From: Common Frontiers Canada
November 25, 2013
After careful consideration of our own observations of the electoral
process in Honduras we find the presidential elections to be
inconsistent with democratic principles and rife with fraudulent
We are not surprised that the LIBRE party rejected the preliminary projections of the Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE).
The context in which these elections occurred is extremely
important. Honduras is a country of about 8.2 million people, the vast
majority of whom live in abject poverty. Underemployment currently
affects 57% of the economically active population. There are 4
billionaires in this impoverished country who own virtually all major
commercial interests, including almost all the mass media. Honduras is
also referred to by many as a “narco-state”, meaning most politicians
and military leaders are closely aligned with drug traffickers who use
Honduras as their primary trans-shipment point for cocaine from South
America. These people also have tremendous financial resources. It is
also important to note that the TSE of Honduras is comprised of members
of the National and Liberal parties (the two parties who have shared
power in Honduras for the last one hundred years) but not the LIBRE
party and therefore cannot be considered neutral or impartial. In
addition, there are no limits to electoral spending by political parties
this favours those parties with large financial resources.
It is against these overwhelming powerful interests and tremendous
obstacles that the opposition or resistance movement of Honduras has
struggled for many years, and especially in the past 4 years since the
military coup. The LIBRE party was born out of this struggle.
In visiting various voting centers in and around Tegucigalpa we
witnessed evidence to support their claims of electoral irregularities.
In numerous locations we bore witness to the open contempt aimed at
opposition parties by electoral officials at the voting centers. The
Party LIBRE, in particular, was denounced as being politically naive
and, in addition, a threat to democracy.
At the municipality of Ojojona we were met by an official who
identified himself as being in charge of the voting centre, despite the
fact that his ID card indicated he was only a “vocale”, a support person
at one of the voting tables. This official described himself as a US
citizen and former navy seal with considerable land holdings in the
area. He proclaimed his disdain for the LIBRE party stating, “we don’t
want those commies here”. He went on to publicly express his “strong
support” for the ruling National party. His conduct was visibly approved
and condoned by the military police, present at the voting center.
At a nearby voting station in Santa Ana, security forces demanded
details of our identification in an open attempt at intimidation
regardless of the fact of our official status which was openly
displayed. There were several complaints from voters shared with our
delegation of attempts to purchase votes; there were complaints that the
National party was doing this at numerous polling stations. In the
community of El Aguacatal there was no “custodio” or person in charge of
the voting center; a soldier had taken his place. In Surco de Cana
there was no cellphone signal, and the custodio in charge did not know
how to send the voting results which normally would be electronically
transmitted to the central TSE office.
Observers from our delegation were concerned when visiting a polling
station in La Joya, a barrio in Tegucigalpa where voters complained that
serious infractions of voting rights had occurred. Members of the
National party, it was claimed, were permitted entrance to the voting
rooms while members of other parties had been loudly and publicly
prohibited. At this particular polling station our accredited observers
were harassed by TSE officials, supported by military personal, who
demanded we refrain from observing ballot counting, which is a critical
part of our obligations to ensure electoral fraud does not take
In the days leading up to the elections, there were numerous reports
of intimidation by Honduran security forces. Masked men with guns
presumed to be military police surrounded LIBRE party headquarters on
John F Kennedy Boulevard for one hour, two days before the elections,
and members of our delegation were present and observed the fear and
anger of LIBRE party members. On the night of November 23 Maria Amparo
Pineda Eduarte, a peasant Leader of Cooperativa el Carbón a member of
the Central Nacional de Trabajadores del Campo (CNTC), and president of a
polling station for the LIBRE party in Cantarranas was assassinated
along with Julio Ramón Araujo Maradiaga after leaving a polling station
training. Many other such incidents have been documented elsewhere.
We urge the Canadian government not to recognize the results of the
Honduran elections. There must be an opportunity to do a full,
transparent, accurate count, and fully investigate the many reports of
irregularities, intimidation and threats by authorities.
-Traducción en español
-read earlier reports from the international observers
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