INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE TO OBSERVE THE ELECTORAL CLIMATE
TEGUC, 29 November, 3:00pm: We are part of a group of approximately 20 U.S. citizens who are in Honduras with the objective of observing the electoral climate in which this electoral process is taking place, with an emphasis on the guarantee of human rights. The other members of the group are currently in different regions of the country, where they are observing the levels of militarization, intimidation and generalized repression.
Currently, five members of our group are suffering the effects of tear gas from the strong police and military repression that began around 1 p.m. this afternoon in the city of San Pedro Sula, where multiple detentions as well as serious injuries are reported. In addition, we have reports from the town of Tocoa that state agents entered the homes of four people to search their homes and subsequently detain them. Members of our delegation are on their way to verify the location of these people. We await further notice of the situation.
Our observations are the following:
Through visits to different organizations here in Tegucigalpa and in Comayagua, Siguatepeque, Tocoa, Choluteca, Puerto Grande, Santa Rosa de Copan, and San Pedro Sula, we have heard testimony of persistent and systematic repression against the general population and especially directed towards the leaders of the National Resistance Front against the Coup. Among the situations which we have witnessed and heard about, are: raids on homes, especially those of community leaders and grassroots organizations, persecution, physical aggression, threats, intimidations and detentions of leaders, especially youth leaders, and the general populace. We have also heard of intimidation and the threat of criminal charges and the suspension of community projects such as the distribution of water, against those who refuse to vote. In in attempts to coerce people to vote, monetary and material bribes are being offered.
We have recently received information from various communities here in Tegucigalpa such as Colonia Villa Nueva, La Kennedy, and Hato de Enmedio, as well as from other communities in the interior of the country such as Tocoa, Santa Rosa de Copan, and San Pedro Sula, informing us that in these places there are more police and civil custodians of the polling places than there are voters.
In addition, we denounce the fact that judicial organisms responsible for receiving reports and habeas corpus are closed, and this worries us, since this is not only a violation of due process and the very Constitution of the Republic but also indicates a grave crisis of governability since the majority of these crimes are politically-motivated crimes committed by state security forces against the population that is in resistance to the de facto regime.
For these reasons, we call upon our President, upon the Department of State and all government officials to NEITHER RECOGNIZE this electoral process nor the results thereof since recognition of these would be to support another act of an illegitimate regime and an attack against the will of the Honduran people, against due process and against the very construction of democracy.