Stop the Persecution of COPIHN members in Rio Blanco!
We, human rights organizations and social justice in the United States, declare to the the international community and the Honduran authorities our condemnation of the persistent harassment, repression and criminalization against the indigenous community of Rio Blanco and the indigenous organization which is affiliated with the Council Civic Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras ( COPINH ) . We indignantly repudiate the accusations and charges against the General Coordinator of COPINH , Berta Caceres and COPINH members , Thomas Gomez and Aureliano Molina. (click on the image for the full letter)
News From Honduras
August 13, 2013 - Radio Interview on the Human Rights situation in Honduras with Greg Mccain and Brigitte Gynther on the Hemispheres show hosted by Irene Rodrigueze on KGNU Independent Community Radio http://www.kgnu.org/hemispheres/8/13/2013
The national mobilization called for by Xiomara Castro on Friday night became a massive, angry funeral procession today in Tegucigalpa. Last night two members of LIBRE were murdered in Tegucigalpa, there were unconfirmed reports of another in Olancho and a bomb was set off at another resistance locale. Today's march accompanied the coffin of Jose Antonio Ardon, "Emo 2" from the Pedagogic University to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and then to his wake at the national teachers union (COPEMH) hall. President Xiomara Castro, ex-President Zelaya, and other leaders from LIBRE and the National People's Resistance Front (FNRP) spoke angrily of the fraud, lies and violence and called on people to take the streets agains after this "ballot box coup" as they did after the June 28, 2009 coup.
Thousands of marchers chanted, sang and shouted emotionally, carrying LIBRE flags, and hand-made signs. Person after person told our team that Juan Orlando Hernandez and the National Party are usurpers and not the legitimate government. LIBRE is filing a formal challenge to the announced results and has vowed to fight in the courts and international bodies as well as the streets.
English translation of Xiomara Castro de Zelaya's speech 11/29/2013
Video original del discurso de Presidenta Xiomara Castro de Zelaya el 29 de noviembre, 2013 en español: Parte 1 / Parte 2
Members of the national and international press,
Sisters and brothers of struggle,
People of Honduras,
Five days after the end of the electoral process in our
country, after several public appearances, I am here once again before you, to
reiterate that we have found innumerable proof of the disgusting monstrosity
with which they are stealing the presidency of the republic from our people of
Our position is unwavering and unceasing: while they don’t
allow us access to the system of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, we will not
accept the results emitted by that Electoral Tribunal.
We do not recognize the legitimacy of any government that is
the product of this shameful assault. We will demonstrate that triumph of LIBRE
was the will of the Honduran people with its votes on November 24th.
And this triumph is being stolen by those who have turned the electoral system
into a farce, by falsifying voting records and adulterating electoral results.
We demand, together with our people, that they allow us to
look over the 16,135 original records where the will of the people was
expressed. And for those that show inconsistencies in the recording, we demand
public scrutiny of every one of those polling places.
I denounce that this government, that this group that is
governing the country, has no respect for the institutions of Honduras. They
know that they have stolen the will of the people and right now they ignore our
position and are trying to use force to install a regime that came from fraud,
to continue sustaining the brutal violence, the intimidation, the violation of
human rights and the continual and unyielding action of the system that
impoverishes our people in order to subdue and manipulate them.
They have everything. The power to bully us, attack us and
to persecute our people. But they will never make us give up our dignity!
Sisters and brothers, let us peacefully take to the streets
that we came from!
Chants: To the
streets! To the streets! To the streets!
We are going to defend our triumph in every one of the
communities where we know the people are awaiting us. To see that they respect
every vote. Every will that was expressed at the polls.
I swear, I swear for my kids, that I will not rest until I
see a Honduras that is free, sovereign, independent.
We are going to make a reality of the dream of Morazán.
Resistance and re-foundation. Here, in the presence of all of you, I ask the
party, to launch all of the necessary actions to defend the will of each and
every Honduran. In defense also of our candidates for mayor and congress.
All of this, within the parameters of morality, of respect,
of the rights of others, and of the policy of non-violence that rules in our
party, to continue this struggle, that should not end until this international
nightmare that oppresses us, sustained by evil sons of this land who do not
deserve to live here, has come to its end.
To our people, to the youth, to the teachers, to the
workers, to the businesspeople, home-makers, women and men, I call on all of us
to defend our proposal to create a homeland, a democratic state instead of this
oligarchic state that oppresses us and that today seeks to subjugate us through
this monstrous fraud.
