran politics had always been an art, but Paz and his cronies made it into a systematic science.  Particularly important was the role of certain prominent officers in the narcotics trade…In addition, almost every conceivable project was milked for kickbacks and graft…While worker and campesino restiveness and charges of corruption caused concern within the government, the problem that overshadowed all others was that of preparing for the elections of 20 April 1980.  The two traditional parties [Nationals and Liberals] were both preparing strong campaigns” (page 144).  Gives details (pages 144-146).  “The United States…was very anxious for the elections to be held, and for them to be honest.  To encourage these desirable results, the North Americans began to lavish aid upon Honduras, giving the military alone $500,000 and promising ten times that amount after the elections” (page 145).

Bertrand Anduray 1992:  “En 1980-81 habían en el país 3 mujeres Oficiales Mayores; 4 Gobernadoras; 4 Diputadas Propietarias y 8 Suplentes” (page 26).  Gives the names of the governors and the departments they govern (page 52).

Boussard 2005:  The Registro Nacional de las Personas (RNP) “is the official record of residents and has, since its creation [in] 1980, been subordinated to the Electoral Tribunal.  As TNE is one of the institutions that are subject to politicization, there is a fear that the dominating political parties will manipulate RNP…The political parties have accused each other of the mismanagement of RNP” (pages 190-191).

Bowman 1999: “The 1980s witnessed a most unusual hybrid regime in Honduras, the initiation and strengthening of electoral democracy along with shocking increases in military power and human rights abuses” (page 10).

Dunkerley 1996: “Civil war was absent in Honduras in the 1980s, the militarisation which occurred throughout the decade being more a consequence of the Reagan administration’s covert war against Nicaragua than a response to the domestic insurgent challenge (which was negligible in both scale and impact)” (page 70).

Rosenberg 1983a:  “Most high level civilian politicians understood by the late 1970s that the key to their electoral success depended less on their ability to mobilize popular civilian support and more on their relations with important Honduran military figures.  The Liberal Party took a calculated risk by associating itself with then Col. Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, who during the pre-1981 presidential election period had occupied successively two of the country’s most important military posts” (page 11).

Sieder 1995:  “After 1980 a multiplicity of guerilla groups emerged in Honduras.  However, unlike its regional counterparts in Nicaragua and El Salvador, the Honduran insurgent movement—lacking an extensive popular base, subject from its inception to a highly targeted policy of state repression, and functioning largely in response to regional, rather than national events—never constituted a serious challenge to state power” (page 125).

Sullivan 1995: PINU  “first attempted to gain legal recognition...in 1970, but the PNH blocked Pinu’s attempts until the 1980 Constituent Assembly elections” (page 177).

April 20: constituent assembly election

Anderson 1988: Describes the election and gives percent of registered voters who voted, number and percent of vote for top three parties, and seats won by these parties (pages 146-147).

Becerra 1983: Gives votes and seats won by PL, PN, and PINU, and gives abstention rate and percent of registered voters who voted (page 215).

Bertrand Anduray 1992:  “Diputadas electas el 20 de abril de 1980” (page 52).  Gives their names and the districts they represent.

Binns 2000:  “(T)he decision to hold elections had been immensely popular, as evidenced by the 80 percent-plus voter turnout in the assembly elections.  The Liberal Party had edged out its rival National Party, winning 52 percent of the vote, but two minor parties held the balance of power in the unicameral assembly” (page 10).

Bueso 1987:   “El proceso electoral 1980" (pages 316-319).  Describes the election.  “Resultados generales de las elecciones del 20 de abril de 1980" (page 319).  Gives number of votes and percent of vote for each party, null votes, blank votes, valid votes, total votes, registered voters, and number of abstentions. 

Chronicle of parliamentary elections 14 1980: 75% of the electorate took part: gives the number of seats won by PN, PL, and PINU (page 14).

Democracia y partidos políticos en Honduras 2004:  “El proceso electoral de 1980” (pages 23-30).

Elecciónes:  april de 1980, 1981, 1985, 1989, 1993, 1997 2000:  Gives the results for the April 1980 election by department and party.

