Honduras’ history of human rights violations is rooted in a political culture of militarization. Following a military coup in 1963, Honduras faced strengthened military authority and a decade of harsh military rule. It was also during this time that the United States used the country as a base for Contras fighting leftist Sandinistas in Nicaragua. In 1981 Honduras returned to a parliamentary democracy, electing Roberto Suazo Cordova as president. However, by then the process of militarization had been so heavily funded by the U.S and had made such a significant impact on public policy that little changed for the better. The 1980s, then, were characterized by a major increase in rights violations, as armed forces, having been ousted by civilian government, remained very much in control.

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