Honduras: The National Popular Resistance Front (Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular, FNRP), including history, structure, objectives, and leadership; information on delegates, including number, identification, and election procedures; information on membership registration and membership cards (2009-February 2014) [HND104766.E]

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa

1. Overview

According to the Political Handbook of the World(PHW), the National Popular Resistance Front (Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular , FNRP) was created by a "number of protest groups in the wake of the 2009 ouster of President Zelaya" (PHW 2013, 608). The US Congressional Research Service (CRS) similarly states that the FNRP is an "umbrella group of those who were opposed to Zelaya's removal that has become a broad leftwing movement of Honduras" (US 18 June 2010, 9). According to CRS, Zelaya was ousted on 28 June 2009 (ibid., 3).

The FNRP website indicates that the organization consists of popular movements and social organizations, among others (14 Jan. 2014). The Political Handbook of the Worldsimilarly notes that the FNRP consists of "workers' organizations and other grassroots groups, all with the aim of promoting a national constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution and securing the return of former president Zelaya" (2013, 608). Similarly, CRS states that the FNRP "includes labour unions, worker and campesino organizations, human rights advocates, and other civil society groups" (US 18 June 2010, 9). According to CRS, the FNRP is "committed to reforming the Honduran constitution and pushing for greater rights for traditionally excluded sectors of the Honduran Population" (ibid.). According to the website of the FNRP,

[translation]

[t]he FNRP is a political, social, anti-capitalist, anti-neoliberal, anti-oligarchic, anti-imperialist, anti-patriarchal and anti-racist wide-ranging organization that aims to transform social, political, economic, educational and cultural structures ... and create a system of social justice that guarantees welfare, freedom and dignity of everyone. (14 Jan. 2014)

The Political Handbook of the Worldlists the following events related to the FNRP:

  • In 2009, Carlos Reyes, one of the FNRP leaders was an independent candidate in the 2009 presidential elections, however he dropped out in "protest over failed efforts to reinstate Zelaya;"
  • FNRP organized a number of protests after the elections of Porfirio Lobo in 2009. Without providing details, the Political Handbook of the World noted that violence was reported against members of the FNRP during which more than 30 of its members were killed. Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response;
  • In May 2011, the government authorities agreed to recognize the FNRP as a "legitimate political movement" as part of the agreement that returned Zelaya to the country during the same time;
  • In November 2011, the FNRP established the Freedom and Refoundation party (Libertad y Refundación - Libre) (PHW 2013, 608).

Agencia EFE also reports that Freedom Refoundation party [translation] "emerged" from the FNRP in 2011 (28 Dec. 2013). Freedom House names Zelaya as the leader of the FNRP and indicates that in May 2011 an agreement was signed by Zelaya and [the President Porfirio] Lobo, which guaranteed Zelaya's freedom upon his return to Honduras, as well as allowing the FNRP to register as a political party (2013).

The Political Handbook of the Worldlists the following persons as leaders of the Freedom and Refoundation party: José Manuel Zelaya Rosales (Coordinator General and Former President of the Republic), Juan Barahona (Deputy National Coordinator), Rafael Alegría, Bartolo Fuentes, Carlos Reyes and Edgardo Casaña (Secretary General) (2013, 608). Media sources report that in January 2014 Manuel Zelaya renounced FNRP leadership (La Tribuna 18 Jan. 2014; El Heraldo 15 Jan. 2014; La Prensa 15 Jan. 2014) and Freedom Refoundation party leadership (ibid.). La Prensa , a Honduran newspaper, indicated that there was no announcement on who will be replacing Zelaya (15 Jan. 2014). However, La Tribuna , a Tegucigalpa-based newspaper, reports that, according to Zelaya, Juan Barahona will be the leader of the FNRP (La Tribuna 18 Jan. 2014). Corroborating or further information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

1.1 Structure of the FNRP

The website of the FNRP lists the following organizational levels of the group's structure:

  • Resistance Collective (Colectivo de Resistencia ): basic and most important unit in the FNRP's structure. Each member of the FNRP is integrated into a Resistance Collective;
  • Local Resistance Front (Frente Local de Resistencia ): groups the Resistance Collectives by geographic areas;
  • Municipal Resistance Front (Frente Municipal de Resistencia ): includes delegates of the Local Resistance Fronts and delegates of the Municipal Social Forces; The number of delegates representing Local Resistance Fronts and Social Forces is decided in each municipality;
  • Departmental Resistance Front (Frente Departamental de Resistencia ): includes delegates of the Local Resistance Fronts and representatives of the Social Forces of the department; the number of delegates is decided in each department;
  • Annual General Assembly of Delegates (Asamblea General de Delegados y Delegadas Anual ): it is the highest decision-making unit of the FNRP which meets at least once a year; the following are the functions of this unit:
    1. Elect members of the Intermediate National Assembly of Delegates;
    2. Define the political position of the FNRP;
    3. Delegate important functions in the Intermediate National Assembly of Delegates (FNRP 14 Jan. 2014).

According to the website of the FNRP, the National Assembly includes 552 delegates from territorial Resistance Collectives and social and political organizations from across the country (ibid.). FNRP also has an Intermediate National Assembly, which meets 4 times a year and consists of 150 delegates, with 134 delegates elected from each department and 16 delegates for political and social groups (ibid.).

Further or corroborating information on the FNRP, including history, structure, mandate, delegates, information on membership registration and membership cards could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Agencia EFE. 28 December 2013. Anny Castro. "El partido de Zelaya en riesgo de crisis por admitir el triunfo de Hernández; HONDURAS POLÍTICA (Análisis) ." (Factiva)

El Heraldo . 15 January 2014. "'Mel' Zelaya renuncia a coordinación de FNRP ." [Accessed 12 Feb. 2014]

Freedom House. 2013. "Honduras." Freedom in the World 2013. [Accessed 12 Feb. 2014]

Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular (FNRP). 14 January 2014. "Acuerdos vigentes del FNRP tomados en las Asambleas Nacionales ." [Accessed 17 Jan. 2014]

La Prensa . 15 January 2014. Dagoberto Rodríguez. "Manuel Zelaya deja la coordinación de Libre ." [Accessed 12 Feb. 2014]

La Tribuna . 18 January 2014. "Manuel Zelaya Rosales renuncia a la coordinación del FNRP ." [Accessed 12 Feb. 2014]

Political Handbook of the World 2013(PHW). 2013. "Honduras." Edited by Tom Lansdorf. Washington, DC: CQ Press. [Accessed 10 Feb. 2014]

United States (US). 18 June 2010. Congressional Research Service (CRS). Honduran-U.S. Relations . By Peter J. Meyer and Mark P. Sullivan. [Accessed 11 Feb. 2013]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources:Attempts to contact the following organizations were unsuccessful within the time constraints of this Response: Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular .

Internet sites, including:Amnesty International; Diario Tiempo ; ecoi.net; El Mundo ; El País ; El Tiempo ; Factiva; Front Line Defenders; Honduras – Comisionado Nacional de los Derechos Humanos. Corte Suprema de Justicia, Dirección Nacional de Investigación Criminal , Embassy of the Republic of Honduras in Ottawa; Tribunal Supremo Electoral ; Hondured.tv; Human Rights Watch; InSight Crime; Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; Latin Laws; Libre.com ; Organization of American States; Peace Brigades International; United Nations – Refworld; United States – Department of State.