Fernández 1983: “La diferencia entre el Partido Liberal y el Partido Nacional en los centros urbanos” (pages 73-74).  Gives for cities in Honduras with populations over 50,000 the number of registered voters, the votes for PL and PN, total valid votes, percent of vote for PL and PN, and the differences in favor of PL.  “El comportamiento de los partidos tradicionales a nivel de departamentos y municipios” (pages 75-76).  Gives by department the percent of vote for PL and PN.  “El comportamiento electoral del PINU” (pages 76-77).  Gives percent of the vote won by PINU by department and for major cities.  “El análisis del abstencionismo y del voto negativo” (page 78).  Gives percent of abstention for departments and major cities.  “El sistema de representación” (page 80-81).  Gives the number of votes in each department needed to win a seat, varies from 4,135 in one department to 19,177 in another.  Gives valid votes needed by each party to win a seat, the percent of the vote won, and the percent of the seats won.  “Resultados de las elecciones del 20 de abril de 1980" (pages 104-106).  Gives for country number of votes and percent of vote won by PL, PN,  PINU, and independent candidates, null votes, blank votes, valid votes, total votes, registered voters, and abstentions.  Gives by department registered voters, valid votes, votes for PL, PN, and PINU, and number of municipalities won by each party.

Izaguirre 2000:  “Honduras:  resultados de las elecciones generales de 1980” (page 213).  “Honduras:  asignación de diputados, según partido político” (page 214).

Leonard 1998: “Transition toward civilian government began with the April 1980 election of a constituent assembly.  The centrist Liberal Party captured thirty-five seats and conservative National Party thirty-three” (page 105).

Morris 1981:   “Honduran electoral data by department, 1980" (follows page 8).  Gives number of votes and percent of vote for PL, PN, and PINU; total vote; and registered voters.

Morris 1984: “These elections, the first of any kind since 1971, were an important step in the transition from military rule to a resumption of civilian political participation in Honduras” (pages 51-52).  Gives number who voted, percent these constituted of all registered voters, and percent of the vote for PL, PN, and PINU.  “Honduran electoral data by department, 1980" (page 53).  Gives by department the number and percent of the vote for PL, PN, and PINU, gives number of votes and percent of total country vote, and number of registered voters.

Observance of Honduran national elections 1982: “The Constituent Assembly elections in April 1980 came after 8 years of military rule and were distinguished by a record 81 percent turnout of eligible voters and little or no evidence of fraud.  This clear mandate from the people in support of a return to civilian rule saw the election of a 71-Member Constituent Assembly that was entrusted to write a new constitution and to call for general elections.  The center/left Liberal Party had won an upset victory over the more conservative National Party with 35 and 33 seats, respectively.  The remaining three seats were won by the small centrist National Innovation and Unity Party” (page 1). 

Pearson 1982: “While various leftist groups and some dissident members of the Liberal Party (PL) called for the voters to abstain from going to the polls, Hondurans turned out in record numbers to give the PL a plurality of the vote in an upset.  The National Party (PN) was expected to win because of its majority control of the National Elections Tribunal (TNE) and the direct aid of various state agencies in furnishing vehicles and drivers to take voters to the polls.  As a consequence of Honduras’ slightly complicated system of proportional representation, the Liberals won 35 seats in the constituent assembly to 33 for the Nationalists and three for the newly-recognized Party of Innovation and Unity (PINU)” (page 440).

Posas 1980:   “The Partido Liberal won a surprise victory in the elections of April 20, 1980...The victory was the result of a surprisingly large turnout for the elections, estimated to be 75 percent, and reflected a strong repudiation of the conservatives and the military hierarchy” (page 56). 

Posas 1988: “Garantizadas por los militares, que en el pasado había sido uno de los factores fundamentales en la consumación de los fraudes electorales, las elecciones del 20 de abril de 1980 fueron limpias y honestas” (page 68).  Gives number who voted; percents of votes and seats won by the PL, PN, and PINU; percent of null votes; percent of blank votes; and percent of registered voters who abstained (pages 68-69). 

Sabillón Pineda de Flores 1998:  “Honduras:  diputadas a la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente según departamento, 1980” (page 38).

Santana 1981: “The constituent assembly elections of April 1980 indicated that the Liberal Party had a strong edge on the National Party, which was traditionally identified with the country’s military” (page 30).

