For days after the National Party (NP) was declared the winner of widely disputed elections on November 24, thousands of people protested on the streets of the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa. The student movement in particular declared that they were not going to be intimidated by widespread political persecution in the country.
Election results are often contested, which is one reason why governments sometimes invite official observer missions from inter-governmental bodies such as the Organization of American States (OAS) or European Union (EU). But there are times and places when these outside groups do not provide much independent observation. On November 24, Hondurans went to the polls to choose a new president, congress, and mayors. There were a lot of concerns about whether a free and fair election was possible in the climate of intimidation and violence that prevailed in the country.
“The national mobilisation called for by Xiomara Castro on Friday night became a massive, angry funeral procession today in Tegucigalpa,” the Honduras Resists blog reported on November 30 on the protests against the theft of the Honduran elections six days earlier.
Large-scale electoral fraud affected every aspect of the November 24 general elections in the Central American country of Honduras. This has sparked a huge political crisis, which matches and possibly surpasses the crisis produced by the coup d’etat that overthrew president Manuel Zelaya in 2009. The fraud has denied victory to Liberty and Refoundation (LIBRE) party presidential candidate Xiomara Castro, the wife of Zelaya. LIBRE was formed by the National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP), which united many sectors that took part in the resistance to the coup.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro criticised US “intervention” in the internal affairs of Latin American countries, and in the Honduran elections, on November 25. Xiomara Castro, candidate for the LIBRE party formed by the resistance movement that opposed the 2009 US-backed coup, declared victory after the vote. However, so did her conservative opponent, National Party's Juan Hernandez , with the Electoral Supreme Court (TSE) declaring Hernandez clearly ahead. LIBRE rejected the TSE's count, alleging serious fraud.
Both leading candidates are claiming victory in Honduras’s disputed presidential election, Democracy Now! The race has pitted Xiomara Castro, wife of ousted President Manuel Zelaya, against right-wing candidate Juan Orlando Hernandez. According to election officials, with more than half of precincts reporting, Hernandez has won 34% of the vote, while Castro has 29%. Castro’s husband, Manuel Zelaya, was ousted in a US-backed coup in 2009.
Three of the main political parties contesting the November 24 election in Honduras are accusing the oligarchy-controlled Supreme Elections Tribunal of vote manipulation and fraud following a massive voter turnout on election day.
A new paper from the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research examined Honduras’ economy and found that much of the economic and social progress experienced from 2006–2009, when left-wing president Manuel Zelaya was in power, have been reversed in the years since. Zelaya was overthrown in an elite-backed military coup in June 2009. The coup was condemned by most of the Americas, but not the United States, which refused to cut ties to the coup regime.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established to prosecute individuals alleged to have committed war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. From the ICC’s inception, the US objected to the possibility that US nationals could be subject to its jurisdiction. The administration of former US president George W Bush waged an aggressive campaign to persuade states to sign “Article 98”, or bilateral immunity agreements. Those that signed agreed not to transfer US nationals to the ICC. Between 2002 and 2009, sanctions were implemented on states that refused to sign.
The open letter printed below, which was sent to the New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan was signed by more than a dozen experts on Latin America and the media. Signatories to the letter, released on May 14, signatories included academic Noam Chomsky, filmmaker Oliver Stone, Venezuela Analysis founder Gregory Wilpert and several other experts. To join the campaign, visit New York Times Examiner. * * * Dear Margaret Sullivan,
The doctrine of national security imposed by the United States on Latin America, which fostered the dictatorships of the 1970s and '80s, is making a comeback in Honduras. A new law is combining military defence of the country with police strategies for maintaining domestic order. The law created the National Directorate of Investigation and Intelligence (DNII), a key agency in the security structure that does not appear to be accountable to any other body, and does not appear to be under democratic civilian control.
Gunfire erupted from helicopters provided by the US State Department and carrying Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) trainers and Honduran police on May 11. The shots killed four Hondurans described by locals as fisherpeople. Two of them were pregnant. Who did the shooting is unclear. US officials said the fisherpeople were caught in the crossfire of an anti-drug mission.
There is no end in sight to violence and repression in Honduras. There is also no end in sight to the United States and Canadian governments and business maintaining political, economic and military relations with the country's military-backed regime. Even after US Drug Enforcement Administration officers killed at least four Honduran civilians ― including two pregnant women ― in the name of the "drug war", two more journalists, Alfredo Villatoro and Erick Martinez Avila, have been killed in the Central American nation.
After two weeks of hard work to obtain signatures and the constitutive documents, on October 27 the National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP) presented before the Supreme Electoral Tribunal more than 81,000 signatures and other documents supporting the request for the inscription of the political instrument, the Freedom and Refoundation Party (LIBRE).