Honduras: US Outrage Sparked at Risk of Election Theft: Rights groups issue a joint statement; rally to pressure US, Honduras governments for transparency
A color photo of many Honduran police, military and police walk outside the Electoral Supreme Court where Alianza Party protesters gather. On the gate it says, "We All Vote for Honduras" - Photo Credit: I AM BERTA FILM, Sam Vinal
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Boston, MA) Outraged at the possibility of the theft of Honduras’ election by the discredited current administration, US rights groups are rallying to urge the US to press Honduras for electoral transparency.
Elise Roberts, National Coordinator of Witness for Peace, stated: “As we return from two weeks observing and documenting in Honduras, our concerns about the Honduran electoral process and broader state violence and corruption continue to deepen. We’ve heard testimony of ongoing intimidation through use of US-funded security forces, incidents of fraud and violence at polling places, use of US-made munitions against anti-fraud protesters, and a total lack of transparency about the electoral process. Our partners in Honduras describe this process as the final phase of the coup, endorsed by US support and funding. Now more than ever, Honduras needs the people and government of the US to stand with them, to support independent, credible investigations into the electoral fraud and state violence, and to immediately cut all US funding to Honduran security forces.”
“The US government’s collusion in the Honduras coup of 2009 has resulted in eight years of massive violence, spiraling poverty, and the brutal suppression of dissent. We, as US-based groups, cannot allow the US and Honduran governments to repeat this horrific tragedy of undermining democracy,” stated Chung-Wha Hong, Executive Director of Grassroots International. “Too many lives are at stake. Democracy is at stake.”
US rights groups joining the call for transparency include Witness for Peace/Acción Permanente por la Paz, Grassroots International, Code Pink, Friendship Office of the Americas, School of the Americas Watch, and the number continues to grow.
Worldwide media reports are multiplying of suspicious electoral tampering of Honduras’ election results by the ruling party which hand-picked the nation’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE). Nonetheless, the Chief Magistrate of the TSE, Mario Lobo, appeared to be bucking the trend when he announced late Wednesday that the official results are suspect, casting doubt on official claims of a win by incumbent candidate Juan Orlando Hernandez, of the incumbent National Party.
Up until Tuesday at 5pm, the head of the TSE, Mr. Lobo, had stated that “the winning tendency of the opposition is irreversible.” This announcement was followed by 24 hours of silence from the TSE, at the end of which the TSE unexpectedly claimed that the vote was now favoring the incumbent Mr. Hernandez. Suspicions of fraud have sparked massive outcry and protests across the country, accompanied by heavy-handed deployment of the military across the nation.
“Campesin@s and Indigenous Peoples showed up at the polls, in spite of voter intimidation, outright violence and attacks from the Honduran military, because they are defending their land and their human rights and they want change,” stated Cindy Wiesner, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance. “The world is watching again, just as we witnessed the illegal coup from 2009. We cannot allow the undermining of the democratic will of the Honduran people.”
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