Election Updates

December 6, 2017
COPINH: Lenca people demand Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH) step down immediately!

*SOA Watch fully reproduces the statement made by the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH in Spanish)

For over a week, the people have defended in the streets the will that they expressed at the polls. The flagrant theft that they want to carry out through fraud is undeniable. The people know it and the international community should understand that the narrow interests of Juan Orlando Hernández (JOH) and the elite powers that he represents alone are maintaining the crisis by refusing to accept defeat.

It has been clearly demonstrated how the leadership of the National Party, which includes the President of the Supreme Electoral Council David Matamoros, have committed fraud in the presidential elections in order to illegally keep themselves power. Therefore, results from this institution are not and will not be reliable nor in any way credible, and the people have shown as much in the streets.

COPINH is clear that the hundreds of mobilizations, highway blockades, peaceful protests and expressions of resistance go beyond this electoral process. They represent a cry of the people as a whole to move beyond the hatred, violence and submissiveness that have characterized the years of JOH’s government and his other coup-supporting predecessors, years inundated with corruption, impunity, assassinations, approval of spurious laws, handing over of territories, illegal concessions, and poverty and hunger for the majority.

The struggle in the territories and in the streets is the key action in these moments and must continue. The dignity and strength of the people’s struggle in the streets is what has led the National Police and the COBRA forces to set down the arms they were using against the people. We salute this dignified action and call on the armed forces and other repressive state bodies to understand their role as part of the people and respect the actions of that people.

It is clear that the call in the streets is not just about recognizing the obvious electoral victory of Salvador Nasralla, but is above all the cry of the Honduran people to say JOH MUST GO! It is no longer about him recognizing the victory, it is about him stepping down from the presidency and thereby ending the crisis to which our Honduras has been subjected.

COPINH calls on the international community to take all pertinent measures to ensure that JOH’s desperation to maintain power does not lead to more spilling of blood by the Honduran people.

As such, the Lenca people, organized in COPINH demand that:
– JOH’s government immediately hand over the presidency to a temporary government of national consensus until January 27th, 2018, the day in which Salvador Nasralla will be seated as President.
– The resistance in favor of recognition of the people’s will as expressed at the polls strengthen and consolidate through territorial organization.
– That the international community take a side and activate the pertinent mechanisms so that JOH’s desperation to maintain power does not lead to further spilling of blood by the Honduran people.

For the blood shed by Berta Cáceres and all of our ancestors, we demand justice! We demand that end of this killer regime! With the ancestral strength of Berta, Iselaca, Etempica and Mota we raise our voices full of Life, Justice and Peace.

Take action in solidarity with the people of Honduras TODAY.  The United States has financed and propped up the Juan Orlando Hernandez regime for far too long and bears responsibility for the murders of those who are simply demanding that the official election results reflect how people actually voted.  

Here are several ways to take action:

1. Call the State Department Honduras Desk at  202-736-7660 TODAY and demand the State Department publicly denounce fraud and repression in Honduras and request that the US not recognize the outcome of the elections until there is a transparent process that meets the demands of the Opposition Alliance

(*Note: the Honduras Desk phone number is different from the one published in previous calls to action).

Sample message: ‘My name is ______, and I am calling to urge the State Department to speak out against election fraud and violent repression in Honduras. I am extremely upset that people protesting against fraud have been murdered by the US financed security forces and urge the State Department to suspend US aid to Honduras as well as condemn the violence by state security forces and the massive irregularities in the election results.  The US should not recognize the outcome of the elections unless there is a transparent process that satisfies the demands of the Opposition Alliance with regards to transparency and review of votes, especially in areas where there appears to be inflated vote turnout.’  

