Day 13 (afternoon) & 14 - 2017 Election Crisis Update

- Monday, December 11 (afternoon) & Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 

On Monday, December 11, the Opposition Alliance held an important press conference that outlined in great detail how the Electoral Tribunal, President David Matamoros and the National Party committed fraud in the elections. There was a significant emphasis on the role of the U.S. interfering to cover-up the fraud. Manuel Zelaya made several references to the "Fulton actas" which are named after the U.S. Charge d'Affaires Heide Fulton because of Fulton's role in legitimizing their validity while ignoring wide-spread evidence or claims of alterations and duplication of these 4,753 actas. These final 4,753 vote tally sheets are likely the last batch of actas that will be reviewed by the TSE. It is expected that the TSE will make an announcement about the results of the elections without attending to demands for recounts and examination of the fraudulent actas. In order words, the Fulton actas will be *absolutely key* in legitimizing fraud and JOH's unannounced, as of yet, victory. 

 Opposition Alliance Presidential candidate, Salvador Nasralla presenting at press conference on Monday, December 11. Photo by karen spring

Opposition Alliance Presidential candidate, Salvador Nasralla presenting at press conference on Monday, December 11. Photo by karen spring

In addition, the Alliance went through six major points that extensively outline suspicious activities, unexplained and impossible claims being used to justify JOH's winning trend, and provide clear examples of altered vote tally sheets (actas) and falsified documents. A summary of these will be posted later this afternoon. 

On the same day, Monday, December 11th, the social movement participated in a National Stoppage (paro nacional). I previously sent out a list of where some of the actions were held  but according to what the HSN has collected/heard of through other sources, there were 40 actions in 10 departments around the country: Comayagua, Intibuca, Yoro, Santa Barbara, Francisco Morazan, Cortes, Choluteca, Colon, Atlantida, Copan.

Repression and evictions were reported at various road blockades and protests around the country. To name a few, there were reports of police beating, tear gassing and firing live rounds at protesters in Santa Barbara. The HSN posted a video of the repression in La Ceibita in Santa Barbara on our Facebook. In Choluteca, a man was injured by bullets fired by state security forces and two people were detained.  

 protester shot in Choluteca during protests on monday, December 11. photographer unknown. 

protester shot in Choluteca during protests on monday, December 11. photographer unknown. 

On Tuesday, December 12, the Alliance held another press conference where they officially gave the OAS Electoral Observation delegation 14,364 of the electronic actas in the party's possession. The letter that included in the package given to the mission, also highlights other TSE irregularities. Since the Alliance and the Liberal Party have both made claims and presented proof of alterations of several actas, these copies will assist the observation missions in comparing what the Alliance has in their possession with what the Liberal, National party and TSE have in theirs. It is unclear whether and how much the observation missions will review the different set of actas presented by different parties and the TSE.  

In the morning and afternoon on Tuesday, once again, people all over the country took to the streets and blocked roads. The Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations (COPINH) denounced that one of their buses had been stopped by Military Police and briefly detained on the road between the cities of La Esperanza and Siguatepeque. COPINH members were taken off the bus, required to show their ID cards to the Military Police, and who then took pictures of the cards. COPINH's full declaration about the harassment and detentions can be found here.

Brutal repression was reported in El Progreso where National police shot tear gas at protesters, beat people, fired live bullets, and went into houses around the blockade and dragged people (mostly women) out of their houses to detain them. As of late yesterday afternoon, there were still 11 people detained, and 3 women were being held at the station although not under arrest, but as "witnesses" (we are still unclear what that means). Two of the 11 detainees were under age. 

 protest and road blockade in el progreso, yoro. photo credit: unknown

protest and road blockade in el progreso, yoro. photo credit: unknown

On the same day (Tuesday) in the evening, the LIBRE party held a press conference to communicate to the Honduran people the following points: 1. Calling for unity; 2. Immediate and permanent mobilization to defend the votes for and victory of the Alliance; 3. National mobilization including blocking all "public roads" called for Friday, December 15 starting at 6 am; 4. Rejecting the interference of the U.S. government that uses electoral fraud and maintains impunity to promote its interests; 5. Permanent support for Coordinator, Manuel Zelaya; 6. Support to President elect Salvador Nasralla, the true winner of the elections.

Also, yesterday at the same time as LIBRE published its communique, Zelaya and the LIBRE party published another letter to Nasralla. The letter states the LIBRE party's "unrestricted support in the defense of the electoral victory" of Nasralla; denounces once again, the interference by the U.S. Embassy to prop JOH up as the election winner; and puts at Nasralla's disposal, "the entire structure of the LIBRE party on a national level to openly confront through struggle, the imposition of the bipartisan dictatorship." The letter also reiterates LIBRE's call and commitment to permanent mobilization/protest “until the regime falls.”

As many of you can imagine reading both the communique and the letter, LIBRE and the Alliance seem to be literally saying ‘this is it.' This message from LIBRE and the Alliance comes at a time when the TSE has been making public statements estimating when results will be announced. So far, TSE President David Matamoros has stated that the latest possible date to announce results is December 23. It is worth mentioning again that the TSE has to resolve 150 “impugnaciones” or motions to challenge/annul the results, and that the TSE does not seem open to attending to the additional demands of the Alliance or the Liberal Party. It is believed that the final actions by the TSE are about superficially fulfilling the demands of the OAS, a strategy that aims to give the TSE and its President, an image of legitimacy and cooperation.