The elections held in Honduras on November 29 were inherently flawed. Tens of thousands of troops and police officers manned polling stations and even distributed electoral literature. These forces have been responsible for killings, rapes, beatings, and detentions of people opposed to the coup. Media reports cited many people who said they did not vote out of fear.*
But many Americans don’t know what’s really going on because the U.S. press hasn’t been reporting it. Can you help us spread the word by sending a letter to your local newspaper? You can find an editable sample letter and a tool for sending it to your local paper at this link:
The climate of repression in which the flawed elections took place included human rights abuses and violence on election day and the days before. Authorities raided the homes of people opposed to the coup; assaulted a march in the city of San Pedro Sula using beatings, tear gas, and water cannons; and detained many people simply for gathering in groups of more than four. The coup regime silenced broadcasts of media outlets that have criticized the coup. These violations were condemned by major human rights organizations including Amnesty International.
It appears that the Honduran electoral authority, the Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE), may have grossly inflated participation figures for the elections. The official electoral observation organization, Fundacion Hagamos Democracia, while obtaining roughly the same results as the TSE elsewhere in its polling, put the participation rate at 47.6%, as opposed to the 61.3% rate presented by the TSE.
The U.S. government is wrong to recognize these elections as legitimate, and is alienating us from Brazil and other allies who see the elections as consolidating the success of a coup. Honduras needs new, free and fair, elections — not held under a coup government — to move forward and have a recognized government. Such elections would be overseen by independent electoral observers — unlike those on November 29 — and would be recognized by the both the international community and the Honduran people.
Thank you for all you do to help bring about a just foreign policy.
Robert Naiman, Chelsea Mozen, Megan Iorio, and Sarah Burns
Just Foreign Policy
* “Honduran Elections Marred by Police Violence, Censorship, International Non-Recognition, CEPR Co-Director Says,” Press Release, Center for Economic and Policy Research, November 30, 2009, <www.cepr.net/index.php/press-releases/press-releases/honduran-elections-marred-by-violence/>.
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