Honduras' Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship have undertaken another round of marches in the capital of Tegucigalpa to protest the controversial re-election of incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez, known as JOH.
The march on Friday afternoon was one of several organized demonstrations that former opposition presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla and former president Manuel Zelaya had called for since the results of the national election held on November 26 were announced.
Photos posted on social media showed chaotic scenes in the streets, with Zelaya claiming he had been hit by tear gas and shown wearing a mask.
The incident occurred when Zelaya approached members of the Military Police, who threw the canister at him then pushed him, according to a report in El Heraldo. He was then led to safety by his bodyguards.
Friday's march on the capital was a precursor to next week's planned national strike, also organized by the opposition bloc and its supporters.
The national strike, which is set to run from January 20 to 27, is calling on Hondurans to deny Hernandez the presidency and recognize Nasralla as president on the grounds thar "the elections were fraudulent."
As part of the boycott, Nasralla and his team are urging Hondurans not to use public transportation, banks or pay tolls for the week. The opposition is also calling on Hondurans to boycott several U.S.-based restaurant chains including Wendy’s, Dunkin Donuts, McDonald’s, Denny’s and Pizza Hut.
In a 12-point communique signed by Zelaya as the Opposition Alliance general director, the bloc says that the population should "oppose and boycott Hernandez's swearing-in," which is scheduled for January 27.
Zelaya is calling on the Honduran Supreme Court to review the electoral results; for a new presidential election to be called within six months, and for the Opposition Alliance coalition to have an opportunity to meet with the national congress.
"We oppose dialogue directed by the dictatorship. We won't legitimize fraud," reads point number eight of the Opposition Aliance statement, which also says the group will only engage in dialogue with the current president in the presence of "mediators."
Both sides have said they are looking for impartial mediators to direct talks between them, with Hernandez floating former Uruguayan president Jose Mujica and the United States' former vice president Joe Biden as possible facilitator candidates.
Since the election, Nasralla has accused the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, TSE, and its director, David Matamoros of "manipulating" the electoral count on behalf of Hernandez.
Nasralla and his team said the TSE "stole" the election and he refuses to acknowledge the TSE's December 17 announcement naming Hernandez president.
National and international electoral observers, including from the European Union, reported countless "irregularities" throughout the electoral process.
Secretary General of the Organization of American State (OAS) Luis Almagro also called for a second election, citing evidence of fraud on the part of the TSE. He dropped his request after the Honduran government accused him of interfering in its internal affairs.
Also on the opposition's list of demands is the "release of hundreds of political prisoners and to initiate an investigation into the 45 summarily executed peace protesters."
A recently released 24-page report by the Committee of Families of the Detained and Disappeared of Honduras (COFADEH), conducted between November 29 and December 31, said 30 people were killed during the protest against the election result, with another 232 injured mainly at the hands of the military and national police.
The report also stated that during that time 1,085 people were victims of "cruel, inhumane and degrading" behavior by state authorities.