Saturday, November 30, 2013

Xiomara: We will defeat them in the streets!

English translation of Xiomara Castro de Zelaya's speech 11/29/2013 
Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Video original del discurso de Presidenta Xiomara Castro de Zelaya el 29 de noviembre, 2013 en español: Parte 1 / Parte 2

Good evening.

Members of the national and international press,
Sisters and brothers of struggle,
People of Honduras,
Beloved comrades,

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 Honduras.

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.

Chanting: Xiomara! Xiomara! Xiomara!

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.

LIBRE DETAILS ELECTORAL FRAUD - English translation of original communiqué

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








The 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.     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 Party.
e.     13,307 votes not counted for other parties.

                                             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 corresponding MER.

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.


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).

The 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.


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 MER members.

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 single vote.


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 SIEDE.

                                            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.”


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.


Judge 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.”

Carter 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 norms.”

Mission 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.”

The 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 law.

                                             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.

Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Nobember 29th, 2013
Party of Freedom and Re-Foundation (LIBRE)

Friday, November 29, 2013

LIBRE does not accept the official election results

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. 

Breaking News: Dissident member of the European Union Electoral Mission speaks out against fraudulent elections.

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.  

Foto V. Cervantes

Canadian Electoral Observers Question the Legitimacy of Honduran Election Results

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 practices.

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 place.   

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

Article: Delegación internacional, CNTC denuncian asesinatos, irregularidades en proceso electoral

Por Sandra Cuffe

Representantes de una delegación internacional de La Voz de los de Abajo anunciaron esta mañana, 28 de noviembre, ante medios nacionales e internacionales, que la Red de Solidaridad con Honduras no ratifica los resultados oficiales del Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE), denunciando irregularidades, intimidaciones y asesinatos en el proceso electoral.
“Estamos preocupados por la violencia y el acoso contra la oposición política, los defensores de derechos humanos, campesinos y comunidades indígenas,” manifestó Vicki Cervantes, miembra de La Voz de los de Abajo, dando lectura a un informe preliminar de las observaciones de la delegación de observación electoral patrocinada por la Red de Solidaridad con Honduras (HSN, por sus siglas en inglés).

La delegación de La Voz de los de Abajo llegó al país el 15 de noviembre, señaló Alexy Lanza, y con una visión hacia la justicia social, ha venido acompañando el proceso democrático antes, durante y después de las elecciones. El grupo de Chicago forma parte de la HSN, que coordinó la presencia de más de 170 observadores electorales acreditados por el TSE.

Les acompañaban a los integrantes de la delegación internacional en la sede del Comité de Familiares de los Detenidos-Desaparecidos de Honduras (COFADEH), miembros del Central Nacional de Trabajadores Campesinos (CNTC), quienes denunciaron dos casos de asesinatos que se han dado en estos días.

“Estamos aquí para aprovechar el espacio y condenar a la vez los crímenes que se han dado en los últimos días,” dijo Franklin Almendares, Secretario General del CNTC.

Denunció los asesinatos el día 23 de noviembre, el día antes de las elecciones, de María Amparo Pineda Duarte y Julio Ramón Araujo Maradiaga en el municipio de Cantarranas, Francisco Morazán. Pineda Duarte era Presidente de la Cooperativa El Carbón, de la cual era miembro también Araujo Maradiaga.

María Amparo Pineda Duarte fue asesinada el 23 de noviembre, junto a Julio Ramón Araujo Maradiaga en el municipio de Cantarranas, Francisco Morazán
“Ellos sufrieron amenazas desde hace mucho tiempo,” apuntó Almendares, señalando que unas amenazas provenían de un regidor del Partido Nacional en el municipio que pretende ser dueño de la tierra, a pesar de que la cooperativa obtuvo su título en el 2002. También avisó que los asesinatos de los integrantes de la Cooperativa El Carbón pudieran tener una vinculación política. “Los compañeros eran líderes del Partido Libertad y Refundación del sector de Cantarranas, departamento de Francisco Morazán,” dijo.

