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The Public Battles over Militarisation and Democracy in Honduras, 1954–1963

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Artículo de revistaBowman, Kirk The Public Battles over Militarisation and Democracy in Honduras, 1954–1963. [Trad. Las Luchas Públicas Sobre la Militarización y la Democracia en Honduras, 1954-1963 ] Journal of Latin American Studies, 2001 vol. 33 no. 3 p. 539-560. Palabras claves:
Política, Administración pública | Historia


This article examines the process of militarisation in Honduras in the 1954–1963 period, also the public reaction to it and its political consequences. The extant literature ignores the significant public opposition to an institutionalised military. As an autonomous military institution was first taking shape in the 1954–57 period, the militarisation issue was one of the dominant themes in the national press, and a sophisticated public debate took place between school teachers and military officials over whether the country needed a military at all, or whether the country should follow the Costa Rican example of military proscription. The 1957–59 period witnessed pressures from politicians, students, and labour to curtail military power and excesses. Finally, the platform of the favourite candidate in the 1963 presidential elections called for demilitarisation and again the Costa Rican model was a high-profile alternative. Demilitarisation played well with the masses, and this contributed to the preemptive military coup just days before the elections. Militarisation affected power relations and undermined democratic consolidation.

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