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Disputed election leads to protests and violence in Honduras

Civil unrest grew in Honduras (3rd quartile) throughout the year, and was met with increasing state violence and militarised responses to demonstrations. Security forces opened fire on crowds of protesters on several occasions.[1]

Juan Orlando Hernández was elected President at the end of 2017 amid claims of election fraud. Protesters called for opposition leader Salvador Nasralla to be recognised as President, and authorities responded to the unrest with a brutal security crackdown.[2] Authorities quickly declared a state of emergency, which they then used as a pretext for especially repressive measures.[3]

The crackdown on protests resulted in the death of at least 22 civilians and a police officer, with 166 injured and more than 1,300 detained – many in military detention centres.[4] State security forces are thought to have caused at least 16 gunshot deaths and 30 gunshot injuries.[5] At least six journalists were among those physically attacked.[6]

 

[1] Human Rights Watch, World Report 2019, p266, available at https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2019

[2] DW, Honduras: Thousands March Against Re-election of President Juan Orlando Hernandez, 7 January 2018, available at https://www.dw.com/en/honduras-thousands-march-against-re-election-of-president-juan-orlando-hernandez/a-42053522

[3] Human Rights Watch, World Report 2019, p265, available at https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2019

[4] Human Rights Watch, World Report 2019, p265, available at https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2019

[5] OHCHR, Human Rights Violations in the Context of the 2017 Elections in Honduras, 2018, paras. 46–52 and 72–77, available at https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/HN/2017ReportElectionsHRViolations_Honduras_EN.pdf

[6] OHCHR, Human Rights Violations in the Context of the 2017 Elections in Honduras, 2018, paras. 46–52 and 72–77, available at https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/HN/2017ReportElectionsHRViolations_Honduras_EN.pdf

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