December 1, 2017 – As JASS (Just Associates) in Mesoamerica, Southern Africa, and Southeast Asia, we express our collective concern about the growing violence, violations of basic political and civil rights, and deterioration of democratic institutions in Honduras in the context of the very contested elections.
We join with the many national and international human rights organizations who have denounced the irregularities, unexplained delays, and lack of transparency by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal; actions that have generated widespread legitimate suspicion of fraud regarding the vote count and elections results.
We are alarmed by the Honduran government’s response – violence, repression, and criminalization – to the legitimate demands of the Honduran people in the face of these electoral irregularities. Human rights organizations in Honduras have documented various attacks on protesters, such as the use of tear gas and guns which have injured many and killed several people, including a 19-year-old woman. They have also documented arbitrary detentions of people participating in peaceful demonstrations. We are particularly concerned about the increase in violence against women and women human rights defenders, which is a common phenomenon in similar situations historically.
The current government, whose president is seeking reelection despite an explicit electoral ban embodied in the Honduran Constitution, has a track record of repression against political opposition and citizen protest, which has perpetuated violence against human rights defenders, social movements, and communities in resistance – or anyone who opposes the current regime. Honduras has been in a human rights crisis since the coup d’état in 2009, which has put the lives, integrity, and fundamental rights of the population at risk, acutely affecting women and indigenous communities.
Given this situation, we join the demands of various other national and international organizations, communities, and movements for the Honduran government to:
- Immediately cease any act of violence, repression, and criminalization of protesters and opposition, including all forms of violence against women who participate in these demonstrations.
- Refrain from issuing definitive electoral results until a vote by vote recount has taken place and all challenges or complaints of irregularity during the electoral process have been resolved in accordance with the law. For this, the Honduran government must grant full access to international observers and civil society organizations.
The current electoral crisis and systematic violation of human rights in the country will only be resolved with the full participation of Honduran society, in particular those groups historically discriminated against such as women and indigenous communities. To this end, we express our unwavering support and solidarity with the indigenous, feminist, rural, student, and resistance organizations and communities that are defending democracy and the validity of justice, peace, and equality in Honduras.
For further comment, please contact: Natalia Escrucería Price, firstname.lastname@example.org Marusia López Cruz, email@example.com