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The people have spoken in Honduras...

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.

The elections are over and the people of Honduras have spoken – they have told the illegal oligarchic regime that they will not accept a coup d’etat in their country. More than 65% of eligible voters have abstained from voting, vitiating these supposed free and fair democratic elections.

I spent the day rushing around the capital, Tegucigalpa, with a local friend guiding me to various polling stations. Out of every one that I visited I saw police and military heavily armed, and I saw supporters of the two largest parties mulling around. What I didn’t see were lines of people waiting to vote, as is apparently usually the case during presidential elections here in Honduras. In fact, we came across several polling stations that were virtually empty save for the party representatives and the armed forces. It was hard to tell if people were genuinely afraid of the armed forces today during the “state of emergency”. I certainly was a little shaken up when me and my friend were stopped along the road and surrounded by six police officers with sub-machine guns. They searched us and questioned us, and when I asked them why they were stopping us they told me it was because I had a backpack with me. My friend was surprised that we were let free without incident, but it was clear today that the authorities had no intention of making scenes in front of internationals

The resistance was quiet in most of the country, with most of them staying in their homes so as not to instigate the trigger-happy authorities and to avoid being blamed for any blood shed. The one exception was in San Pedro Sula, a large city in the South West of the country, where a large group of anti-coup protestors organized a peaceful demonstration. Several other human rights observers were on hand to witness the repression that took place. As the tanks approached, the protesters sat down in the middle of the road to block the way, at that point the tear gas and water cannons were unleashed upon them. Several people were viciously beaten and detained, including one Spanish journalist, and real bullets were fired by the authorities. So far we have no reports of deaths, and besides this incident in San Pedro Sula, the situation seemed peaceful around the country. Of course, the reports of disappearances and other human rights violations are expected to come streeming in tomorrow.

Tonight as the conservative candidate celebrates his victory, and the oligarchy toasts to the end of the political crisis that they themselves created, the resistance is preparing to continue like any other day. Tomorrow there is a plan for a huge march, and perhaps the results of these elections will give the people courage to take to the streets in thousands, just as they did in the early days of the coup.

Nothing has changed here in Honduras with the passing of these elections; today was just another day for the masses under an illegal olgarchic regime. Tomorrow the struggle continues.


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anthony persaud (anthony persaud)
Toronto
Member since November 2009

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I am an independent researcher, writer, and traveler from Toronto, Canada. I have lived in Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Ecuador, and have traveled extensively in Latin America.

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