The streets of Honduras were filled with protesters and clouds of tear gas as the month of June began. The national police fanned out through the country to crush the protests with heavy-handed tactics at the direction of President Juan Orlando Hernández, the US-supported neoliberal leader who won power in elections marred by documented fraud.
As the protests peaked, fire was set to the doors of the American embassy in the capital, Tegucigalpa, in an apparent act of retribution against the United States for its role in propping up the widely unpopular president. It was a striking act of symbolic resistance that recalled events in 1988 when Hondurans burned the vehicles of US embassy personnel to protest Washington’s dirty war against Nicaragua. The fortifications installed around the US embassy after that incident may have prevented the latest burning from consuming the rest of the building.