Schooley 1987: “The constituent elections of April 20, 1980, resulted in a surprise win for the PL, which gained 52 per cent of the votes and 35 of the 71 seats in the new assembly, while the PN gained 33 seats and the new Innovation and Unity Party (PINU, founded in 1978) gained three. The turnout was 75 per cent” (page 42).

Schulz 1994:  “(O)n 20 April 1980, amidst rumors that the National Party was preparing a gigantic fraud (or, alternatively, a coup), elections were held for a Constituent Assembly.  The left denounced the balloting and urged its supporters to abstain.  In the capital, buses had to be equipped with specially designed brooms placed in front of their tires to prevent punctures from the nails strewn in the streets by saboteurs.  Nevertheless, the public response was overwhelmingly supportive.  Eighty-one percent of the registered voters went to the polls.  To the amazement of most observers, the Liberal Party won a majority of the popular vote and a plurality of seats in the Assembly…Although these results were widely interpreted as a rejection of the military, they did not lead to an end of military rule” (page 59).

Sieder 1998: Gives a variety of statistics from the 1980 election (page 21).

Taylor-Robinson 2006:  “El primero de los partidos no tradicionalistas en participar en las elecciones hondureñas fue el partido centrista Innovación y Unidad Nacional (PINU), ganando 3 de las 71 sillas en las elecciones de la Asamblea Constituyente de 1980” (page 116).

Vallejo Hernández 1990:  Discusses the election and gives numerous statistics (pages 63-64).


Bertrand Anduray 1992:  “El 14 de mayo de 1980, Honduras, mediante Acuerdo No. 12 de la Junta Militar de Gobierno de la República, suscribió dicha Convención de las Naciones Unidas por medio de la cual se comprometía a eliminar toda forma legal, social, económica y política que discriminara a la mujer hondureña” (page 27).

Cuotas de participación política de las mujeres 2004:  “Mediante Decreto No. 979 del mes de mayo de 1980, el Gobierno de Honduras aprobó la Convención sobre la Eliminación de todas las formas de Discriminación contra la Mujer…Sin embargo, a pesar de que la CEDAW ha sido creada por Decreto No. 979 con carácter de Ley Nacional, y que está por encima de la Ley ordinaria, hasta la fecha en la práctica no se han tomado decisiones para adecuar las Leyes Nacionales a dicha Convención y de esta manera hacer que se cumpla el principio de igualdad jurídica en el formal normativo entre hombres y mujeres” (page 12).


Sabillón Pineda de Flores 1998:  “La Asamblea se instaló el 20 de junio, conformada por 82 diputados.  Los objetivos de la Asamblea:  emitir una nueva Constitución de la República, definir fecha para las elecciones, fijar el período de duración de los nuevos gobiernos civiles” (page 37).


Anderson 1988:   Describes party negotiations in the aftermath of the elections (pages 147-149).

Binns 2000:  “The provisional government took office July 20, with military junta president General Policarpo Paz Garcia remaining as provisional president” (page 10).

Democracia y partidos políticos en Honduras 2004:  El MDCH “se inscribió legalmente como Partido Demócrata Cristiano de Honduras (PDCH) el 15 de julio de 1980” (page 7).

Observance of Honduran national elections 1982:   “The interim government selected by the Assembly to rule the nation until the November 1981 election is jointly composed of officials named by the major political parties and representatives of the military.  In recognition of the military’s important role in guaranteeing the electoral process, the pledges of neutrality and respect for its commander, the Assembly named the former head of the military government, General Policarpo Paz García as the Provisional President” (page 1).

Paz Aguilar 2008:  “La Asamblea Nacional Constituyente se instaló en julio de 1980, promulgó la Constitución vigente (Decreto núm. 131 del 11 de enero de 1982), dictó una nueva Ley Electoral y escogió como presidente provisional al general Policarpo Paz García, último gobernante militar.  La elección de Paz García fue parte del acuerdo (cuyo contenido exacto se desconoce hasta el día de hoy) entre políticos civiles y militares donde se negoció un proceso de transición sin sobresaltos ni sorpresas desagradables para los uniformados” (page 624).

Schooley 1987: “(O)n July 25 the Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favour of Paz García continuing in office as provisional president, pending presidential and congressional elections in 1981, for which it drafted a new electoral law” (page 42).

