Photo taken by Andrea Fonseca
On Sunday, the sun did not rise early. Perhaps the heavens already presaged the electoral tragedy that was to be celebrated. In my third time exercising the right to choose, I observed how my polling place was full of people, especially young people. The hope in the eyes of the voters was undeniable and I thought “Honduras, better times are coming”. I thought I would leave my country happy, thinking “Well, I will not be in these four years of government, but I voted, so I helped to fulfill a democracy.” But there was always something inside me, maybe it was fear, maybe uncertainty, or both. This something kept me uneasy and doubtful of everything.
Usually at night, a few hours after the polls are closed, the final winner of the elections is announced. But, this time – and for the first time for me – there was no announcement of a “possible winner”, not until 2 o’clock in the morning, when Salvador Nasralla the candidate of the Alianza party (so-called because it is the union of several parties in a fight against the monster of the national party) was declared as the possible winner. I celebrated, we all celebrated, we laughed and we thought “No more bipartisanship”. But this feeling didn´t last long. After that, everything went dark. Clouds of mystery were present as the main protagonists, completely blinding the eyes of everyone. There were no more answers. They were no longer telling who had won. Monday passed, then Tuesday arrived, and finally on Wednesday the people who was already upset because of the vile fraud that was about to happen- since the Supreme Electoral Tribunal was hiding the final declaration with the results – took the streets, peacefully. But the peaceful term is not something known by repressive governments such as this, and it was when the current president -which is the current candidate of the National Party, yes, you read well, the current president seeks reelection, even knowing that he completely violated the constitution of the country, which considers re-election as something illegal – ordered the repression of the protesters with huge tanks full of soldiers who beat, gassed and completely violated the people who were in vigil protesting the respect for citizen democracy.
Photos taken by Andrea Fonseca. Thursday November 30th, 2017. Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Today, in the morning, the figures indicated that President Juan Orlando had already overcome with 1.23% his opponent Salvador Nasralla who was earlier recognized as the candidate legally elected by the people. This is how the winner begins to impose himself by force, disrespecting the decision of the people, and everything is done behind that cloud of mystery that has had the population waiting for an answer. Countries like England with 53 million inhabitants take a night to give results of their electoral processes. But Honduras, with 9 million people – and not all vote – is incapable, and takes almost five days to show that the initial winner is no longer the winner by a minuscule margin of difference. If one wanted to perpetuate such dictatorial power, then why take the time to make National Elections whatsoever? “Four more years” represent a mourning for this country, because it is more than clear that four more years mean “dictatorship”. Following the nationalist tradition of terrible dictatorships as was the one of President Tiburcio Carías Andino, who was in power peacefully from 1932 to 1936, and from then in the form of a dictatorial regime until 1949. These four more years that would be coming up, would only be the continuation of the payment of a 15% sales tax, militaries in the streets, murders of environmental activists; the sacking of Honduran Social Security Institute (IHSS) resulting in the deaths of thousands of people who do not have access to medicines; the robbery of people´s taxes to finance more and more projects that benefit the wealthy of the country, and also to finance the ostentatious electoral campaigns of the national party . It would be four more years of anxiety, of not being able to buy a dozen eggs due to the inflated increase in prices; to be a teacher and live humiliated under ridiculous laws due to the unusual hatred of the blue party towards teachers, and so on. I could continue listing more and more atrocities, but that would not change the whole picture of things.
Today I write this cry for help to ask all those who read me in other countries, to join me in denouncing this vile fraud. Please help us to spread the information so that the international community knows what the truth is, and all the pain this is causing in Honduras, whom today is mourning the murder of democracy.
Sara Rico Godoy.