|Photo Essay: Calling for an end to Election Fraud in Honduras|
Many came to the march directly from the wake of Jose Antonio Ardon, who was assassinated while organizing for this mobilization the day before. Jose Antonio, known as Emo 2, was a well-known member of the resistance and the Libre party, participating in every FNRP and Libre event as part of the motorcycle group. Masked men shot him 4 times on the eve of Libre's first mobilization against the fraudulent elections, sending a clear message to intimidate Libre supporters from speaking out.
As always, the motorcycles led the way, with Jose Antonio noticeably absent.
However, his casket and spirit were with the mobilization on Sunday every step of the way. Speaker after speaker mourned his assassination and pledged to continue the struggle to refound Honduras in his memory. Former President and coordinator of the Libre Party, Mel Zelaya, remembered not only Jose Antonio Ardon but also the over 350 martyrs of the Honduran resistance movement who have been murdered since the 2009 coup. At least 18 Libre candidates and activists alone were murdered prior to the elections. As Zelaya explained, "We don't want murders, we don't want paramilitaries, we don't want death squads in Honduras. We want peace… We have come here in front of the Electoral Tribunal to demand that they stop murdering us."
Numerous international observers have documented irregularities and fraud in the November 24th elections. The front page of the Libertador newspaper, which showed how the TSE website dramatically reduced votes for Libre in tabulating the numbers from one voting certificate, was blown up and carried throughout the mobilization.
Libre flags were everywhere, as were chants of "Xiomara is our President."
Unfortunately, the OAS and US State Department have legitimized the elections and several countries have already recognized Juan Orlando as President, despite the refusal of 2 of the main parties to recognize the results and documented fraud. This sign reads "Countries of the world: Have dignity, Don't accept fraud."
People from all walks of life joined the mobilization, with many of them noting to international observers that they had come at their own expense, out of their own conviction that another Honduras is possible, whereas the ruling National Party paid people to come to its campaign events. One woman shared that her family had always been staunch National Party supporters but even though the National Party paid 100 L per adult and 50 L per child to attend pre-election events, as well as providing food and transportation, nobody in her family voted for the National Party this time around. They do not want a continuation of the violence, economic crisis, and repression that has attacked Honduras the past 4 years and were looking to Libre to make a change.
The consolidation of the National Party's stranglehood over Honduras through fraudulent elections leaves many Hondurans worried about the increased repression and violence about to unleashed upon them. It is clear that the lives of those who stand up against fraud, against militarization, against the turning over of their land to the oligarchy and corporate interests, against the privatization of water and other public goods, and against corporate mining and the poisoning of communities, are in danger.
733 Euclid Street NW
Washington, DC 20001