Schulz 1994:  “The junta formally turned power over to the Constituent Assembly, but the Liberals, lacking a majority, were unable to form a government.  As a way out of the impasse, it was decided that General Paz would stay on as interim chief of state until direct elections for a president could be held” (page 59).

Vallejo Hernández 1990:  “La Constituyente se instaló el 20 de julio de 1980” (page 64).


Anderson 1988:   “(T)he 30-member ‘Consejo Militar Superior’ decided on a purge, in August 1980, of the ranks of some of the most prominent army officers…Most of those retired represented the more progressive wing of the officer corps and, therefore, forces hostile to Paz García—a clear indication that Paz was consolidating his position.  Further, the Constituent Assembly was not even notified of this purge until after it had taken place” (page 149).


Acker 1988:  “The three left-wing parties, the Communist Party (PCH), its Maoist splinter group (PCH-ML), and the Socialist Party (PASOH) united within the Honduran Patriotic Front to contest the 1981 elections” (page 76).

Cid 1990:  “En preparación de [las elecciones de 1981] cada partido convocó a elecciones internas” (page 7).

Haggerty and Millet 1995: “The Congress took more than a year to draft a new constitution and an electoral law for the 1981 presidential and congressional elections” (pages 45-46).

Martínez 1999:  “(E)l Frente Patriótico Hondureño surge como la alianza electoral del Partido Comunista, Partido Socialista y el Partido Comunista (Marxista leninista) y dirigentes populares sin militancia entre otros, que se plantea la participación en las elecciones de 1981.  Finalmente este frente logra inscribir candidaturas independientes en Cortés, Yoro y Copán” (page 144).


Binns 2000:  On January 20, 1981, “Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as the fortieth president of the United States” (page 90).


Schulz 1994:  “On 9 March 1981 the White House sent Congress a presidential finding on Central America authorizing the CIA to increase its clandestine funding of ‘moderate’ opponents of the Sandinistas” (page 64).


Cid 1990:  “La nueva Ley Electoral y de las Organizaciones Políticas, elaborada por la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente y emitida el 20 de abril de 1981, reconfirmó la existencia del TNE y reincorporó al RNP” (page 10).

Cuotas de participación política de las mujeres 2004:  “La Ley Electoral y de las Organizaciones Políticas, Decreto 53-81…rige todos los procesos electorales que se celebren en Honduras mediante el sufragio universal” (page 20).  Gives details (pages 20-21).

Democracia y partidos políticos en Honduras 2004:  “En Honduras se realizan elecciones para integrar los órganos de gobierno, tanto locales como centrales, cada cuatro años.  Es decir, para elegir alcaldes, regidores, diputados, y presidente de la República…La Ley Electoral y de las Organizaciones Políticas vigente fue emitida mediante Decreto Legislativo No. 53 del 20 de abril de 1981” (page 15).  Gives details (pages 15-18).

Electoral observation, Honduras, 2001:  general elections 2003:  “The 1981 Law on Elections and Political Organizations and its regulations govern the election processes and define the characteristics of the system.  The law establishes a system of proportional representation with election quotients at the national, departmental, and municipal levels, or by a simple majority in cases specified in the law.  Both political parties and independent candidates may participate except in municipal elections, in which independents are prohibited from running” (page 11).

Izaguirre 2000:  “Ley Electoral y de las Organizaciones Políticas 1981” (pages 214-218).  Gives details.

Paz Aguilar 2008:  “La nueva Ley mediatizó algunos de los avances logrados en la anterior, porque los grupos tradicionales retomaron el control del Congreso Nacional y del Tribunal Nacional de Elecciones.  Por ejemplo, aumentó de 10,000 a 20,000 el número de firmas necesarias para solicitar la inscripción de un partido político” (page 626).

Sabillón Pineda de Flores 1998:  “En [1981] se inscribe el partido Demócrata Cristiano de Honduras, el 18 de abril con el fin de participar en el proceso que se aproximaba” (page 39).

Somoza 2005:  “Voting has always been compulsory for the male population, whereas for the female population it only became compulsory in 1981.  Voting age alternated between 18 and 21 years, finally becoming 18 years in 1981” (page 402).  Parties have to prove a minimum of 30,000 members to register (page 402).