2. Tweet at the State Department or post on their facebook page: Call on the US to denounce fraud and violent repression following the elections in Honduras, demand the immediate suspension of aid to Honduras, and demand accountability for the US financing of repression and murder in Honduras.  Twitter: @StateDept, @WHAAsstSecty@WHASpeaks, @USAmbHonduras.  Facebook: @usdos

3. Organize or attend a protest, action, or vigil in solidarity with the people of Honduras.  Contact us for more ideas or to connect with others in your area.

4. Finally, keep on e-mailing and calling your Representative and Senators urging them to support the suspension of US security aid to Honduras and to speak out against election fraud and repression by the US-financed security forces in Honduras.  If your Representative hasn’t already done so, ask him/her to co-sponsor HR 1299, the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act.


December 5, 2017
Honduran security forces refuse to repress the people

Yesterday was a remarkable day in Honduras.  The COBRAS, an elite police force, and basic level police officers of the National Police announced they would no longer obey the government’s order to repress the protests and mobilizations taking place all across Honduras.  ’We are the people and we can’t be killing our own people to protect the interests of external persons,’ announced one of the Cobras.  Another Cobra stated, ‘our job is to give peace and security to the Honduran people, not repress them.’  This incredible turn of events comes after violent repression of the massive protests, including numerous murders of protesters by the Military Police and the Armed Forces.

In a tremendous show of integrity, the Cobras and police officers abandoned the protests where they had been sent to repress and returned to their barracks. A huge crowd gathered outside the Cobras in Tegucigalpa, sharing food and water with the police officers arriving there, and celebrating those who have the dignity to refuse to attack their own people for demanding a basic tenet of democracy be respected: the popular vote.

Earlier in the day, the Coordinator of the Alliance in Opposition to the Dictatorship, Mel Zelaya, presented slides of vote tally sheets altered by the election authorities to give more votes to the current President Juan Orlando Hernandez and take votes away from the Opposition Alliance candidate Salvador Nasralla.  Each party receives tally sheets from each voting station and so the Opposition Alliance was able to compare their tally sheets with those posted by the electoral authorities and found that the electoral authorities had frequently altered the results, even creating new tally sheets to increase the number of votes for Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH as he is called) and reduce those of the Opposition Alliance.  The Liberal Party, which came in third place, is also willing to provide its copies of the tally sheets for comparison.  Salvador Nasralla declared he was requesting a meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States to present the vote tally sheets.  The Opposition Alliance’s findings suggest a major fraud operation by the electoral authorities, who are firmly aligned with US-backed President Juan Orlando Hernandez, to try to thwart a massive popular vote that roundly rejected his re-election effort.

People in Honduras continue in the streets demanding an end to the fraud and the dictatorship of Juan Orlando Hernandez, who has consolidated power throughout the past 8 years following the SOA-graduate led 2009 coup, and ran for re-election despite the Constitutional prohibition against re-election.  Last night, once again people throughout the country chanted ‘Fuera JOH’ (get out JOH) and banged pots and pans throughout the night in a show of resistance to the curfew and suspension of constitutional guarantees.  Hernandez, whose regime continues to be financed by the United States despite the massively violent crackdown on protesters, is trying desperately to maintain his grip on power despite widespread popular rejection.

The Platform of Popular and Social Movements of Honduras is now demanding the immediate resignation of Juan Orlando Hernandez and thousands upon thousands continue in the streets today.  The momentum is clearly on the side of the Honduran people and the fraud is becoming too obvious to deny.  As Hernandez tries to maintain power, will the US continue propping him up?  Or will it finally acknowledge how corrupt and repressive his regime is and let the Honduran people decide their own future?

