Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/1068

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712

HONDURAS.

(Republica de Honduras.) Constitution and Government.

The Republic of Honduras, established January 11, 1839, before the dis- solution of the Confederation of Central America in 1839, is governed under a charter proclaimed October, 1894. It gives the legislative power to a Congress of Deputies in the ratio of one per 10,000 inhabitants. The executive authority rests with a President, nominated and elected by popular vote for four years.

President of the Reptcblic. — Policarpo Bonilla. January 1, 1895-99.

The administration of the Republic is carried on by a Council of ministers, to whom are entrusted the departments of Interior, Public Works, War, Finance, Public Instruction and Justice.

Honduras forms with Salvador and Nicaragua the Republica Mayor de Centro-America, constituted for the purposes of foreign relations, September, 1896. But this federation seems for practical purposes to have come to an end through the action of the de facto president of Salvador.

The active army consists of 500 men with 20,000 militia.

Area and Population.

The area of the Republic is calculated to embrace about 43, 000 English square miles, with a population, in 1895, of about 400,000, or about 9 inhabitants to the square mile. The Republic is divided into 15 departments. The bulk of the inhabitants consists of aboriginal 'Indians,' and the sparse European- descended population, mainly of Spanish origin. The capital of the Republic is the ancient town of Tegucigalpa, with 12,600 inhabitants, situate nearly in the centre of the State. The main ports are Amapala on the Pacific, Omoa, Puerto Cortez, La Ceiba, Trujillo, Roatan, and Utila on the Atlantic.

Instruction and Crime.

The Roman Catholic is the prevailing religion, but the Constitution guarantees freedom to all creeds, and the State does not contribute to the sup- port of any. Instruction is free, compulsory, and entirely secular. There is a university, 11 colleges (three of them for females), and about 683 schools with 23,767 scholars. In 1889, 1,144 persons were tried for oftences. Of these 288 were condemned to lengthened periods of imprisonment (28 for homicide).

Finance.

The revenue is mainly derived from customs, and the duties on spirits and tobacco. For the years stated, ending July 30, the revenue and expenditure (in pesos) are given as follows : —

1S91

1892

1895

189G

Revenue Expenditure

1,850,163 2,983,570

1,764,137 2,603,650

2,172,760 1,248,811

1,901,606 2,264,586