Ocurrió otro caso, denunció Almendares. El 27 de noviembre fue asesinado y decapitado Gilberto Lara del grupo campesino de La Laguna, en el departamento de Santa Bárbara. “Como CNTC, hemos tenido, después del golpe de Estado, más de 103 compañeros y compañeras que han sido asesinados y queremos que esto no se quede en la impunidad,” añadió.

“Son personas que son olvidadas,” dijo Florencia López, una familiar de María Amparo Pineda Duarte. “Estamos aquí para pedir justicia”.

La Voz de los de Abajo observó más de 100 mesas electorales en la zona norte, con una presencia en Yoro, Copán, Colón, Ocotepeque, Lempira y Santa Bárbara. Otro grupo se quedó en Tegucigalpa. Sus observadores fueron testigos de la compra de votos de distintas maneras, una intimidación de observadores y acompañantes electorales, y actos de violencia e intimidación.

La delegación misma fue sometida a una redada por agentes de migración al terminar una capacitación oficial de observación electoral por parte del TSE en El Progreso. “Durante la redada, los observadores fueron intimidados y algunos fueron amenazados con la deportación,” según el informe preliminar de la organización. Grupos de Alemania, El Salvador y Brasil también reportaron hostigamientos por arte de agentes de migración, destacó Cervantes.

Debido a las amenazas y violencia antes y durante las elecciones, las discrepancias en los datos de conteo, y el hecho de que no han sido procesados todos los votos, la Red de Solidaridad con Honduras informó que no puede ratificar los resultados oficiales que han sido anunciados por el TSE. De igual forma, los representantes de La Voz de los de Abajo cuestionaron el silencio de los medios en cuanto a los asesinatos y actos de intimidaciones que se dieron en el contexto electoral.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Violence and Intimidation during Honduran Elections - Campesinos Murdered

Delegacion de observadores del Honduras Solidarity Nework atestiguio graves iregularidades y no ratifica los resultados oficiales del Tribunal Supremo Electoral de Honduras

From Honduras Solidarity Network Election Observation and Human Rights Monitoring

Delegacion de observadores del Honduras Solidarity Nework atestiguio  graves iregularidades y no ratifica los resultados oficiales del Tribunal Supremo Electoral de Honduras


Reporte Preliminar de la Delegacion de Honduras Solidarity Network Sobre Las Elecciones
26 de noviembre, 2013
Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Este informe es un resumen preliminar de las observaciones basada en los reportes de la delegación de observación electoral patrocinado por la Red  de Solidaridad con Honduras [Honduras Solidarity Network] / Alianza para la Justicia Global [Alliance for Global Justice] con base en los Estados Unidos.. La delegación HSN / AGJ fue compuesto de 166 acompañantes internacionales acreditados y capacitados a través del Tribunal Supremo Electoral de Honduras. Nuestros delegados de observación electoral se organizaron en dos zonas, uno en Tegucigalpa y otro en el Norte con una presencia en Progreso, Copán, Colón, Ocotepeque, Lempira y Santa Bárbara. Esta es nuestra declaración pública inicial relacionada al trabajo en la zona norte, donde se observó al menos 100 mesas de votación (MER).

Nuestro meta fue el de acompañar al pueblo Hondureño en su proceso electoral en su búsqueda de la justicia social en su país. Nos ha quedado claro que nuestra limitada presencia – y la presencia de observadores electorales en general – no garantiza que una elección justa se celebraría. Las elecciones se llevaron a cabo dentro de un contexto dentro del cual los grupos internacionales y hondureños de derechos humanos han expresado su alarma por las condiciones que podrían impedir la posibilidad de elecciones justas y libres. Estamos preocupados por la violencia y el acoso contra la oposición política, los defensores de derechos humanos, campesinos y comunidades indígenas.

