Democracy and human rights at stake in Honduras


The CETIM is alarmed by the current political crisis in Honduras, a crisis characterized by an increasing militarization of State institutions and government disregard of its human rights obligations.

This situation puts in jeopardy the fundamental standards of democracy and the Honduran people’s full enjoyment of their human rights.

A climate of high tension and violence prevails in the country, as a result of brutal political and military repression. Eye-witnesses report assassinations and enforced disappearances.

Following the presidential elections of 26 November 2017, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal announced that Salvador Nasralla, the candidate of the Alliance against the Dictatorship party, was clearly ahead in the polls. In a second announcement, the Tribunal reversed its verdict for no apparent reason and declared current president Juan Orlando Hernández, notorious for his involvement in the 2009 coup, the winner. The Alliance against the Dictatorship party has denounced the electoral process to be fraudulent. Observers from the European Union seem to support this position and the Organization of American States has declared that it does not recognize the results of the elections in question.

Faced with this situation, the Honduran people demonstrated peacefully to demand electoral transparency and respect for democracy. The response of the current Government, led by the incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernández, who was standing for re-election, was to declare a state of emergency and suppress the protests. This was an unconstitutional decision, made at a crucial time before the process of reviewing the electoral registers and recounting the votes had even got under way.

Since then, at least 11 people have been killed by the police and military and dozens more have been injured. The Honduran Government has thus suspended constitutional rights, systematically violating not only the Honduran people’s legitimate rights to freedom of expression, association and protest but also their right to life.

In view of the risks that the situation could deteriorate further, CETIM asked the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit Honduras in order to investigate the transparency of the electoral process and the human rights violations committed.

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