The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights acknowledges that security forces under Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez are guilty of “serious human rights violations,” including the killing of 16 and injuring of 60 protesters between Nov. 26, 2017 and Jan. 27.
Honduras: Zelaya Says OAS ‘Two-faced; UN is ‘Divisive’
Of the 16 civilians killed, seven of them were shot in the head and five in the chest. These types of killings “indicate that the security forces made intentional lethal use of firearms, including beyond dissuasive purposes, such as when victims were fleeing (and) these cases raise serious concerns and may amount to extra-judicial killings," reads the report.
The report details that not only did Honduran military and police forces kill protesters who protested that Hernandez was fraudulently awarded the presidency, but also unwitting bystanders such as a 43-year old woman who died from a police gunshot wound to the neck she received while leaving a grocery store Dec. 1.
Sixty people were severely injured by the military, half of them suffering “concussion and trauma.” Between Dec. 1 and 5 – during the decreed state of emergency – police forces arrested 1,351 people, most of them beaten and forced “to confess to their participation in criminal acts.” Several local journalists have received anonymous threats or been arrested for covering the post-election protests.
None of these cases have been brought to justice, according to the report.
In a Twitter communique released yesterday, Former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and current secretary general of the Opposition Alliance called for an “urgent” March 13 meeting with United Nation mediators in Honduras who are conducting dialogues between the Opposition Alliance coalition and the Hernandez administration.
Zelaya accused U.N. mediators of being aligned with the current president Juan Orlando Hernandez, ignoring “the Nov. 26 Electoral Coup; the state of the nation; the assassinations at the hands of the repressive armed forces; and the taking of political prisoners."
The crisis erupted after the electoral authorities awarded the Nov. 26 presidential victory to Hernandez, who ran for a controversial reelection after initial vote counts gave an advantage to the candidate of the Opposition Alliance Salvador Nasralla.
The aftermath of the election saw large opposition demonstrations which were confronted by a brutal government crackdown. Human rights organizations say the government is responsible for upwards of 35 deaths.
After the electoral result, the Opposition Alliance called for a "popular revolt" and a new election. Nasralla said the president was elected through "fraudulent" actions by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and thus he did not recognize the presidency of Hernandez, who was sworn in on Jan. 27 for a second consecutive term.