Take action in solidarity with the people of Honduras TODAY.  The United States has financed and propped up the Juan Orlando Hernandez regime for far too long and bears responsibility for the murders of those who are simply demanding that the official election results reflect how people actually voted.  Here are several ways to take action:

1. Call the State Department Honduras Desk at 202-647-3505 TODAY and demand the State Department publicly denounce fraud and repression in Honduras and request that the US not recognize the outcome of the elections until there is a transparent process that meets the demands of the Opposition Alliance. (*Note: This is the number published in the Directory of the Department of State. If the operator tells you that it is a wrong number, please ask the operator to share the Honduras Desk’s phone number)  Sample message: ‘My name is ______, and I am calling to urge the State Department to speak out against election fraud and violent repression in Honduras. I am extremely upset that people protesting against fraud have been murdered by the US financed security forces and urge the State Department to suspend US aid to Honduras as well as condemn the violence by state security forces and the massive irregularities in the election results.  The US should not recognize the outcome of the elections unless there is a transparent process that satisfies the demands of the Opposition Alliance with regards to transparency and review of votes, especially in areas where there appears to be inflated vote turnout.’  

2. Tweet at the State Department or post on their facebook page: Call on the US to denounce fraud and violent repression following the elections in Honduras, demand the immediate suspension of aid to Honduras, and demand accountability for the US financing of repression and murder in Honduras.  Twitter: @StateDept, @WHAAsstSecty@WHASpeaks, @USAmbHonduras.  Facebook: @usdos

3. Organize or attend a protest, action, or vigil in solidarity with the people of Honduras.  Contact us for more ideas or to connect with others in your area.

4. Finally, keep on e-mailing and calling your Representative and Senators urging them to support the suspension of US security aid to Honduras and to speak out against election fraud and repression by the US-financed security forces in Honduras.  If your Representative hasn’t already done so, ask him/her to co-sponsor HR 1299, the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act.  


December 4, 2017
Take action: Honduran Security Forces murder citizens protesting election fraud

Thousands upon thousands upon thousands of Hondurans are protesting in the streets across the country calling out ‘Fuera JOH,’ demanding that President Juan Orlando Hernandez give up his iron grip on power and stop stealing the elections.  In cities and towns big and small, people have blocked roads, marched, and protested to demand an end to fraud and a transparent vote count that reflects how people actually voted last Sunday.  The response has been horrific repression by the US-financed military and state security forces.  

The so-called ‘security’ forces have murdered numerous protesters and dozens more have been injured by live bullets that the military and other state forces fire at those who are demanding the popular vote be respected.  The government declared a curfew and the suspension of constitutional guarantees between 6pm and 6am in an attempt to silence the protests as neither tear gas nor violent repression has been able to stop the massive mobilizations.  The curfew has failed at silencing the protests as well, with people across the entire country banging pots and pans and chanting ‘Fuera JOH’ all night long.

The Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship has demanded 11 basic actions to address the lack of transparency, inflation of votes in favor of Juan Orlando Hernandez, and technical ‘crashes’ during the vote counting process.  The electoral authorities have refused to meet several of these demands.  Instead, early this morning, a full eight days after the elections, they ‘finished’ counting the vote tally sheets with the results favoring Juan Orlando Hernandez.  People across the country refuse to recognize the results until the basic demands for transparency and review of inflated vote tallies are met.  As people continue taking to the streets to demand the votes will be respected, the government continues deploying the security forces.

Take action in solidarity with the people of Honduras TODAY.  The United States has financed and propped up the Juan Orlando Hernandez regime for far too long and bears responsibility for the murders of those who are simply demanding that the official election results reflect how people actually voted.  Here are several ways to take action:

1. Call the State Department Honduras Desk at 202-647-3505 TODAY and demand the State Department publicly denounce fraud and repression in Honduras and request that the US not recognize the outcome of the elections until there is a transparent process that meets the demands of the Opposition Alliance.  Sample message: ‘My name is ______, and I am calling to urge the State Department to speak out against election fraud and violent repression in Honduras. I am extremely upset that people protesting against fraud have been murdered by the US financed security forces and urge the State Department to suspend US aid to Honduras as well as condemn the violence by state security forces and the massive irregularities in the election results.  The US should not recognize the outcome of the elections unless there is a transparent process that satisfies the demands of the Opposition Alliance with regards to transparency and review of votes, especially in areas where there appears to be inflated vote turnout.’  

