Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez Alvarado: The hope of a nation


HONDURAS, February 6, 2014— Last week, Honduras inaugurated its new president, Lawyer Juan Orlando Hernández Alvarado.

The ceremony took place at the Tiburcio Carias Andino National Stadium in Tegucigalpa, where 92 delegations from friendly governments attended at the invitation of the new president.

The stadium was guarded by five rings of security, to diminish the possibility of incident during the ceremony. A week earlier, members of the National Popular Resistance Front and its allies announced they would demonstrate at the inauguration to protest the election results.

Hernández Alvarado at 45 years old is the youngest president Honduras has ever elected. He is controversial for implementing actions counter to the Constitution, and there are rumors he manipulated the elections to win the presidency.

Hernandez Alvarado delivered a speech emphasizing the need for a better quality of life for Hondurans, allowing them to live with dignity. His statements reflect the views of the public, dissatisfied with scandals, political disputes, insecurity, violence, and substandard wages.

His speech began with the phrase that became his campaign slogan: “I, Juan Orlando Hernández, will do whatever I have to do to restore peace and tranquility to the country, within the law and with the support of Honduran people.” He then stated that he would fight crime “with all necessary force,” while respecting human rights. He said he will use the military police, the national police and the army to fight the spiraling violence.

He made a direct appeal to President Obama, urging him to take action to prevent that 80 % of drugs entering the United States through Honduras, “leaving a trail of death, corruption, impunity and pain.” Hernandez Alvarado insisted that while drugs is a matter of public health in the United States, it causes death and pain in Honduras. He urged other countries to join the effort against drug smuggling and work on a plan to confront organized crime and clear the region of the plight.

The new president also emphasized job creation, promising to create 200,000 new jobs during his administration.

As for education, Hernanez Alvarado promised to carry out the third reform, that guarantees free primary education, to commit to 200 days of class, and to monitor and evaluate both students and teacher.  

He called on all sectors of society to make a deal to achieve a single nation, to put aside individual interests and to act under the banner of Honduras, not under the interest of any single party.

Honduras now hopes his words will translate into reality, letting the country take steps to return Honduras to the status it deserves. 

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