I ask you, let us stand up and place ourselves immediately
at the disposition of the orders that will come from our leaders and our
general coordinators. To those who are against freedom and against the people’s
sovereignty, I tell you that this struggle has just begun! They will never be
able to defeat our people, we are stronger than ever because we are organized
in more than 20,000 collectives nationally. With the consciousness and the
conviction to work through this great network of information and communication
to guarantee that not one of these actions of fraud are not reported.
Chants: Long live
Xiomara! The people, united, will never be defeated!
For the memory of those who gave their lives for a better
world that is still possible, I swear before you, that we will not cede even
for an instant until we carry out our historic mission of defending our people,
with our morals, in every battlefield necessary. We will never stop struggling!
We will never forget the atrocious crimes of those who kill our people with
hunger every day so that they never, and be completely clear, they will never
be able to kill our hopes.
We will defeat them in the streets, we already beat them at
the polls. Until the final victory! Thank you very much.
The following is an English translation by La Voz de los de Abajo of the official communiqué read by the LIBRE party at the November 29th, 2013 press conference in Tegucigalpa. The original speech in Spanish is available in two parts online: part 1 / part 2 Lo que sigue es una traducción al inglés por La Voz de los de Abajo del comunicado oficial de LIBRE leído en la conferencia de prensa del 29 de noviembre, 2013 en Tegucigalpa. Se puede ver la versión original en línea en dos partes: parte 1 / parte 2
PARTY FOR FREEDOM AND
EXECUTIVE REPORT ABOUT
THE 2013 GENERAL ELECTIONS PROCESS
1.THE RESULTS CONTAINED IN THE RECORDS OF
THE RECEIVING ELECTORAL TABLES (MER) WERE ALTERED AND FALSIFIED IN THEIR SUMS IN
THE OFFICIAL BULLETINS EMITED BY THE SUPREME ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL (TSE).
2.THE SUMMARY OF THE RESULTS PUBLISHED BY
THE TSE DOES NOT COINCIDE IN THOUSANDS OF CASES WITH THE PHYSICAL COPIES OF THE
3.WE ASK FOR THE COMPARISON AND RECOUNT OF
THE 16,135 ORIGINAL RECORDS FROM THE CLOSE OF THE PRESIDENTIAL VOTING, AS
PROVIDED FOR IN THE ELECTORAL LAW ARTICLE 15, NUMBER 12.
4.IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE WARNINGS IN THE
REPORT FROM THE INTERNTIONAL AUDIT BY THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES, WE
CALL FOR A POST-ELECTION AUDIT OF THE ENTIRE SYSTEM OF TRANSMISSION (SIEDE).
5.WE ASK FOR REPORTS ABOUT THE ELECTORAL
DOCUMENT CALLED THE ‘CREDENTIAL’ FROM THE POLITICAL PARTIES WHO, ACCORDING TO
THE TRIBUNAL’S OWN FIGURES, RECEIVED FROM THE SUPREME ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL MORE
THAN 160,000 CREDENTIALS YET ONLY RECEIVED 17,516 VOTES AT THE PRESIDENTIAL
LEVEL, MAKING IT A FALLACY THAT MER IS MADE UP OF ALL THE POLITICAL PARTIES.
FREEDOM AND REFOUNDATION PARTY (LIBRE) does not accept nor recognize the
official preliminary results published by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, due
to the series of alterations, falsifications and irregularities reflected
through the Transmission System SIEDE.
I-EVIDENCE OF ALTERATION DURING SCANNING
AND ADDING OF RESULTS OF MER RECORDS
i.After comparing 14,593 MER records that
the LIBRE party received physically at our data center to the records published
in the SIEDE system (last consulted at 11:00pm Thursday November 28th,
2013) we found:
a.82,301 too many votes counted in favor of
the National Party
b.55,720 votes not counted for LIBRE.
c.34,184 votes not counted for PAC.
d.29,063 votes not counted for the Liberal
e.13,307 votes not counted for other
ii.Numerous MER records were scanned in the
morning hours of November 24th, according to the report that appears
on the ATX (Scanner Center), vertically in lowercase.
iii.Numerous records transmitted by the TSE
to the political parties and those published on the web page do not coincide
with the originals received by LIBRE’s members of the MER, in terms of the
signatures, which confirms the alterations.
iv.Numerous records published by the TSE
coincide with the characteristics of those transmitted during the simulations.
v.Numerous Certified Records of the
Municipal Electoral Tribunals were scanned or entered into the System, showing
it TURNED OUT TO BE FALSE that the
scanners were programmed to only transmit the Final Records of the Receiving
Electoral Tables (MER) and that for security purposes no other electoral
document could be transmitted. Supposedly each MER record would have a bar code
that guaranteed it could only be transmitted by the ATX scanner assigned to the
II-VOTING OF ABOUT 70% at 12% OF THE MER.