Binns 2000:  Over 17,000 Salvadorans are in Honduran refugee camps by May, 1981 (page 181).  “The flow of Miskito Indian refugees from Nicaragua increased steadily, with their numbers reaching over 2,000 [by late May, 1981]” (page 189).


Binns 2000:  Describes June 1981 “press reporting of allegations of electoral fraud by leading National Party figures” (pages 189-190).  “An inside look at Zuniga and the National Party:  Tegucigalpa, Honduras, early June 1981” (pages 191-192).  “Further schemes to block elections: Tegucigalpa, Honduras, June 24, 1981” (pages 208-209).

Sabillón Pineda de Flores 1998:  “En [1981], el 28 de junio para ser exactos, el Frente Patriótico Hondureño, FPH, inicia su campaña electoral” (page 39).


Binns 2000:  “Miskito Indian refugees continued to move into Honduras.  According to government data, their numbers had reached 3,000 [by July 1981]” (page 229).


Binns 2000:  “Two Nicaraguan opposition groups…announced their unification [in August 1981]…Their operations in Guatemala were closed and moved to Honduras” (page 242).  “Crisis point:  military reportedly decide to delay elections, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, August 21, 1981” (pages 252-253). 


Binns 2000:  “Paz requests urgent meeting, broaches elections delay: Tegucigalpa, Honduras, September 1, 1981” (pages 257-259).  “Elections delay reprise with Paz:  Tegucigalpa, Honduras, September 3, 1981” (pages 260-261).  General Vernon “Walters visits again, urges elections as scheduled:  Tegucigalpa, Honduras, September 9, 1981” (pages 262-263).  “Elections will go forward, Alvarez says:  Tegucigalpa, Honduras, September 10, 1981” (page 264).  On September 24, 1981, a “major popular demonstration against increasing government repression organized by left-wing groups brought several thousand people out to march in central Tegucigalpa.  This was one of the largest demonstrations in years, and it was entirely peaceful” (page 270).  U.S. “Southern Command urges approach to Hondurans for ‘joint use’ base:  Tegucigalpa, Honduras, September 25, 1981” (pages 270-171).  “Paz renews push to delay elections; dissident Liberals see opportunity:  Tegucigalpa, Honduras, September 24, 1981” (pages 271-272).  “Suazo Cordova on elections and ALIPO complaints:  Tegucigalpa, Honduras, September 28, 1981” (page 275).  “White House announces Negroponte nomination, my [Binns] resignation:  Washington, D.C., September 29, 1981” (page 277).

Santana 1981: “Although the military government of General Policarpo Paz García had officially acquiesced to the idea of elections by the end of the Carter Administration, there were increasing indications that he was getting cold feet as the date approached...By September 1981, the Nationals were pushing for another postponement of the elections (already moved back from their original date of August 23), while Paz was entertaining proposals for a new civilian-military government that would allow him to retain a central role.  The opposition, linked to the Liberals, moved in for a quick checkmate: news of a land scam involving the Finance Minister...was leaked to the press with the strong suggestion that the scandal could be extended to the Presidential Palace if need be” (page 30).


Binns 2000:  “Land scandal fallout threatens elections:  Tegucigalpa, Honduras, October 8-9, 1981” (pages 283-285).  “Key military leaders meet, approve coup plan:  Tegucigalpa, Honduras, October 9-10, 1981” (pages 285-286).  “Conditions on elections:  codifying the status quo:  Tegucigalpa, Honduras, October 18, 1981” (pages 292-293).  “An idea that won’t die:  efforts to block elections continue:  Tegucigalpa, Honduras, October 19, 1981” (pages 293-294).  “Elections outlook brightens:  Tegucigalpa, Honduras, October 23, 1981” (page 296).

Lapper 1985:   “In early October 1981, a meeting was held in Tegucigalpa between the military high command and the leaders of the National and Liberal parties.  The deal was struck: there would be no investigation into military corruption...; the military would retain a veto over Cabinet appointments; and there would be no civilian interference in military affairs, including national security, and any matter relating to Honduran borders” (page 81).

November 23

Binns 2000:  “President Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 17, authorizing the creation of a 500-man paramilitary force composed of Nicaraguan exiles, and allocating $20 million to that end” (pages 301-302).

