TEGUCIGALPA – When comparing the political scene in Honduras over the past two centuries, there are certain elements that refuse to disappear and are encouraged to remain part of the new practices, a Honduran writer told EFE on Friday.
“That coexistence of the old with the new is what I tried to point out, reconstruct and identify based on my research for this work,” writer Ethel Garcia Buchard said in presenting her book “Electoral Practices and Political Culture in Honduras during the 19th Century (1812-1894),” which she presented Thursday in Tegucigalpa.
Garcia Buchard’s book under the Editorial Guaymuras publishing house label won the 26th King Juan Carlos Award for Historic Studies for 2015-2016, and was presented at the Cultural Center of Spain in Tegucigalpa (CCET) as part of a call for entries to compete in the CCET’s 27th edition for 2016-2017.
The intellectual said her book deals with “what politics were like and the way policies were formulated in 19th century Honduras, and what changes were made throughout that century,” she said.
Garcia Buchard pays great attention to elections, but not by making a detailed history of winners and losers, but rather with a study of electoral practices.
She shows, for example, how elections have progressively changed over time and how they affected the Honduran political culture during a century of transition toward a modern republican life following independence from the Spanish crown in 1821.
The book, which is the third Garcia Buchard has published on the history of Honduran politics in the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th, contains five chapters dealing what it meant to be a citizen and voter in 19th century Honduran society, the new republican order and popular elections in Honduras (1812-1838), along with suffrage and its significance in the political life of the republican period (1838-1865).
In conclusion, Garcia Buchard notes that “if we compare the constitutional rules on suffrage with the strict requirements for the exercise of citizenship that were being established,” the apparent progress being made was overshadowed by the barriers being imposed.
Those barriers were aimed “at limiting the inclusion of various sectors of the population, so that as the century went by, and despite the growing population, the percentage of Hondurans who enjoyed effective citizenship was more and more limited.”