Countries around the world, the OAS, and the United Nations formally and unanimously condemned the action as a coup d’état, refusing to recognize the de facto government, even though the lawyers consulted by the Library of Congress submitted to the United States Congress an opinion that declared the coup legal. The Honduran Supreme Court also ruled that the proceedings had been legal. The government that followed the de facto government established a truth and reconciliation commission, Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación, which after more than a year of research and debate concluded that the ousting had been a coup d’état, and illegal in the commission’s opinion.
The north coast of Honduras borders the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean lies south through the Gulf of Fonseca. Honduras consists mainly of mountains, with narrow plains along the coasts. A large undeveloped lowland jungle, La Mosquitia lies in the northeast, and the heavily populated lowland Sula valley in the northwest. In La Mosquitia lies the UNESCO world-heritage site Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve, with the Coco River which divides Honduras from Nicaragua.
The Islas de la Bahía and the Swan Islands are off the north coast. Misteriosa Bank and Rosario Bank, 130 to 150 kilometres (81 to 93 miles) north of the Swan Islands, fall within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Honduras.
The World Bank categorizes Honduras as a low middle-income nation. The nation’s per capita income sits at around 600 US dollars making it one of the lowest in North America.
In 2010, 50% of the population were living below the poverty line. By 2016 more than 66% were living below the poverty line.
Economic growth in the last few years has averaged 7% a year, one of the highest rates in Latin America (2010). Despite this, Honduras has seen the least development among all Central American countries. Honduras is ranked 130 of 188 countries with a Human Development Index of .625 that classifies the nation as having medium development (2015).
The 2009 Honduran coup d’état led to a variety of economic trends in the nation. Overall growth has slowed, averaging 5.7 percent from 2006–2008 but slowing to 3.5 percent annually between 2010 and 2013. Following the coup trends of decreasing poverty and extreme poverty were reversed. The nation saw a poverty increase of 13.2 percent and in extreme poverty of 26.3 percent in just 3 years. Furthermore, unemployment grew between 2008 and 2012 from 6.8 percent to 14.1 percent.
Because much of the Honduran economy is based on small scale agriculture of only a few exports, natural disasters have a particularly devastating impact. Natural disasters, such as 1998 Hurricane Mitch, have contributed to this inequality as they particularly affect poor rural areas. Additionally, they are a large contributor to food insecurity in the country as farmers are left unable to provide for their families. A study done by Honduras NGO, World Neighbors, determined the terms “increased workload, decreased basic grains, expensive food, and fear” were most associated with Hurricane Mitch.