It was found that at 12% of
the polls there is an inflation of results, since the average voting in each
MER is 61% and in this block of polls the voting is over 70% and the count at 85%
of these MER’s favored the National Party candidate, an indication that necessitates
comparison of the electoral registry with voters in order to discard the votes
of those who have moved or died.
III-RECORDS NOT TRANSMITTED TO THE POLITICAL
PARTIES, NOT PUBLISHED BY THE TSE AND WITH A SUMMARY OF RESULTS OF 0. (Out of
At least 2,805 MER records were not transmitted to the political parties nor
published on the TSE webpage, within this category are also included the
records whose “summary of results” appears as 0 and those sent for Special
Scrutiny (2,134 records).
International Audit carried out by the Organization of American States OAS established
on the 20th of November, three days before the elections, that: “The
process/functioning evaluated in accordance with the Operative Plan: special
scrutiny does not meet requirements due to inability to evaluate.”
These records represent an electoral
volume of 883,140 voters, mostly distributed amongst the departments of Cortes,
Francisco Morazán, Santa Barbara and Yoro. The projection of these figures
would give LIBRE the victory in the elections.
IV-160,000 MER CREDENTIALS WERE GIVEN BY THE
TSE TO 5 PARTIES; FAPER, UD, DC, ALIANZA PATRIOTICA AND PINU-SD.
In accordance with the law,
the Receiving Electoral Tables (MER) are made up of a principal and replacement
member proposed by each of the political parties through their representatives.
The total number of MER’s in the 2013 electoral process was 16,135, meaning
that each party received credentials for that number of both principal and replacement
Up to today, November 29th,
the count by the TSE indicates that amongst them all, these 5 parties obtained
17,516 presidential votes, a fact that proves that the credentials that they
signed for were given to members of other parties. On average, at 68% of the
MER’s the parties PINU, DC, FAPER, UD and Alianza Patriótica do not have a
V-REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL AUDIT TO THE
TRANSMISSION SYSTEM (SIEDE) BY THE OAS AND PRESENTED TO THE TSE ON NOVEMBER 20TH,
This report contains
conclusions in terms of security and general conclusions with regards to
quality and transparency. It can be found on the OAS page and there it shows
the vulnerability of the system and the lack of security and the lack of
guarantees in the transmission and publishing of results in addition to the
counting. Amongst them is established:
i.“The security analysis of the distinct
elements of the SIEDE has shown that the current System as of the date of this
report presents certain deficiencies of adequate implementation of security
measures that in carrying out these types of projects should be considered as
the minimum standards for guaranteeing the integrity of the system.”
ii.“Quality- In relation to the evaluation
of the quality of the SIEDE, it is necessary to mention that the absence of
manuals of requirements and procedures constitutes an impediment for the
analysis of the project based in metrics of compliance with standards. In the
same way, it is necessary to clarify that the findings of the audit have been
established based on evaluations up to the present date concluding the current
Report, which means that the system could present improvement in the remaining
days before carrying out the electoral process.”
“Relating to the consolidation,
integration and publishing of the results, the auditing was able to observe
problems in the design of the systems and algorithms applied that could affect
their operations in the absence of corrective measures. Dues to this being an
area that affects the transparency of the System, it is a critical element since it could affect the quality of the entire
iii.“In relation to the module of
consolidation, integration and publishing of the results, the audit detected
faults that showed non-compliance with quality standards required for this type
of programs. It is important to emphasize that aspects such as correction,
reliability and efficiency have not been met by these modules up to the
finalizing of the simulations”.
iv.“As far as the publishing of the results,
the audit was able to show design problems that forced a redesign of the
application. For that reason up until the present date, it has not been
possible to carry out an analysis of vulnerabilities since there is not a
definitive version of the program.”
VI-VULNERABILITY OF THE SYSTEM
On an internet page (recovered
November 26th, 2011), are published a series of code sequences in the postgreSQI language, which drives the database used by the SIEDE of the TSE to generate
the structure for the database, tables, fields, etc. which constitute a
fundamental part of the general structure of SIEDE. In the leaked code, you can
see the information regarding three tables: votes, details, candidates and
votes, their fields, and the detail of the relationships and keys for each one.
