No Support for Dictatorship! Support the Honduran People!
Honduran Solidarity Network Statement on Honduras Elections
December 8, 2017
The Honduras Solidarity Network (HSN) of North America condemns in the strongest possible manner the violence and repression against the Honduran people defending their vote and human rights against fraud and dictatorship. A human rights observer delegation of members of the Honduras Solidarity Network (La Voz de los de Abajo Chicago, CODEPINK, and Marin County Task Force on the Americas) have just returned from Honduras where they were with the Honduran people before, during and after the November 26th elections.
The HSN understands the 2017 electoral crisis to be a result of the on-going 2009 military coup d’état in Honduras, fully backed by the U.S. and Canadian governments. In the 8.5 years since the coup, the HSN has joined national and international organizations in demanding a stop to U.S. and Canadian security funding and training, and other assistance from USAID to the regime. The HSN and our human rights delegation in Honduras are witness to how the years of support for the regime is being used to repress and terrorize Hondurans and the country into accepting a fraudulent election. The US State Department’s November 30th certification of Human Rights is another outrageous attempt to whitewash a repressive government in the midst of a political and human rights crisis.
The HSN has witnessed countless human rights abuses committed in a state of impunity. Honduran human rights organization, the Committee of the Families of the Detained and Disappeared (COFADEH) issued a report on December 6, 2017 that outlines the abuses by state security forces. COFADEH has documented 14 assassinations (primarily by Military Police), 51 people injured (7 seriously), and 844 detentions since the November 26 elections. Just like after the 2009 coup, these mass violations will likely go unpunished and our governments, to date, have said nothing about violence, repression and abuses committed under the command of Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH) against the Honduran population.
On Election Day our delegation witnessed vote buying and received reports from citizens of fraud and intimidation. One delegation team was the subject of intimidations and threats from the paid National Party (PN) activists at a polling station and when an official electoral custodian and a police officer intervened they were also threatened by the PN activists. We report this to highlight the repressive atmosphere during the elections, and therefore, the impressive strength and courage of the people defying this intimidation then and now. On November 28, 29 and 30th the delegation members witnessed and were affected by mass repression by police and military against non-violent protests outside the ballot counting facility. Tear gas was fired indiscriminately, and police and military beat protesters violently and dragged some people inside the facility. Furthermore, police officers report that they received orders to open fire with live ammunition on unarmed citizens during the massive mobilizations.
Based on our delegation reports, testimonies from victims and human rights and social justice organizations and independent media, we add our voices to the outcry demanding an end to all support, political and economic to the Hernandez regime, an end to the repression and continuing fraud, and no recognition of any regime imposed on the Honduran people.