On Monday a total of 58 civil society organizations in Honduras denounced President Juan Orlando Hernandez at the Inter American Commission for Human Rights for further concentration of power to control the country’s key institutions.
The groups that filed the complaint, part of the Coalition Against Impunity in Honduras and the Center for Justice and International Law, or CEJIL, claim that concentration of power explains why the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice allowed Hernandez to run for reelection, modifying a constitutional provision in place since 1982.
The attempt by former President Manuel Zelaya to rewrite Honduras’ Constitution through a public national referendum in 2009 concluded with a coup d'etat after several institutions, including the Supreme Court of Justice, declared the referendum illegal.
The Coalition and CEJIL also denounced state repression and militarization that followed the controversial presidential elections last November when Hernandez was reelected.
As proof of state repression, the organizations cited the following numbers: 192 demonstrations repressed, 1,257 people detained, 38 deaths, 76 victims of torture, 393 wounded in protests, 105 displaced due to violence, 15 journalists attacked, and 73 people victims of threats.
Alarm over state violence in Honduras is not new, nor is it confined to Honduran civil society. Last month, the United Nations echoed complaints filed by human rights organization asking the Honduran government to refrain from deploying military forces against protesters.
Joel Hernandez Garcia, a state representative, said Honduras will include civil society in a working group to investigate violations of human rights.
The Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship, led by former presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla and former president Manuel Zelaya, announced a protest in front of the U.N. Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. to protest post-electoral human rights violations during a visit by United States Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley.
In a letter published Monday the Opposition Alliance accused the U.S. and the Organization of American States of becoming “a real present threat to the Honduran people” for enabling the government to “kill” and “persecute.”
Honduras has most recently been in the spotlight after the head of Mission of Support Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras, or MACCIH, Juan Jimenez resigned citing rising hostility from the Honduran government and lack of support from its parent organization, the OAS.