Primero que nada, sin excepción, nuestros delegados observaron un gran número de hondureños presentarse a los comicios y participar de buena fe en el proceso electoral. En muchos centros de votación, los trabajadores de todos los partidos cooperaron en emisión de votos pacífica y ordenada. Fue reconfortante presenciar el nivel de compromiso a la elección como una expresión de la voluntad popular. Sin embargo, esta manifestación alentadora de posibilidades de Honduras se vio opacado por la violencia, la intimidación y el pleno fraude, todo lo cual quedó casi totalmente sin reportarse en los medios hondureños e internacionales. A pesar de la disponibilidad pública y temprana de esta información durante la jornada electoral, nos quedamos desconcertados por el silencio ensordecedor de ciertos grupos de observadores internacionales y de la Embajada de EE.UU. en cuanto a los siguientes hechos y sus consecuencias obvias sobre los resultados electorales anunciadas por el TSE:

1.    La compra de votos – Muchos de nuestros delegados fueron simplemente sorprendidos al ver representantes de los partidos abiertamente recompensando a los votantes hondureños con cantidades de efectivo entre L100-L500. Esta práctica se extendió tan ampliamente que hemos podido documentarlo en una media docena de formas. La forma más común, sin embargo, era de tomar una foto de la propia boleta de uno y, presumiblemente, de enviarlo, o mostrar al funcionario del partido correspondiente. Más de un par de votantes no lograron apagar sus luces de las cámaras y llamaron la atención indebida a sí mismos, mientras que permanecían en la cabina de votación.

2.    Hemos observado que las MER se formaban por personas de partidos distintos de los que representaban en las MER. En una ocasión, en la mesa # 15261, los miembros MER votaron para descalificar a otro miembro, ya que este anunció públicamente que iba a votar por un candidato diferente del partido al que representaba en la MER. A partir de la redacción de este informe, la Acta de la mesa # 15261 aún queda por ser ingresado en el conteo final del TSE.

3.    Actos Violentos y la intimidación
  • En la noche anterior de las elecciones, María Amparo Pineda Eduarte y Julio Ramón Araujo Maradiaga de Cantarranas, Francisco Morazán, fueron emboscados por hombres armados y encapuchados cuando regresaban de una capacitación de los trabajadores electorales. Ambos habían reportado a la policía que habían recibido repetidas amenazas de muerte, pero éstos fueron sistemáticamente desatendidas.
  • En la ciudad de Lempira , Departamento de Gracias a Dios, cinco personas fueron asesinadas, y los medios de comunicación dicen que es violencia relacionada al narcotráfico. Esta violencia ocurrió en la mañana del día de la elecciones, 24 de noviembre. Las autoridades cerraron el centro de votación, lo que altera en gran medida el acceso de las personas a votar.
  •  Nuestros observadores recibieron el testimonio de dos trabajadores electorales fuera de un centro de votación en Santa Rosa, que fueron agredidos y sus credenciales de la MER fueron robados. 
  • 50 trabajadores MER estuvieron secuestrados por hombres armados y enmascarados en un hotel en Paraíso, Copán hasta las 9:00 am, aparentemente con el objetivo de evitar su integración en las MER. Nuestros observadores registraron entrevistas directamente con dos de estos trabajadores.  Durante la entrevista con nuestros observadores, los trabajadores recibieron una llamada anónima diciendo: “¿Todavía estás en la ciudad? Será mejor que salga”.
4.      Intimidación de Observadores Electorales / Acompañantes
  • Durante la semana antes de las elecciones, un grupo de nuestros observadores fue bloqueado temporalmente al visitar a un grupo de campesinos que han sido víctimas de la violencia política extrema y la represión en su oposición al Proyecto de Agua Zarca.  Un grupo de empleados de la Corporación DESA dijeron a nuestros observadores del HSN / AGJ en forma intimidante, que si pasaban el control de carretera, que “nunca dejarán” la zona. Sin detenerse frente a estas amenazas, los delegados continuaron, con nerviosismo, a pie hasta su destino, donde pasaron la noche.
  • Nuestras observadores en Progreso fueron sometidos a una redada por agentes de inmigración de Honduras a momentos de terminar una capacitación oficial de observación electoral por parte de representantes del Tribunal Supremo Electoral. Durante la redada, los observadores fueron intimidados y algunos fueron amenazados con la deportación. El ataque no sólo intimidó a los observadores, también retrasó nuestro horario de manera que nos vimos obligados a omitir aspectos importantes de nuestro programa de capacitación.
  • No éramos la única delegación que sufrió este tipo de acciones represivas. Grupos de Alemania, El Salvador, y Brasil también reportaron hostigamientos por parte de agentes de inmigración, a pesar de haber sido acreditados por el Tribunal Supremo Electoral, y tener sus papeles migratorios en orden.
Las observaciones formuladas por los delegados y delegadas de la Red de Solidaridad con Honduras fueron hechas de buena fe por personas que voluntariamente sirvieron como testigos durante todo el proceso electoral.  Debido a la extensa lista de amenazas y violencia antes y durante las elecciones, y debido a las revelaciones hora por hora de más discrepancias en los datos de los conteos de votos (actas), y teniendo en cuenta el hecho de que el 20% de los votos está en manos del Tribunal Supremo Electoral, el Red de Solidaridad con Honduras, en buena conciencia, no podemos ratificar los resultados oficiales, ya que han sido anunciados por el Tribunal Supremo Electoral.