It is important to note that at the end there is a query showing a search for a candidate with the parameter "Mauricio" and it shows the list of figures (id, first last name) of candidates with the first name “Mauricio," thereby
indicating that whoever uploaded this page to the web had access to the
database registry and not just to the structure.
VII-DECLARATIONS AND REPORTS FROM
INTERNATIONAL ACCOMPANIERS AND OBSERVERS
Baltasar Garzón. “There
were clear indications of manipulation and electoral fraud in last Sunday’s elections
in Honduras. The reach is not determined but there was buying of votes, buying
of credentials, clear influence and attempts to manipulate the electronic count
and the transmission of records,” declared the Spanish ex-judge during a visit
to Paraguay. In Honduras, Garzón was part of an observation mission of the International
Human Rights Federation made up of 11 people from Canada, the United States, Spain,
Colombia, Sweden and Belgium. “We all unanimously verified that there were
clear indications of electoral manipulation and fraud.”
Center. The delegation
was headed by two members of the Friends of the Inter-American Democratic
Charter, the ex-Presidents Carlos Mesa of Bolivia and Martín Torrijos of Panamá
along with Dr. Jennifer McCoy, director of the Americas Program for the Carter
Center. In the press release the delegation expresses that “Vote tallying
continues. A number of parties have questioned one or more aspects of the
process. The delegation believes that it is very important that the
parties make their complaints known to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal in
accordance with the procedures established by electoral law. It trusts
that the Tribunal will resolve these challenges based on the established
of the European Union.
The European Union Mission observes that 30% of the electoral census is not
real. Here is the corresponding part in their preliminary report. “Based on the
Civil Registry and generated together by the National Registry of People and the
TSE, the electoral census has significant problems that constitute a weakness
of the electoral process. There has been no systematic attempt to fix it and
generally it allows that about 30% of its entries correspond to people who have
emigrated or died, while in a smaller number of cases there are citizens who,
though living, have been excluded as dead. In other occasions, there have been
discoveries of unsolicited address changes. While the first cases come from
administrative failures, the accusations of fraudulent address changes were
persistent throughout the electoral period and the European Union Electoral
Observation Mission observers registered credible accusations of that type in
which the National or Liberal Parties were always implicated.”
Today, Leo Gabriel, Austrian
journalist and anthropologist and member of the European Union delegation said
that based on the fraud he observed, it seems that “the European Union prefers
a stable dictatorship to a democracy.”
Juan Bosch Foundation titles
their report, “Elections in Honduras: No to another electoral slaughter in
Latin America.” They say, “Among the things we will see in the current report
are: a) Manipulation of the media; b) repression and intimidation of
international observers and accompaniers, c) Vulnerability of the Honduran
electoral system and the lack of guarantees for a transparent and
equitable competition amongst candidates; d) Multiple anomalies during the
electoral process such as the buying of votes and the trafficking of credentials;
e) Serious anomalies in the process of public scrutiny; f) Unjustified
withholding of 19% of the records retained by the TSE and sent to special
scrutiny without explanation; g) Declaration of 1,000 records won by the LIBRE
party as having inconsistencies; h) Lack of resolution of 611 voting centers to
transmit the results of 983 electoral tables; i) Replacement and adulteration
of the real records; j) Scanning of around 1,800 records that never made it to
the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.” The report concludes saying, “Unfortunately,
the only conclusions one can arrive at after observing and accompanying the Honduran electoral process
are negative. What we were able to observe and verify is a fragile, vulnerable
process lacking a system of consequences for the diverse situations of
irregularity and anomaly that we have exposed. If this is not rectified in
accordance with the essential values of democracy and respect for popular
sovereignty, we are headed down the
slippery slope to what Juan Bosch called the “electoral slaughter” referring to the electoral
processes lived through in the Dominican Republic after 1966, following the
coup d’état in 1963 and the U.S. occupation of 1965-1966. We were also able to
clearly see TSE partiality towards the National Party, ignoring multiple
demands, complaints and denunciations by the LIBRE party and PAC.”
i.To proceed to the revision and
verification, record by record, incorporated to the system, comparing the
summary of the results and physical records of every one of the 16,135
Receiving Electoral Tables at the presidential level and with the presence of
the LIBRE party, thereby processing 100% of the records in accordance with the
ii.To proceed immediately to audit the SIEDE
system through an international post-electoral audit to verify its
vulnerabilities, the alterations and the falsifications of electoral documents
and their results.