November 29: general election (Suazo Córdova / PL)

Acosta 1986: “As a result of the general election, the Liberal party took complete control of the government...(T)he so-called ‘electoral solution’ that created enormous expectations in the country between 1979 and 1981, by apparently opening new possibilities for change that would represent a significant displacement of the armed forces and an important recovery of legitimacy and consensus, vanished prematurely due to the kind of public management practiced by the new government” (page 49).

Anderson 1988: Describes the election, gives number who voted, number of mayoralties to be elected, and percent of vote for the PL and PN (page 155).

Barbieri 1986: Gives congressional seats won by each party in the November 1981 election (page 14).

Becerra 1983: Gives votes and seats won by PL, PN, PINU, PDC, and independents (page 217).

Bertrand Anduray 1992:  “Diputadas electas el 29 de noviembre de 1981” (page 53).  Gives propietarias and suplentes and the districts they represent.

Bueso 1987:   “El proceso electoral de 1981" (pages 320-323).  Describes the election.  “Resultados de las elecciones del 29 de noviembre de 1981" (page 322).  Gives number of votes and percent of vote for each party, null votes, blank votes, valid votes, total votes, registered voters, and number of abstentions.  “Distribución de los diputados, elecciones del 29 de noviembre de 1981.”  Gives number of seats won by each party.

Chronicle of parliamentary elections 16 1982: Gives the reason for the election and characteristics of congress (page 71).   “On a peaceful polling day, nearly 80% of an electorate of more than 1.5 million turned out to vote.  The Liberal Party scored a clear victory, gaining 54% of the popular vote and thus capturing both the presidency and an absolute majority in Congress with 44 out of 82 seats.” 

Cuotas de participación política de las mujeres 2004:  “Mujeres diputadas al Congreso Nacional período 1982-1986” (pages 83-84).  “Participación de las mujeres en las corporaciones municipales período 1982-1986” (pages 85-87).

Democracia y partidos políticos en Honduras 2004:  “El proceso electoral de 1981” (pages 30-37).

Elecciónes:  april de 1980, 1981, 1985, 1989, 1993, 1997 2000:  Gives the results for the election by department and party.

Fernández 1983: “Resultados de las elecciones del 29 de noviembre de 1981" (pages 107-108).    Gives for country number of votes and percent of vote won by PL, PN,  PINU, PDCH, and independent candidates, null votes, blank votes, valid votes, total votes, registered voters, and abstentions.  Gives by department registered voters, valid votes, votes for PL, PN, PINU, and PDCH, and number of municipalities won by each party.

Izaguirre 2000:  “Resultados de las elecciones generales de 1981” (page 221).  “Honduras:  distribución de diputados en el Congreso, según partido político” (page 222).

Lapper 1985: “The Liberal Party, led by Suazo Córdova, went on to win the November elections by 100,000 votes, taking a 44-34 majority in the Assembly over the Nationalists.  PINU took three seats while the Christian Democrats took one.  A massive 80 per cent of the electorate turned out to vote” (page 82). 

Martínez 1999:  El Frente Patriótico Hondureño “no obtiene los votos necesarios para una representación en el Congreso Nacional” (page 144).

Morris 1984: “Honduran electoral data by department, 1981" (page 57).  Gives for each department the number of votes and percent of vote for PL, PN, PINU, and PDC; the total vote; and mayoralties won by PL and PN.

Morris 1984a: “The Liberals won almost 53 percent of the popular vote, 14 out of 18 departments, and 61 percent of the local municipal councils” (page 203).

Observance of Honduran national elections 1982:   Gives the candidates for each party (page 1).  “In addition to the President and three Vice Presidents, the election included candidates for the National Congress and some 282 mayors.  The electoral law called for party slates rather than individual candidates without options to split the ticket” (page 2).  “Electoral results” (page 7).  Gives percent of voter turnout, percent for each party, seats in congress, and number of votes for each party.

Pearson 1982: “On November 29, 1981, after nine years of military rule, an impressive number of Hondurans—1,214,735 or 82.5 percent of those registered to vote—went to the polls and elected Liberal Roberto Suazo Cordova as their president.  Voters also elected deputies to the unicameral National Congress and 281 mayors for each of the nation’s ‘municipios’” (page 439).  “The PCH,  PCH-ML and the Honduran Socialist Party (PASO) joined together under the banner of the Honduran Patriotic Front to nominate three sets of ‘independent’ candidates for the November 1981 elections.  The 3,997 votes cast for these ‘independent’ candidates showed these marxist-leninist groups were small in numbers” (page 441).

