Professor Rosemary Joyce describes the effect of the 2009 coup on archeological projects in Honduras, where she has conducted fieldwork since 1977.
On June 28, 2009, the elected civilian government of Honduras was overthrown by a military coup. In the wake of this event, Honduran citizens began demonstrations that continued despite the constant threat of arrest, suspension of the rights of free speech and assembly, and arbitrary imposition of curfews. The day after the coup, I started a blog that continues to provide access to Honduran scholars’ analyses of the political situation as well as contextual information about a country that has been virtually ignored in the United States since the end of the Contra War against Nicaragua. How did an archaeologist find herself caught up in the aftermath of a coup? Described by the U.S. mainstream media as a conflict about presidential term limits, the coup was actually a response to the profound implications of broader policies. For the first time in modern Honduran history, there was a call for broad citizen participation, even in the realm of cultural heritage where I work.