Seguimos de pie con el pueblo hondureño en defensa de sus derechos humanos y de su lucha por construir una Honduras que proporciona una vida mejor para todos

Delegation of observers from the Honduras Solidarity Network testify to grave irregularities and does not ratify the official results the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Honduras

From Honduras Solidarity Network Election Observation and Human Rights Monitoring

Release:  Delegation of observers from the Honduras Solidarity Network testify to grave irregularities and does not ratify the official results the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Honduras

Preliminary Report of the Delegation of Honduras Solidarity Network regarding the Honduran Elections of 2013
November 26, 2013
Tegucigalpa, Honduras

This report is a preliminary summary of observations based on the accounts from the US-based Honduras Solidarity Network / Alliance for Global Justice election observation delegation. The HSN/AGJ delegation was comprised of 166 International Accompaniers accredited and trained through the Honduran Supreme Electoral Tribunal. Our election observation delegates were organized into two zones, one in Tegucigalpa and one in the North with a presence in Progreso, Copan, Colon,  Ocotopeque,  Lempira, and Santa Barbara.  This is our initial public statement regarding the work in the northern zone where we observed at least 100 voting tables (MER).

Our goal was to accompany the people of Honduras in their electoral process as they seek social justice in their country. We have been clear that our limited presence – and the presence of election observers in general – cannot guarantee that a fair election would be held. The elections took place within a context where international and Honduran human rights groups have expressed alarm at conditions that could prevent the possibility of fair and free elections. We are concerned by the violence and harassment against the political opposition, human rights defenders, small farmers and indigenous communities.

First of all, without exception, our delegates observed a grand number of Hondurans going to the polls and participating in good faith in the electoral process. In many polling places, workers from all parties cooperated in a peaceful and orderly casting of ballots. It was reassuring to witness the level of commitment to the election as an expression of the popular will. However, this heartening manifestation of Honduras’s possibilities was overshadowed by violence, intimidation and outright fraud, all of which went almost completely unreported in the Honduran and international media. Despite the public availability of this information early on Election Day, we are left baffled by the deafening silence of international observer groups and also the U.S. Embassy regarding the following events and their obvious and explicit impacts upon the electoral results.
  1. Vote buying – Many of our delegates were simply shocked to see party representatives overtly reward voting Hondurans with cash amounts between L100-L500. This practice was so wide spread that we were able to document it in a half dozen forms. The most common form witnessed, however, was taking a photo of one’s own ballot and presumably sending it, or showing it to the responsible party official. More than a couple voters failed to turn off their camera flashes and drew undue attention to themselves while in the voting booth.

  2. We observed that MERs tables were often comprised of people from different parties than the one they represented on the MMERs. In one occasion, at table #15261, MMERs members voted to disqualify another member because she publicly announced that she would vote for a candidate different from the party she was representing at the MMER. As of the writing of this report, the Acta for table #15261 still remains to be entered in the TSE count.