iii.To ask for reports about the Electoral
Document called “Credential,” more than 160,000 to those political parties who
didn’t reach in the polls even the number of credentials given to them by the
TSE. Since the credential is an electoral document to accredit the main member
and replacement from each political party, if the political party did not
receive as many votes as people it accredited, it implies that it shared that
public document, received under its responsibility, with members of other
political parties. Therefore, it is an oft-repeated fallacy that the MER is
made up of all of the political parties.
iv.That the Public Ministry through the
Special Prosecutor for Electoral Crimes move to open a file for an
investigation of all of the alterations and falsifications produced in the
process, thereby threatening the will of the people.
v.Finally, we present on the screen, just
one example of MER 11,256 from the Department of Islas de la Bahía, Voting
Center Escuela Marco Aurelio Soto, Municipality of Jose Santos Guardiola, town
of Jose Santos Guardiola. This MER is the one that is on the page of the
Supreme Electoral Tribunal. And the next one is the original that arrived to
the party with all of the signatures of the members of the MER. This is
evidence of the irregularities and the falsifications committed by the system.
From the La Voz de los de Abajo team in Tegucigalpa- 8:45pm
(photos by A. Lanza)
After 5 days of tension and anger over the election results and whitewashing of the election irregularities by some international entities such as the European Union and the U.S. Embassy in Honduras, the LIBRE party presidential candidate Xiomara Castro Zelaya and other LIBRE party officials and activists held a press conference to announce the party’s analysis and plan of action. The room was packed with press and a large number of Libre activists and candidates. For days there had been much debate and speculation over what path the LIBRE Party will take.
Xiomara Castro Zelaya took the stage with Juan Baharona, Julieta Handel and other Libre officials and candidates. She announced that without a recount and audit of all the tallies (actas) they do not accept the results from the TSE and will not recognize any government as legitimate that results from those false election results. “To the streets” “We will defend peacefully in the streets what we have won” ” We will win in the streets and we defeated them at the ballot box!
” We have shown that the victory of LIBRE is the people’s will through their votes and it is being stolen by those who have made the electoral system into a farce..” “Those who kill everyday with hunger, cannot kill our hopes!”
These declarations came after a detailed presentation that included the summary of LIBRE’s own analysis and comparison of TSE data, and original poll summary sheets, with specific examples of inconsistencies and outright, obvious fraud. The report also talked about the data and reports of vote buying, fraudulent buying of credentials for poll judges especially by the National Party, errors in the information on the voter rolls that kept some citizens from voting and facilitated fraud in other cases.
A video of the press conference will be posted soon.
Foto V. Cervantes
Today at about 11:30 pm. Leo Gabriel, an anthropologist and member of the European Union’s Honduran Electoral monitoring team gave a press conference at the airport as the mission was leaving Honduras. Gabriel dissented strongly from the preliminary report issued by the EU which classified the elections as transparent and the fact that the delegates were simply asked to turn in their observation sheets and then the report was issued without consultation with them. Asked to characterize the elections Gabriel replied “Tramposas” which in Spanish means cheating or fraudulent.
The EU delegate spoke for more than 20 minutes, describing numerous examples of observed fraud and irregularities. He also spoke about the problems with the scanning and tabulation of the tally sheets (Actas) by the TSE and stated that he did not have faith in the TSE and its results.
Indigenous leader Berta Cáceres from Civil Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) First interview / Primera entrevista: English - Español Recent Speech / Discurso Recién: English - Español
Rights Action has been doing good reporting and commentary as events unfold and has people on the ground monitoring the situation. They are also a reliable vehicle through which to get money to the organizations fighting for the restoration of democracy in Honduras.
Defensores en línea is the best (Spanish-only) online source for regularly updated information on the violation of human rights in Honduras.
Honduras Laboral is a regularly-updated blog in Spanish with the latest news coming out of Honduras, published by Community Communications.
School of the Americas Watch has good background information on the coup-plotters training at the Georgia-based School of the Americas / (also known as the School of Assasins) as well as news updates on the coup and a call to action.
Honduras Habla is a citizen-media project of Honduras with a variety of news updates and links to good, current information (in Spanish) about the resistance to the coup.
La Voz de los de Abajo is a Chicago-based organization that has been working to organize solidarity with the Honduran resistance and to denounce the coup from within the U.S.. This blog (Honduras Resists) is published and maintained by La Voz de los de Abajo members.
Americas Policy Program have some good coverage and some English translations of interviews, statements and documents about the coup, the international response and the resistance.