Natural resources, energy and environment
Small amounts of gold, silver, lead and zinc
are extracted. There are also unused assets of tin,
iron, copper and coal. Wood and charcoal are the most
important sources of energy for Hondurans. The country
is dependent on imported oil, which in 2012 accounted
for about one fifth of imports. Electricity is mainly
generated by hydropower.
In an effort to boost the economy after Hurricane
Mitch in 1998, tax relief for investments in the mining
sector was introduced this year, while environmental
legislation deteriorated. The industry received a big
boost with great interest from several European and
North American mining companies. The law was questioned
by several Honduran environmental and indigenous
organizations and in 2007 a stop was introduced for
foreign investment in mines. Only in early 2013 could
new legislation be adopted, with demands for foreign
companies to pay slightly more in tax. Criticism from
environmental groups and organizations of indigenous
Major exports by Honduras with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
Honduras signed a contract with Chinese company
Sinohydro in 2011 to build three hydroelectric power
plants in the Patuca River, the first of which would
start operating in 2014 and the third to be completed in
2020. The project caused major protests among the
indigenous people in the areas. The building was delayed
in 2013 after the protests led to violent confrontations
between the military and members of indigenous peoples
(see Current policy).
Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, HN stands for Honduras.
More than 40 percent of the country was covered by
forest in 2011, compared with two-thirds in 1990.
Although deforestation has decreased since the 1990s,
more than two percent of forest area is estimated to be
lost each year. Deforestation has led to increased soil
degradation. The mangrove swamp in Fonseca Bay has been
damaged by being exploited for shrimp cultivation.
FACTS - ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
673 kilos of oil equivalent (2014)
Electricity consumption per person
697 kilowatt hours, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
9 472 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
1.1 tonnes (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
51.5 percent (2015)
Court annuls laws
The Supreme Court declares two newly enacted laws invalid. They reject a law
that would force all police officers to undergo lie detector and drug tests with
the risk of dismissal without due process if they fail the tests. The second law
concerns the introduction of tax-free zones in cities that could be purchased by
private companies with the right to introduce their own legislation. Both the
government and members of the Nationalist Party in the National Congress,
including Presidential candidate Juan Orlando Hernández, react with anger to the
decision. Although the Constitution prohibits it, the four members of the court
dismiss it. In the vote, the congress is surrounded by soldiers. In February
2013, Congress voted again for the laws.
Candidates are appointed for presidential elections
Primary elections will be held before the presidential elections in November
2013. As expected, Libre appoints Zelaya's wife Xiomara Castro de Zelaya as her
candidate. Within the Liberal Party, Mauricio Villeda is appointed, while the
nationalists elect Juan Orlando Hernández.
Soldiers on city buses
In another attempt to curb widespread violence, the authorities decide that
two soldiers should be present on all city buses in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro
Sula. In this way, the police should be better at patrolling the streets. The
buses are often subjected to gang attacks that rob the passengers and the
driver. The military has previously supported the police in street patrols.
New shooting in the land conflict
A lawyer who represented landless peasants in the ongoing land conflicts in
Bajo Aguán was shot dead. In the hours before the murder, Attorney Antonio Trejo
had participated in a TV debate in which he criticized the government's plans to
transfer to private stakeholders to manage entire cities, including control of
police and taxes (see Modern History).
The Air Force commander is fired
The Air Force commander may depart after two civilian aircraft were shot down
off the coast of Honduras due to suspected interference in drug smuggling. As a
result of the downturn, in July, the United States also ceases to share its
Agreement with the EU
The EU and the Central American states sign an association agreement.
A new corruption commission is appointed
President Lobo appoints a new commission with the task of investigating
corruption in the judiciary and the police. Shortly thereafter, six senior
police officers are dismissed.
TV journalist murdered
TV journalist Alfredo Villatoro is found murdered after being kidnapped for a
week. The country's journalists carry out nationwide protests against the
violence against journalists. Since the coup, more than 20 journalists have now
lost their lives and the country is considered one of the most dangerous for the
media to operate in.
Many dead in land conflict
The land occupations in Bajo Aguán continue and the conflict is becoming more
bloody. Military patrols the area and 47 people are reported to have been killed
in confrontations between farmers on the one hand and security forces and
private security companies on the other.
Fire disaster in prison
A fire in a prison outside Tegucigalpa requires 355 prisoners' lives. The
fire disaster draws the world's attention to overcrowded prisons in the country,
just weeks after a UN report that Honduras has the world's highest homicide rate
(see Social Conditions) raised questions about the state in the country.