Leftist Insurgency in Honduras 1981-1990

[ 1981 - 1990 ]

[L]eftist subversive activity did expand in the early 1980s. Much of this increase was attributed directly or indirectly to Sandinista support for like-minded Honduran groups such as the PCH, the Lorenzo Zelaya Popular Revolutionary Forces (Fuerzas Populares Revolucionarias-Lorenzo Zelaya -- FPR-LZ), and the Honduran Revolutionary Party of Central American Workers (Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores Centroamericanos de Honduras -- PRTC-H). Beginning with minor bombings, ... kidnappings and hijackings. The most ambitious effort was that launched by a platoon-sized unit of Nicaraguan-trained PRTC-H members who crossed the border from Nicaragua into Olancho department in September 1983. A rapid response by Honduran troops isolated the PRTC-H column; twenty- three of the guerrillas surrendered, and another twenty-six died in the mountains, many of starvation and exposure. A similar incursion in 1984 also failed to strike a revolutionary spark among the conservative Honduran peasantry.

The perception of a genuine leftist revolutionary threat to Honduran stability enhanced Brigadier General Álvarez's power and heightened his profile both in Honduras and the United States. The resultant appearance of an imbalance of power between the military and the nascent civilian government called into question the viability of Honduras's democratic transition...


Cuban-trained marxist guerrillas attacked government targets and committed many acts of urban terrorism, such shooting at the US embassy in Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital, and seizing a Honduran airliner, to dramatize their cause. Police and military forces stepped up their effort to suppress the guerrilla rebels... left-wing violence increased because of resentment over American military presence in the country. In 1990, hostilities largely ceased following the electoral defeat of the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua and the reduction of US aid.

Related Conflicts

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