Sunday, December 6, 2009

Honduran illegal elections 29/11

The Atmosphere and backdrop to the illegal Honduran election on 29/11

There are military squads posted on all the highways. There were explosive artifacts posted on different points of the capital to generate tension and justify the repression; the regime and its media try to blame the resistance for placing bombs but as well as being pacific they have no strategic reason or the resources to place bombs.

COFADEH (Committee for the Families of the Disappeared) reported that bodies continue appearing in different parts of the country, tortured (with signs of execution by state sponsored death squads) and assassinated.

Channel 36 remained shut down during this period and Radio Globo suffered constant interferences.

For safety (due to hearing of massacre threats from army) and boycott reasons for the Resistance called on everyone to stay at home. There was a march of 300-500 people in San Pedro Sula and some demonstrations in different neighbourhoods.


Q: Since the election was set and called before the coup, does it not make it legitimate?

  • A coup took place. An election without prior restitution of the constitutional president legalises and legitimises the coup and gives way to future coups as well
  • There have been mass repression and human rights since with official death toll being 33 to date. To ignore this and move on allows the repression and human rights violations and impunity to continue, this is not acceptable
  • Electoral laws says military personnel cannot be within a specified distance to the voting centres this was grossly violated.
  • Safe and free campaigning during the campaigning period was not possible with many suspensions of civil liberties and persecution and media closures. Candidates suffered repression, including an independent presidential candidate who belongs to the Resistance was beaten up and had his arm broken by the army during a protest. Candidates opposed to the regime withdrawn.
  • The Supreme Electoral Tribunal is partison to the regime. They announced that anyone boycotting the election can face 4-6 years sentence. There are no mechanisms to legitimately prevent iminent fraud.

Q: Is it not better for peace and for the people economically to 'move on' and let this be a transition to democracy?

No. Accepting this election allows the following and more to continue: military control, no democracy for the masses, plunder of state monies, control by foreign interests, suppression of dissent using violence, impunity, military coups against any president through their policies not serving the interests of those with power and money, abuses of freedom of expression; people have the right to democratically decide their future as a nation, under these conditions only a minority have a say because they manipulate all the government institutions and own most of the media.

Q: They announced there was the historically highest participation rate despite the boycott of the election?

The regime has a history of inventing data with no evidence to back this up such as about the percentage of Hondurans wanting the restitution of president Zelaya, against official published poll results.

The Resistance through their monitoring mechanisms announced that approximately between 60-75 % did not vote, while the Electoral Tribunal (TSE) announced that 62% voted.

Big discrepancies have been pointed out in TSE's own reports. Their initial figures released showed that 38% of the registered voters had voted instead of 62%, they met on 30/11 and then announced that TSE made a mistake when they announced vote totals at 29/11 saying at that point they said 98% of votes had been counted, when only 56% had!

Many people in charge of looking after the voting on the day said not many people came 'I don't know why they didn't come, maybe because they don't agree, or maybe they were scared.' This person counted less than 1/10 of people in the first 3 hours.

An Italian agency ANSA reported that in the first hours they could see people voting in the main city but less people than in the previous years.

After one round of monitoring at 11am it was reported that the centres were calm but marked with absenteesm

They prolonged the election to close at 5pm instead of 4pm out of desperation.

Q: But there were international observers?

International observers with any credibility (Carter Centre, Organisation of American States, European Union, UN, etc) refused to come because by observing the illegal process one is legitimising it. International observers sent were from International Republicans Institute, and National Democrats Institute (via USAID funds), terrorist groups such as UnoAmerica (directed by a right-wing Venezuelan).

And as there was only about 300 registered as observers they were carted from one centre to another. There are over 5370 voting centres.

These same 'international observers' pushed an international journalist physically out of a press conference about election results screaming insults at her for reporting that the elections have not been massive or clean. The aggression came from observer ex-president of El Salvador Armando Calderon Sol, amongst others.

Q: But everyone who did vote wanted to?

In one community Isla Zacate Grande which has 800 families, they were forced to vote by armed but un-uniformed personel. At 2am the security forces launched 2 bombs, and at 5am the soldiers entered with the voting boxes in a car with polarised windows and no number plates, the political parties activists came carrying long machetes. The army had a list of 24 community leaders to persecute and there were home invasions so many leaders had to run away.

Hondurans from a border town Magdalena Intibuca with El Salvador reported people from Arena Party (right wing) of El Salvador were entering to vote.

There was a newspaper advertisement announcing a 40% discount at Go Nunu if when you shop you show your finger has been marked by the indelible ink as evidence that you voted.

Some businesses (eg in fast food) and government departments tod their staff to vote and threatened to fire them if they came to work on Monday without the indelible ink on their fingers.

The union building STIBYS was militarised on election date.

Q. Who won these illegal elections?

With the regime calling for people to participate, and the Resistance calling for people to abstain, and between 65-70% did not vote, abstention won.

According to the data published by the regime controlled Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), the participation rate was 61% and Lobo received about 53% of the votes from those who voted, and Santos 36%. There is no legitimacy in the election or this data.

There are lawsuits being lodged against the TSE and the illegality of the elections.

Repression on and around election day

Many homes and social organisation offices were invaded as part of a persecution campaign. Some marches did take place (eg San Pedro Sula) and these were repressed violently with teargas, water cannon and sticks causing many injuries and there were illegal captures.

Some examples:

Via Campesina suffered another (2nd attack their offices suffered during this regime) violent break-in breaking doors and stealing one of their computers.

Leaders of the National Front Against the Coup are not living normal lives, because they are being persecuted they can't go home, and maintain strict measures of security.

Fausto Arrazola, Francisco Morazan, beaten up and taken away.

In Gualala, Santa Barbara, leaders Leonel Arturo Enamorado, Carlos Antonio Bulnes, Kelin Dario Trejo and Alexander Trejo (human rights defender of FIAN) opposed to the coup regime had their homes invaded and their families threatened.

2 were detained in San Pedro Sula accused of processing 80 bottles of spraypaint that they were not responsible for.

A group of 15 from community Santa Elena, La Paz, were forced to migrate to El Salvador due to political persecution.

Detained: Gustavo Enrique Cabrera, the Secretary General of Service for Peace and Justice for Latin America, on the International Mission of Human Rights Observers, was taken away by the police.

Detained: lawyer Milton Jimenez Puerto at night on 25/11 in Cortes. He had experienced when he was a university student being disappeared for a time and tortured in the 80s by agents of the state.

Heavily armed security forces violently raided Red COMAL (a coalition of small scale farming and women's organisations) in Comayagua 'to search for arms'. They stole 4000 Lempiras ($200), laptop computers, food, phones, photos of protests and ransacked the premises.

A vehicle with 4 people inside driving pass on army squad was told to stop, when they braked, the army fired shots against them, causing 2 to be critically injured: 34 year old Angel Salgado was shot in the head (died days later) and 50 year old woman in the kidney/abdomen. The military interviewed and drove witnesses home. They are not linked to political movements.

20 detained in Santa Barbara. 54 detained in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula.

The police used excessive violence against a citizen giving out leaflets that said 'No to the elections' in a voting centre in Comayaguela, his whereabouts are now unknown.

Q: Which are some of the countries that are betraying Honduran people by recognising these illegal and repressive elections?

U.S., Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Japan, Israel, Taiwan, Germany, Italy, Switzerland..


No comments:

Post a Comment