Elections marked by intense militarization, political violence, human rights abuses, fraud and harassment of election observers were held
in Honduras on November 24th. Despite highly contested results and demands for a
recount, extreme right, National Party candidate, Juan Orlando Hernandez has declared himself President. Hernandez, the “mano duro” candidate, created and deployed Military Police shock troops and campaigned on a pledge to “put a soldier on every corner.”
Targeted political killings continue and have escalated in days following the election. Since election day, seven candidates or activists with the LIBRE party and a progressive journalist have been killed. Students protesting alleged electoral fraud were tear-gassed, beaten, and detained. A prominent journalist and LIBRE representative, Edgardo Castro, just fled the country due to escalated death threats.
On December 10th, members of Congress issued a statement expressing concern for the pervasive political violence and calling for an end to impunity. They also expressed concern regarding the electoral results.
“We also remain concerned about reported irregularities that took place in the elections and call upon the Supreme Electoral Council (TSE) and the Attorney General’s office to fully investigate these allegations and determine corrective measures or punishment if so warranted. We note that Honduras is in the process of carrying out a recount of the vote and we urge that this be done transparently, with the full support of all political parties and civil society, in as expeditious a manner as possible.”
This is a dangerous moment for democracy and the defense of human rights in Honduras. Please share this statement with your members of Congress. Urge the suspension of U.S. funding for state security forces and militarization in Honduras given the lack of rule of law, pervasive targeted political violence and abuse of human rights.
Jenny AtleeFriendship Office of the Americas