  3. Violent Acts and Intimidation
  • On the eve of the election, Maria Amparo Pineda Eduarte and Julio Ramon Araujo Maradiaga from Cantarranas, Francisco Morazan were ambushed by masked gunmen as they returned from an electoral worker training. Both had reported to police that they had received repeated death threats, but these were consistently unattended.

  • In the city of Lempira in the department of Gracias a Dios, five people were killed, the media calling it narco-trafficking violence. This violence happened in the morning of Election Day. The authorities closed the polling station thereafter, largely disrupting the people’s access to polls.

  • Our delegates received testimony from two poll workers outside a polling station in Santa Rosa who were assaulted and their MMERs credentials were stolen.

  • 50 MER workers were held captive by armed, masked men in a hotel in Paraiso, Copan until 9:00AM, ostensibly with the goal of preventing their integration into the MMERs tables. Our observers recorded first person interviews with two of these workers. In the middle of the interview, the workers received an anonymous phone call saying, “You’re still in town? You better leave.”
  1. State intimidation of Election Observers/Accompaniers
  • During the week before the election, a group of our delegates was temporarily blocked from visiting a group of campesinos who have been the victims of extreme political violence and repression in their opposition to the Agua Zarca Project. HSN/AGJ delegates were ominously told by a group of employees from the DESA Corporation that if they passed the road block, they would “never leave” the area. Unimpeded by these threats, delegates nervously continued on foot to their destination, where they spent the night.

  • Our delegations in Progreso were subjected to a raid by Honduran immigration agents when we had just been given a official electoral observation training by TSE Trainers. During the raid, our delegates were subjected to harassment and some were threatened with deportation. The raid not only sent a shock through our delegate corps, but also delayed our schedule so that we were forced to skip important aspects of our training schedule.

  • We were not the only delegation to suffer this type of repressive action. Groups from Germany, El Salvador, Brazil also reported harassment by immigration agents, despite having been accredited by the TSE, and their immigration papers in order.
The aforementioned observations made by HSN delegates were made in good faith by people who voluntarily served as witnesses to the entire electoral process.  Given the extensive list of threats and violence before and during the election, and given the hourly revelations of discrepancies in the data on the vote tallies (Acts), and considering the fact that 20% of the votes are held by the TSE, the Honduras Solidarity Network cannot and will not in good conscience join in the rubber stamp endorsement of the results as they have been announced by the TSE.

We continue to stand with the Honduran people in defense of their human rights and of their struggle to build a Honduras that provides a better life for everyone.

Video: LGBT in Honduras, and interview with LGBT leader Pepe Palacios post-election day

From HSN Election Observation and Human Rights Monitoring

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans people in Honduras face several challenges: one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, a murder rate that is the highest in the world, brutal opposition by the Catholic and Protestant churches and their allies in the government.

The United States is far from blameless in this situation. In this short film, LGBT Honduran leader Pepe Palacios explains why.

Filmed by Andy Thayer as part of the Honduran Equality Delegation, the first LGBTI-focused solidarity delegation to visit Honduras. Andy is a co-founder of the Gay Liberation Network, a multi-issue LGBTI direct action group


Video: Military Intimidation of the Media During Honduran Elections

From HSN Election Observation and Human Rights Monitoring

Video from the Honduran Equality Delegation: Systemic intimidation of the media accompanied vote theft in this year’s Honduran elections, the first contested ones since a U.S.-supported coup.

From Telesur: Students in Honduras take to the streets to demand vote recount

From Telesur: Estudiantes de Honduras toman las calles para exigir reconteo de votos

November 26:
Estudiantes hondureños manifestaron este martes frente a la Universidad Autónoma en Tegucigalpa para exigir al Tribunal Supremo Electoral que se respete la voluntad del pueblo expresada en las elecciones generales del pasado domingo.