Peeler 1998: “In 1981, the United States successfully discouraged General Policarpo Paz García from perpetuating himself in office and induced the military to begin a transition to an elected civilian regime” (page 91).

Posas 1988: Gives number who voted; number and percent of votes for PL, PN, PINU, and PDCH; total valid votes; number of registered voters who abstained; number and percent of votes that were null; and number and percent of votes that were blank (page 70).

Princeton University Latin American pamphlet collection 1988:   Includes mimeographed working papers, articles, pamphlets, and party literature relating to the national elections of 1981.

Rosenberg 1989: “Distribution of seats in the Honduran National Congress, 1982-1986" (page 47).  Gives number of seats held by each party.

Sabillón Pineda de Flores 1998:  “El Tribunal Nacional de Elecciones mediante acta No. 460 ratifica los resultados del escrutinio general…En este proceso votaron 1,214.735 hondureñas y hondureños en edad de votar.  Sin embargo, los resultados emitidos por el TNE no proporciona la información por sexo, los resultados son globales.  Los resultados obtenidos en este proceso nos muestran que de los 82 representantes del pueblo electos, 80 son hombres y únicamente 2 mujeres, del partido liberal…Las Diputadas Suplentes, ascienden a 15 en total, 10 propuestas por el Partido Liberal, 4 por El Partido Nacional y 1 por la Democracia Cristiana” (page 39).  “Honduras: diputadas y alcaldesas por Partido Político, según departamento 1981” (page 40).  “Las Alcaldías Municipales ascienden a 286, de las cuales solamente 21 son ocupadas por mujeres, las que diferenciadas por partido, 15 corresponden al PL y 6 al del PN” (page 40).  Additional information, including names (pages 60-63).

Santana 1981: “With the Liberals favored to win, the best that the two minority parties, the Christian Democrats (PCH) and PINU could hope for was the lack of a simple majority in the 85-seat Chamber of Deputies, which would allow them to put together a swing-vote coalition.  PINU was a relatively new party based on middle-class professionals, while the Honduran Christian Democratic Party began as a peasant-student movement in 1963, incorporated as a political party in 1968, and participated in its first election in 1981" (page 33).  “By the time it was over, the Liberals had won a stunning victory, polling more than 640,000 votes to the National’s 490,000.  This gave them not only the presidency, but also an expected 44-46 seats of the 85-seat Chamber of Deputies, better than a simple majority” (page 34).  Also gives the number of votes for PINU, PDCH, and the Patriotic Front’s independents.

Schooley 1987: Gives seats won by each party (page 42).

Schulz 1994:  Describes issues surrounding the election (pages 69-72).  “Suazo Córdova and the Liberals were swept into office, winning 54 percent of the vote to 42 percent for the National Party and forty-four of the eighty-two seats in Congress.  (The Nationals won thirty-four, the PINU three, and the Christian Democrats one)” (page 72).

Sieder 1998: “Las elecciones de 1981" (pages 26-28).  “En total, 82 miembros del Congreso y 284 alcaldes fueron electos.  El PL ganó 169 municipalidades y el PN 113.  El Congreso fue compuesto por 44 miembros del Partido Liberal, 34 del PN, tres del PINU y un democristiano” (page 27).

Statistical abstract of Latin America volume 23 1984: “Honduras presidential election results, 1981" (page 731).  Gives by department the number of votes for the four main parties, the total valid votes, blank votes, null votes, and total votes.

Vallejo Hernández 1990:  Discusses the election and gives results (pages 65-66).


Binns 2000:  In mid-December in “Honduras the CIA began funding, arming and training Nicaraguan exile forces, using the same Argentine military personnel that had been working with the Contras as trainers and operational advisers” (page 302).

Schulz 1994:  “(A)n aggressive new [U.S.] ambassador, John D. Negroponte, had been sent to Tegucigalpa.  By early December, the first of dozens of new U.S. intelligence operatives began arriving.  The U.S. embassy was upgraded.  The CIA station roughly doubled in size.  Arms for the contras—as the counterrevolutionaries were called—began to flow from Miami” (page 67).