In the last few days, tens of thousands of Hondurans have taken to the streets to protest voter fraud and escalating state-sponsored violence after the presidential election on 26 November. Trade unionists, including our partners, FESTAGRO, have been among those at the forefront of the protests. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has reported that they have received preliminary information on the deaths of 11 Hondurans during the protests that have gripped the streets since the election crisis began.
Reports indicate incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernández to be in the lead in the election vote counting, despite significant irregularities and widespread objections to his qualifications to run for a second term. International media has reported mysterious computer crashes and ballot-rigging from the ruling party, which handpicks members of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal. The OAS and EU have voiced their support for a partial recount of ballots cast, in addition to calling on both major candidates to reach an agreement on a process to review alleged irregularities in the election.
A FESTAGRO member at an anti-fraud demonstration.
In the past week, the Honduran government has suspended constitutional rights and ordered security forces to arrest anyone breaching the curfew, including journalists. Recent reports, however, suggest that national police are now refusing to enforce a curfew after days of deadly violence.
The ITUC 2017 Global Rights Index ranks Honduras among those countries in which there is no guarantee of rights, and is among eleven countries in which trade unionists have been murdered in the past year. Global Witness reported earlier this year that seven activists had been murdered since that of environmental activist Berta Cáceres in March last year, and that over 120 activists have been murdered since 2010.
Banana Link and partners are currently campaigning against the systematic abuse of labour rights at a subsidiary of Fyffes in Honduras, as part of the Freedom & Fairness for Fyffes Workers campaign.
Protestors in Tegucigalpa, Honduras (REL-UITA)