This weekend, Hondurans will take to the polls to decide their future. Ahead of this historic general election on Sunday, November 28, the Fund for Global Human Rights urges all sides to ensure the coming vote and transfer of power is free, fair, and peaceful.
Allegations of fraud and misinformation loom large over the contest to replace President Juan Orlando Hernández. Years of systemic corruption have weakened the country’s fragile democratic institutions ahead of this pivotal moment. In this challenging context, at-risk communities—including women, LGBTQ people, and Indigenous people—face even greater risk of violence, disenfranchisement, and marginalization. It is essential that the elections are monitored for abuse and any violations are documented.
Local civil society is leading the way
Honduran human rights defenders have endured years of repression and violence at the hands of corrupt political and corporate interests. Now, they’re once again putting themselves on the line to fight for the future of their country.
“Honduras has the opportunity to carry out a genuinely democratic exercise and thus transcend years of authoritarianism, oppression and exclusion,” says Ricardo González, the Fund’s program director for Latin America. “Social change begins by recognizing the rights and contributions to democracy of women, LGBTQ people, and Afro-Indigenous communities. No change is possible without the inclusion of these groups that have led the movement in favor of democracy and the full realization of human rights.”
Three ways to support grassroots activists
Fund partner IM-Defensoras has shared three essential ways that Hondurans and international allies can support local civil society at this time:
- Amplify complaints and alerts from defenders and at-risk communities before, during, and after election day. Given the high possibility of state-sanctioned violence and repression to silence protests, IM-Defensoras will be documenting and denouncing any human rights violations. You can follow them on Twitter @RedDefensoras and Facebook facebook.com/reddedefensoras.
- Record an audio message of support and strength for local human rights defenders and send it to email@example.com or upload it to social networks and tag @RedDefensoras and @IM_Defensoras with the hashtag #SolidaridadFeministaconHonduras (#FeministSolidaritywithHonduras)
- Contact your Foreign Ministry or international organizations and urge them to remain alert and condemn any violence and repression—especially against women and human rights defenders—that may occur before, during, or after the elections.
The Fund is proud to stand with IM-Defensoras and other grassroots defenders at this critical moment in Honduran history. We call on our supporters and allies to share this message of solidarity with their networks. And we urge the Honduran government to respect the human rights of Hondurans, to comply with the electoral process, and ensure that the vote is free, fair, and peaceful.