As Hondurans head to the polls in key elections, fears of political instability have risen across the country. From a history of military coups to alarming violence, DW examines the country's toughest issues.
Hondurans on Sunday are voting in divisive elections that will determine the next president, 128 seats in the unicameral congress and mayors in 298 municipalities.
Turnout was reportedly heavy across the country, although no exact figures were known. Polls close at 5:00 p.m. local time (2300 GMT) with partial results expected to emerge around 8:00 p.m. (0100 GMT).
Despite a constitutional ban on more than one presidential term, incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez has decided to run for a second term, prompting fears of political instability in the electoral aftermath.
DW examines the big questions concerning the elections and how it affects the region and beyond.
Who's in the race?
What are the main issues?
Will a military coup stop a second-term president?
In 2009, the military sent tanks into the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa, and stormed the residence of former President Manuel Zelaya (no relation to the presidential candidate) after he announced his intention to run for a second term.
Current President Hernandez's conservative National Party backed the military coup, which was later sanctioned by the Honduran Supreme Court. In 2015, that same court ruled that the constitution could not prevent Hernandez from running for a second term after he claimed it violated his human right to do so.
However, analysts don't expect a rerun of 2009 if Hernandez wins the presidency, partly because he enjoys support among the top ranks of the country's armed forces.
What about environmental activism?
In October, a team of international legal experts said the murder of Berta Caceres was "not an isolated incident" but instead the "product of a plan" by executives of an energy company spearheading a mega-dam project in the country.
Caceres had organized opposition to the dam with indigenous tribes affected by the project. The prominent environmentalist was killed by masked men in 2016 in a case that has yet to be solved. Fellow activists have suggested the government may have been involved or known about it.
Indigenous leader and environmentalist Berta Caceres has been honored in her native country and across the globe for her activism
What impact could Hernandez's re-election have on the region?
For many analysts, Hernandez is attempting to consolidate power across the country even beyond the presidency.
"Hernandez is not just trying to win a presidential re-election, he's trying to expand his power from top to bottom, including in the legislature and at the mayoral level," James Bosworth, founder of political consulting firm Hxagon, told AP news agency.
With Hernandez continuing his presidency into a second term, the US would continue to enjoy support in the country for its "War on Drugs," while the crackdown on drug cartels and gangs would likely find favor in the White House.
Many Hondurans have fled the country towards the US due to the alarming number of violent incidents in the country. That could change if Hernandez is able to continue the downward trend of the country's murder rate.
ls/jm (AFP, dpa, AP)