For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – December 18, 2017 – Last night, the Honduran Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) declared incumbent Juan Orlando Hernández the winner of a highly controversial presidential election that has gripped the nation in uncertainty and violence for the last three weeks. Recognizing the significant irregularities in the electoral process, the Organization of American States (OAS), of which both Honduras and the United States are part, has called for a new election. In light of continued uncertainty for the people of Honduras and a potential for increased unrest and violence, Alianza Americas Executive Director Oscar Chacón, has issued the following statement:
The current circumstances in Honduras—election results announced despite a highly compromised electoral process, government violence against peaceful protestors, and a suspension of constitutional guarantees—are cause for international concern, going against the core democratic values we uphold as Americans.
The results also indicate a shameful role of the Trump Administration—complicity at worse, complacency at best—in denying democracy to the people of Honduras. The White House has failed to hold the Honduran government accountable to democratic practices and failed to back the OAS’ demands for a new election. If further evidence confirms what the international community suspects—that the Trump Administration has given its support to a fixed election in favor of the current president—there will be no credibility for the US government when it comes to its supposed commitment to democracy on future global platforms.
Moving forward, we are resolute in our call for the Honduran government to respect the rights of its citizens to protest peacefully. Honduran voters, especially young voters, feel robbed of democracy and are not going to quietly accept this result. With at least 14 lives lost since the November 26 elections, it is imperative that no more blood be shed as a result of compromised democracy in Honduras.
We also double-down on our call to the US government to protect Honduran immigrants living in the United States. The US State Department recently issued a travel alert urging US citizens to “postpone or cancel” their travels to the region, illustrating the volatility of on-the-ground conditions. It is unconscionable to send anyone to the very conditions we deem unsafe for US citizens. We call for an immediate moratorium on deportations of Honduran citizens, and urge the Trump Administration to carefully consider the state of emergency in the country before making additional decisions on the plight of 60,000 Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders from Honduras, who could be forced to return to these conditions in July 2018.
We also call for the United States to be prepared to receive Central American political refugees, people fleeing the potential uptick in political repressions and violence that is likely to result from these compromised elections in the coming weeks and months. Lack of democracy in Honduras threatens to further destabilize the region, empowering other authoritarian regimes in Latin America and prompting additional displacement of citizens in neighboring nations.
Alianza Americas is a network of 50 immigrant-led organizations representing more than 100,000 families across the United States. It is the It is the only US-based organization rooted in Latino and Caribbean immigrant communities that works transnationally to create an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable way of life. Learn more at alianzaamericas.org