Traspaso del Mando – Local Version

The new mayor of Concepcion was inaugurated this past Monday.  I have very little context for local Honduran political activity, so I was very excited to take in the morning’s events.  My observations follow:

1.  I was invited to the inauguration by a member of the Hombro a Hombro community advisory committee (who is now also working for the new mayor) and told to arrive around 9 am.  The ceremony actually began around 10:30.  Nothing particularly unusual about this.

2.  At the height of the ceremony, there were perhaps 200 individuals in attendance, and I did not see any other non-Hondurans.

3.  I found the music selection to be particularly confusing, alternating between the National Party’s political jingle, techno dance music, and 80s ballads.  Moreover, once the ceremony began, the DJ would phase in and out selections of the aforementioned musical stylings at awkward moments.

4.  Along with the mayor, a new “corporation” of about 6 people was inaugurated.  The runner-up in the mayoral election, from the opposing party, is part of that governing body.

5.  During the ceremony the outgoing mayor and the mayor-elect publicly exchanged numerous items, including a blue sash, the official stamp, and documentation for several bank accounts.  This culminated in the official transfer of command, where the two politicians walked toward one another, the outgoing mayor physically passing a wooden staff (imagine a old-fashioned cane for a very short person) to the new mayor.

6.  My read-between-the-lines interpretation of the jist of the new mayor’s acceptance speech:  thanks be to god and to my family, Hombro a Hombro is going to feed all the kids under five in the municipality (more on this at a different time), the old mayor has really screwed things up over the last four years and we don’t know how bad it is, we’re not responsible for any of that mess, only for what we do now, so we’re going to take a few weeks to go through the mess, do some analysis, and get back to you with our plan, today we party.

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