Los estudiantes hondureños realizaron una manifestación este martes para denunciar lo que consideran un fraude electoral cometido en las sufragios generales celebradas este domingo  y pidieron a las autoridades del Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE) el reconteo de los votos.
Pedimos al TSE ''conteo y comparación de actas, que el TSE sea investigado'' es decir'', sus cuentas bancarias en Miami sus cuentas bancarias en suiza'' denunció un estudiante que participaba en la manifestación realizada en la Universidad Autónoma en la ciudad de Tegucigalpa.
Por otro lado, otro estudiante de sociología indicó que en esta manifestación los estudiantes exigen que se respete el derecho soberano, el derecho a la democracia''.

Asimismo, acotó que '' el domingo el pueblo tomó una decisión'' y ''Xiomara Castro es la presidenta de Honduras pero como siempre la oligarquía sigue atacando al pueblo'' pero ''vamos a defender la decisión del pueblo''.

Este lunes, el Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE) de Honduras emitió un último boletín electoral que confirma que la tendencia de los votos escrutados es "irreversible", colocando al Partido Nacional y su candidato Juan Hernández, a la cabeza de la contienda con 34,08 por ciento y un total de 774 mil 757 de los votos.

Luego de haberse procesado los votos de 67,72 por ciento de las Mesas Electorales Receptoras (MER), la candidata del Partido Libertad y Refundación (Libre), Xiomara Castro, continúa en segundo lugar con 623 mil 080 votos (28,92 por ciento).

Se espera que para este martes concluya la totalización de las actas.
Pese a esto, el expresidente hondureño, Manuel Zelaya (2006-2009), ha denunciado que durante la jornada electoral de este domingo en su país se pudo comprobar la violación del Acuerdo para la Reconciliación Nacional y la consolidación del Sistema Democrático en la República de Honduras, también conocido como Acuerdo de Cartagena, por parte del Gobierno nacional.

El líder del Partido Libertad y Refundación (Libre) sostiene que la administración del actual presidente, Porfirio Lobo, ha manipulado los resultados electorales en favor de su candidato, al igual como desde 2011 ha incumplido los compromisos suscritos en Cartagena, luego del golpe de Estado contra el propio Zelaya, el 28 de junio de 2009.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Press Release: National Lawyers Guild Observers Question Validity of Honduran Elections

From the National Lawyers Guild website : Press Release - NLG

November 26, 2013
Contact: Tasha Moro, Communications Coordinator
212-679-5100, ext. 15 |

The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) delegation of 17 credentialed international observers seriously question the validity of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal’s (TSE) preliminary results of Sunday’s national elections in Honduras.

The NLG takes issue with the United States government’s characterization of the electoral process as transparent, given the country's recent and pervasive human rights violations: “U.S. government officials should refrain from assessing the validity of the election at this early stage and instead insist on protecting the rights of Honduran civil society,” NLG President Azadeh Shahshahani stated. The U.S. has been widely criticized for its early and nearly unilateral endorsement of the 2009 post-coup election, which took place during a period of brutal repression reminiscent of the violence of the 1980s.

NLG observers expressed alarm about consolidation of power over the electoral process by the National Party, which has controlled the judiciary, the military, and the Congress since the 2009 military coup. Militarization of the electoral process included soldiers patrolling each polling center and allegedly transporting ballots.

Additional irregularities were observed throughout the country, including allegations that smaller parties’ credentials were sold to National Party supporters for a seat at the voting tables (a TSE official has verified this). This threatens the integrity of the election process as individuals staffing the voting tables were in charge of counting ballots at the end of the day. There were also reports of the distribution of gratuities to National Party supporters. The NLG also documented inconsistencies with voter rolls and vote tabulations.

Two opposition parties, LIBRE and PAC, have called into question the transmission of vote counts to the electoral tribunal. They claim a substantial discrepancy between the numbers reported to the TSE and those reported to their parties.

The NLG noted a strong will and enthusiasm among Hondurans to participate in the electoral process despite a pervasive climate of fear and intimidation surrounding opposition party members and observers. Over the weekend, two LIBRE party activists were murdered, while two other deaths and three injuries were reported near a voting center in the Moskitia region. In addition, international observers reported multiple incidents of intimidation by state actors in the days leading up to the elections.
Related Posts with Thumbnails