112 Lillis
University of Oregon

A talk about the current situation in Honduras with historian Dana Frank

The June 28, 2010 military coup that overthrew President Mel Zelaya produced a massive grassroots transformation of Honduran society. To their own great surprise, an enormous popular resistance movement rose up to protest the coup and demand not only Zelaya’s restitution, but a Constitutional Convention and the remaking of Honduran society. The resistance unites labor unions, campesino organizations, human rights groups, indigenous and Black movements, the GLBT movement, and the women’s movement in what they call a “movimiento amplio” that is horizontal, militant, and astonishingly powerful.

They have faced tremendous repression since the morning of the coup:  demonstrations of women and children have been tear gassed, protesters have been routinely beaten, detained, and raped in custody, and over 100 members of the resistance killed, many of them through selective assassinations of grassroots activists that continue to this day, under the new government of Porfirio Lobo Sosa and the very same generals who ran the coup. And yet a great, ferocious fearlessness permeates the resistance, as an altogether new and hopeful Honduras has emerged.

This presentation will discuss the resistance to the Honduran coup, its growing institutionalization in the Frente Nacional de la Resistencia Popular, and the enormous popular transformation of Honduran culture, society, and national identity since the coup, in a context of ongoing repression and U.S. backing of the ongoing coup regime.


Dana Frank is professor of history at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Originally trained as a U.S. labor and social historian, she has been working with the banana unions of Honduras on solidarity projects for the last ten years. Her books include Bananeras:  Women Transforming the Banana Unions of Latin America, which focuses on Honduras. She is currently writing a book on the history of the AFL-CIO’s Cold War intervention in the Honduran labor movement, 1954-1980. Since the coup, she has written articles on Honduras and the Resistance for The Nation and NACLA; published multiple opinion essays for newspapers and websites including the San Francisco Chronicle, the Huffington Post, and the ChicagoTribune.com; and spoken widely on the radio in the U.S., Honduras, and Canada. In 2001 she was Wayne Morse Chair at the University of Oregon.