October 21 – Day of the Armed Forces of Honduras

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  • The history of creation of the Armed Forces of Honduras dates back to 1825, but it is until October 21, 1956, after the overthrow of Julio Lozano Díaz, that this date is instituted as the day dedicated to this glorious institution.

    President Julio Lozano had de facto assumed the Headquarters of Government on December 5, 1954 after President Juan Manuel Gálvez, feeling ill on November 16, 1954, left power in his hands as Vice President of the Republic and left to Panama.

    Don Julio Lozano governed by means of Decree-Laws. Having power in his hands and with the clear desire to continue in it, he tried to legalize himself, calling for elections on October 7, 1956; The elections to install a National Constituent Assembly were won with a large majority by the Movement he led, which were considered the consecration of fraud and mockery against the citizenship, this being the main cause for the Armed Forces, on October 21, 1956, they entered directly into the political affairs of the Nation for the first time; ordering President Díaz to hand over power to a Military Junta led by General Roque J. Rodríguez, Colonel Héctor Caraccioli, and Major Roberto Gálvez Barnes; all these actions being received with satisfaction by the majority of the population.

    This Military Junta undertook and called for elections for a National Constituent Assembly, which were held on September 22, 1957. Said Assembly took office on October 21, 1957, naming the liberal José Ramón Villeda Morales as Constitutional President, which he inaugurated his government on December 21, for the period 1957-1963.

    In September 1957, the same National Constituent Assembly instituted autonomy for the Armed Forces to carry out their responsibilities and as a recognition for the institutional defense that it carried out when Lozano Díaz was deposed; and for returning the Country to constitutional normality, in a civic and patriotic manner; They were also in charge of electing Colonel Oswaldo López Arellano as chief of the Armed Forces.

    Since the coup of October 21, 1956, and with a belligerence that includes the coup of October 3, 1963 and the government of General Oswaldo López Arellano; the coup d’état of December 4, 1972 and the new mandate of General López Arellano; his replacement on April 22, 1975, by Colonel Juan Alberto Melgar Castro; the replacement of this by a Military Junta, on August 7, 1978; the provisional presidency of General Policarpo Paz García, from July 20, 1980 to February 1, 1982; and the recent presidential succession of June 28, 2009; the Armed Forces have played a decisive role in the political life of the country.

    It is appropriate to recall the 1972 proclamation that established: “The armies were not created to violate the constitutional order, but on the contrary, to be the main guarantors, and that is what the Honduran armed institution has wanted to be; but when the fundamental principles on which the constitutional regime is based degenerate, it is not possible for the army to sit back and let chaos take place “

    According to the current Constitution of the Republic in Chapter X, Article 272. “The Armed Forces of Honduras are a permanent National Institution, essentially professional, apolitical, obedient and non-deliberative. They are constituted to defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic, maintain peace, public order and the rule of the Constitution, the principles of free suffrage and alternation in the exercise of the Presidency of the Republic.

    They will cooperate with the National Police in the preservation of public order. In order to guarantee the free exercise of suffrage, the custody, transport and surveillance of electoral materials and other aspects of the security of the process, the President of the Republic will place the Armed Forces at the disposal of the National Elections Tribunal, from one month before the elections, until they are declared ”.

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