News Release from the Council Analyzing Human Rights Violations in the Honduran Electoral Process

The general elections of 2013 are taking place in an atmosphere of suspicion, due to the historical experiences of “Honduras-style” electoral processes.

The council of analysis met today. Over the course of the day, we were visited by various respected figures who are part of the International Federation of Human Rights, FIDH, among them Luis Guillermo Pérez Casas and Judge Baltazar Garzon, with whom we shared some of the facts of this electoral process:

1.- The Council recognizes and values ​​the presence of more than one thousand observers and international accompaniers, distributed throughout almost all the departments of the country. Despite this contribution, some have been subjected to intimidation, persecution, and harassment, with a xenophobic slant. This has been the case in the department of Yoro, in a Jesuit Training Center; in nine hotels in Choluteca; in Francisco Morazán; in two hotels in the capital; and in Intibucá, in the community of Rio Blanco. Harassment also occurred in restaurants in Tegucigalpa where some international delegates were present, according to information that has been provided to our council.

2.- The militarization and control of the National Telecommunications Commission, CONATEL, and of media outlets which since the coup have continously published news which isn’t controlled by the groups that participated in the Coup d’etat, such as Radio Globo, GloboTV, and channel 11.

3 – The threats against, illegal detentions of, and intimidation against members of the voting tables and active members of the LIBRE (Liberty and Refoundation) Party by paramilitaries. This has been the case in the municipality of El Paraiso in the department of Copán, and also in the community of San Jeronimo, in the same department, where entry to the community was impeded. In La Union, Lempira, and Ocotepeque, attacks by armed men have also occurred. Also the attack on the members of this party, Julio Ramón Araujo Maradiaga (67) and María Amparo Pineda Duarte ( 52), in Cantarranas, Francisco Morazán, which took the lives of both. We also condemn the attacks on members of other parties, including the attack on Carlenton Dávila , mayoral candidate in Tegucigalpa for the Anticorruption Party (PAC).

4 – The buying and selling of votes and credentials by the National party, even using the Nationalist discount card “let’s work now,” has been observed in many parts of the country. In addition, there have been irregularities in the electoral registry, where people who are alive are listed as deceased, and voters have been transferred without consultation.

5 – Nationalist party activists have been used at the voting centers against some representatives of the LIBRE party. They have warned the LIBRE party members of possible attempts on their lives during or after the elections.

6.- We emphasize the mass participation of voters, despite the context described above. The Honduran population has demostrated enthusiasm, tranquility, serenity, restraint, and determination to exercise their right to vote. This indicates that the Honduran people have no interest in creating a climate of violence. We have called on the Honduran people to exercise their right to vote, and we urge that the conclusion of this process should not be marred by imprudent technological actions.

We also encourage citizens to continue lodging complaints, which we are open to receiving. Our council already has 63 cases, and will proceed to bring the violent cases to justice. We remind the people of Honduras that we are not alone, for we are being accompanied by hundreds of international defenders of human rights here in our country, who are taking note of the injustices and violations of basic rights, so that they can submit timely reports to their respective countries.

To conclude, we reaffirm our demand that human rights are respected, in particular the right to life , integrity, and freedom, rights which are systematically violated in this country.

Tegucigalpa M.D.C. November 24, 2013

The “Council Analyzing Human Rights Violations in the Honduran Electoral Process” consists of: the Union of Workers of the Beverage Industry and Similar Industries (STIBYS); the Visitation Padilla Women’s Movement for Peace; the Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared of Honduras (COFADEH); the Center for Women’s Studies – Honduras (CEM-H); and the Center for Women’s Rights (CDM).

Source: Defensores en Linea (spanish)

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