Sign the letter and send to your MP and the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
December 5, 2017
The Atlantic Region Solidarity Network (ARSN) is a group of individuals and organizations based in Atlantic Canada that works to raise awareness about and stand in solidarity with human rights, social and environmental justice movements in Latin America and the Caribbean. We are writing to you today to share our concern over the political and human rights crisis currently unfolding in Honduras.
National elections were held in Honduras on November 26th, and since that time numerous examples of irregularities and electoral fraud have been documented by national and international observers. These irregularities favour the incumbent National Party candidate, Juan Orlando Hernández. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (which lacked representation from the opposition parties) has yet to release their results. Fearful that democracy in Honduras will continue to be undermined, as it was with the 2009 military coup, tens of thousands of Hondurans have taken to the streets to demand that the will of the electorate be respected and that the results be recounted with international observers present or that the election be held again under the supervision of an international electoral tribunal. These protests have been met with extreme violence and repression by military and police forces controlled by the National Party. At least eight deaths are currently being reported, with many more injured.
We call on the Canadian government to publicly condemn the irregularities and fraudulent acts being carried out in Honduras as well as the acts of police and military repression against anti-electoral fraud protesters and other citizens. We echo the call from the New Democrats to suspend political support of the Honduran government until the election results can be scrutinized by international observers and declared free and fair, and until the government of Honduras can demonstrate that the constitutional and human rights of the Honduran people are being respected.
Canada has an important role to play and has much to account for in terms of our political and economic relationship with Honduras. Since the 2009 military coup, which the Canadian government legitimized, political freedom and human rights have been severely eroded. Meanwhile the Canadian government has supported the expansion of corporate and investor interests in Honduras, in concert with the repressive, corrupt governments in power, in the areas of mining, garment “sweatshop” industry, bananas, hydro-electric dams, tourism, and more. It is time for the Canadian government to put human rights first and to support the Honduran people in their struggle for free and fair elections.
Atlantic Region Solidarity Network