“Corruption is a virus!” states the man on the white leatherette guest facing the anchor conducting a television interview during prime time on one of the top news programs in Honduras (“Treinta Treinta” hosted by seasoned political reporter Edgardo Helgar is a news show loosely based on the familiar 20/20 one on one format that news legend Barbara Walters crafted into an art form). By the rather lanky way this well groomed man in a dark blue business suit fit in the chair, it is easy to gauge he is actually quite tall. He has a trimmed mustache and rimless glasses which add to his definitively studied well modulated voice and gestures a certain air of restrained power. Perfect in his diction, it is quite obvious that this is a well educated man who is very much at ease with himself. He has a definite presence and seems to ebb a sense of being “large and in charge” in a understated kind of way. All very valuable qualities , particularly for guy who wants to be President.
Mauricio Villeda is the one of six sons of former Honduran President Ramón Villeda Morales (1957 – 1963) and, now it is he who has set his eyes on the Presidency of the Republic of Honduras. For those who need a little reminder, Honduras is a republic in Central America. It was at times referred to as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras, which became the modern-day state of Belize. Honduras is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, to the southeast by Nicaragua, to the south by the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Fonseca, and to the north by the Gulf of Honduras, a large inlet of the Caribbean Sea.
Villeda happily bites into the topic of crime and corruption in Honduras and, more specifically referencing the current National party government’s lackadaisical attitude towards it.. He openly boast and uses as a kind of banner the fact that he has never been a part of the political clique and that, he comes with a spirit of ethical service to the task rather than just like another hand grubbing stereotype of a small town “boss Hogs” kind of politico in a Central American setting.
And there are no shortage of virulent villains in a country that, were in not for rampant violent crime and unethical politicians, could be a sparkling jewel for traditional and Eco-tourism in Central America. In just one day in early July as this piece was being first researched, headlines across the Honduran republic heralded somber stories with headlines like: “Seventeen Thousand Establishments Close Due to Extortion” (Diario La Tribuna) , “Popular Revolts: Resident of Forty Three Neighborhoods Take to The Streets in Protest” (La Tribuna), “Women Found in Crique Shot Execution Style” (Diario Tiempo), “Migratory Holocaust: Hondurans Extort Mexican Neighbors (Diario La Prensa- By the way, can you guess where both Mexicans and Hondurans in this heart breaking story are migrating to?).
The crime situation is dire in Honduras and Villeda pointedly & repeatedly states wants to start fixing things by cleaning hous from the top down. The interviewer tries to push for specific situations where Villeda may find himself obligated in some way to a donor or friend after their help. Villeda sternly replies ” I will return whatever they gave me out of my own pocket. And, what is more, my campaign has already done it”.
Prodded once again on the integrity of the people he would surround himself if he were to be elected President, Villeda forcefully expressed that the only two qualifications to be considered for a post in his administration would be expertise and honesty regardless of political affiliation or, social position. And, that if he were to find out at any point that his trust and that of the people had been broken by one of his appointees, he himself as President of the Honduran Republic, would ask for the offenders prosecution to the full extent of the law.
Villeda, who is a devout Catholic and a very successful lawyer in his own right, is running against Juan Orlando Hernández, president of the National Congress of Honduras who won the presidential nomination of the National Party.
Other candidates in the fray for the presidential nomination were;
Ricardo Álvarez- Mayor of Tegucigalpa.
Fernando Anduray- National Congress deputy.
Victor Hugo Barnica- Third Vice President of Honduras.
Miguel Pastor- Secretary of State for Public Works, Transport, and Housing
Incumbent Honduran President Porfirio Lobo Sosa (born 22 December 1947) is perhaps better known as known as Pepe Lobo (the name Pepe is a diminutive for Jose and, it comes from medieval paintings that labelled Joseh as P.P. “Pater Putativus” meaning ” father only in name” so, loosely translated it his name is Joey Wolf in English), who is a Honduran career politician. This is a sharp contrast with Villeda that goes much deeper than their relation to career politics. Agricultural landowner. Lobo Sosa has served as President of Honduras since 2010 and, he has been a member of the conservative National Party and a former deputy in the National Congress of Honduras since 1990. Lobo Sosa was also the President of the National Congress of Honduras from 2002 to 2006.
The Honduran general election, 2013 will be held in Honduras on November 24, 2013, including presidential, parliamentary and local elections. Voters will go to the polls to elect:
A new President of Honduras to serve a four-year term starting January 27, 2014 to succeed outgoing President Porfirio Lobo Sosa and, 128 members to serve a four-year term in the National Congress.
Representatives in municipal (local) governments.
Access to Villeda Campaign materials thanks to Joshua Esteves, South Florida Campaign Coordinator.
*Our apologies, originally the copy of the story published was an unedited version containing several errors. Though this was corrected as soon as it was discovered, we most sincerely apologize for any confusion this may have caused.