2. Tweet at the State Department or post on their facebook page: Call on the US to denounce fraud and violent repression following the elections in Honduras, demand the immediate suspension of aid to Honduras, and demand accountability for the US financing of repression and murder in Honduras.  Twitter: @StateDept, @WHAAsstSecty@WHASpeaks, @USAmbHonduras.  Facebook: @usdos4

3. Organize or attend a protest, action, or vigil in solidarity with the people of Honduras.  There is an action in Chicago planned for today!  Contact us for more ideas or to connect with others in your area.

4. Finally, keep on e-mailing and calling your Representative and Senators urging them to support the suspension of US security aid to Honduras and to speak out against election fraud and repression by the US-financed security forces in Honduras.  If your Representative hasn’t already done so, ask him/her to co-sponsor HR 1299, the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act.  


November 30, 2017
Action Alert: Urgent situation in Honduras following elections

On Sunday, November 26, 2017, Hondurans went to the ballot box and, according to preliminary reports, roundly rejected the re-election of current President Juan Orlando Hernandez, whose party has been in power since the 2009 SOA graduate-led military coup.  In the early hours of Monday, with 57% of the vote counted, the Electoral Tribunal announced an almost 5% lead for the candidate of the Alliance in Opposition to the Dictatorship, Salvador Nasralla.  An Electoral Tribunal Magistrate called the tendency ‘irreversible.’

At that point however, the reporting of election results stalled and the subsequent process has been marked by major irregularities, with large delays in the updating of the results and sudden increases in the vote count to favor Juan Orlando Hernandez that defy statistical probabilities.  It is now 4 days after the elections and the final results have still not been announced, while the votes on the electoral tribunal’s website slowly increase in favor of Juan Orlando Hernandez, amidst widespread fear of fraud and alteration of the results by the Electoral Tribunal.  As an election observer from Spain explained to the New Yorker, “There is no technical reason that explains the delay, because the tallies from all eighteen thousand polling places were transmitted electronically to the Electoral Tribunal on the day of the election.”  Read the New Yorker article here.

Take action: Urge the US to immediately cut all financing of the Honduran regime.

The Electoral Tribunal, as well as the Supreme Court and other government structures, are squarely aligned with US-backed Juan Orlando Hernandez, who has consolidated power throughout the past 8 years since the coup, first as head of the Congress and then as President.  It is this consolidation of power that has enabled him to even run for re-election, which is illegal according to the Honduran Constitution.
On Wednesday night, Salvador Nasralla and Alliance Coordinator Manuel Zelaya announced they would not recognize the results of the Electoral Tribunal, citing numerous examples of fraudulent activity to bolster the votes of Juan Orlando Hernandez and the failure to include votes from voting tables that favor Nasralla.  People have taken to the streets all over Honduras to protest and demand the election authorities respect the vote of the people.  Last night, US-financed security forces at the control of Juan Orlando Hernandez repressed the crowds, and massive military convoys have descended on the capital of Tegucigalpa. There is fear that the repression will intensify as more people join the demonstrations against the regime. As this situation rapidly unfolds and Juan Orlando Hernandez’ regime is unmasked, more and more sectors continue to rise in opposition.

The European Union election observer mission and several US Congresspeople have already expressed their concern, including Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, who stated, ”I hope that our State Department can for once put aside their blind support for President Juan Orlando Hernandez and evaluate this election fairly and objectively. We owe it to the Honduran people to put our support behind free and fair elections – not our candidate of choice.”

After 8 years of repression unleashed by the 2009 SOA-graduate led military coup, the US continues financing and supporting those who came to power.  As thousands upon thousands of Hondurans once again take to the streets to demand respect for the popular will and a fair and transparent counting of the votes that were actually cast, the US must stop propping up the repressive regime and cease financing the security forces before they unleash violence.

Take action here.