Urgent Action: Human Rights Crisis in Honduras
Call on Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland to take a strong stand concerning electoral fraud, repression and violence in Honduras.
This online action is supported by Atlantic Region Solidarity Network, Breaking the Silence, Common Frontiers, the Committee for Human Rights in Latin America, CoDevelopment Canada and Miningwatch Canada.
Since national elections on November 26, numerous examples of irregularities and electoral fraud have been documented by national and international observers. These irregularities and fraudulent activities favour the incumbent National Party candidate, Juan Orlando Hernández, who had been trailing Salvador Nasralla of the Opposition Alliance by a significant amount, late in the vote count on the 26th. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), which lacked representation from the opposition parties and whose president is closely aligned with the incumbent candidate, has lost all legitimacy with the Honduran population.
Fearful that democracy in Honduras will continue to be undermined, as it was with the 2009 military coup, tens of thousands of Hondurans have taken to the streets across the country to demand that the will of the electorate be respected with many calling for Juan Orlando Hernández’ immediate resignation, seeing his centralization of power in the country and efforts at reelection as further entrenchment of the coup.
On the ground and up to the moment blog by Karen Spring of the Honduras Solidarity Network: http://www.aquiabajo.com/blog
The Guardian continues to publish insightful pieces on the crisis in Honduras: https://www.theguardian.com/world/honduras
COPINH, Bertha Caceres’ Organization maintains a blog in English on the situation: http://copinhenglish.blogspot.ca/
A good outline of the impact of the Honduran crisis on Canada: www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2017/12/08/why-canadians-should-care-about-whats-happening-in-honduras.html
As with the protests after the military coup in 2009, these protests have been met with extreme violence and repression by military and police forces controlled by Hernandez and the National Party. The Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH) has reported that, as of December 7, at least 14 people have been killed as a result of violent state repression against protests, most by Military Police. As well, there have been 51 wounded (7 seriously) and 844 detained during the period that the Honduran government illegally imposed a military curfew and suspended constitutional guarantees across the country beginning December 1, 2017. This week, the Honduras Solidarity Network reports that repression has continued against a renewed wave of protests and that Radio Progreso has had their transmitter interfered with.
In her December 10 statement, Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland “lament[ed] the deaths and injuries” without recognizing that the violence was perpetuated by state forces. Further, in her statement, Minister Freeland continues to recognize the government-controlled TSE, despite all the evidence of vote-rigging, intimidation and show of force against Honduran people during these last two weeks.
Canada has much to account for in terms of our political and economic relationship with Honduras. Since the 2009 military coup, which the Canadian government helped to legitimize, political freedom and human rights have been severely eroded and hundreds of people –including the well-known case of Berta Cáceres – have been killed or assassinated for political reasons. Meanwhile the Canadian government has supported the expansion of corporate and investor interests in Honduras, in concert with the repressive, corrupt governments in power, in the areas of mining, garment “sweatshop” industry, bananas, hydro-electric dams, tourism, and more such that they might benefit from the deterioration of protections for Indigenous peoples, the Indigenous Garífuna people, workers, land and the environment.