BY ISN STAFF | December 8, 2017

Jesuits in Canada and the United States have spoken out regarding the unrest surrounding the November 26 presidential election in Honduras.

Early election results showed the opposition’s candidate, Salvador Nasralla, in the lead. However, shortly after, results suddenly stopped coming in. When the polling system came back up after a 36-hour delay, the Honduran Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) reported that incumbent Hernández was in the lead.

The TSE’s long delay, its lack of transparency during that time, and the close alignment of its authorities with the ruling government have sparked doubt about the legitimacy of election results.

Thousands of Hondurans have taken to the street in protest. In response, police and military have tear gassed and shot at protesters, leaving several dead and many more wounded. On December 2, the Honduran government announced a state of siege, instating a curfew, which has now been lifted in some areas, and ordering the detention of protesters for occupying public spaces. Over 1,300 have reportedly been detained.

On December 3, Pope Francis, while speaking to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square, shared that he is praying for the people of Honduras.

The full statement from the Jesuits of Canada and the United States can be found below.

Read the letter to the Canadian Minister of Foreign relations from Canadian Provincials on Honduras and learn more about the Central American Province response.

Join ISN in calling for justice in Honduras here.  

Statement from the Jesuits’ Office of Justice and Ecology on Honduras Election

On December 3, Pope Francis told pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square that he is praying for the people of Honduras, who have been embroiled in a violent political crisis after a delayed vote count in a recent presidential election. The Jesuits of Canada and the United States echo the Holy Father’s prayers and share the strong condemnation expressed by the Jesuits of Central America in denouncing Honduras’ Supreme Electoral Tribunal.

Calling out the Tribunal’s “lack of professionalism and ethics” because of its systematic failure to track and report the election results, the Central American Jesuits state, “It is no longer just a suspicion, but a certainty,” that the election has been grossly manipulated and influenced by the state in an attempt to disregard the will of the people of Honduras.

We stand with our brother Jesuits of Central America, especially those from Honduras, as they denounce the repression of the Honduran people by government authorities and in their long-lasting and peaceful fight for a more just and democratic Honduras.

We reaffirm the right of the Honduran people to peacefully protest in order to protect their sacrosanct electoral right. All the more, we remind Honduran authorities of their utmost obligation to accompany and protect their citizens.

Along with the Honduran Bishops, we urge “a frank, effective and creative dialogue that will permit us to reach the minimum agreements needed for governability and governance, restoration of the peace and civic coexistence in our Honduras.”

We join local and international organizations present in Honduras, in echoing the call from the Honduran people in asking all governments to take a genuine stand for democracy for the people of Honduras. Finally, we call upon the governments of the U.S. and Canada to support calls for an independent and transparent vote recount and urge them to demand that the Honduran government honor the rights of the Honduran people to peacefully protest and express their opinions.

View the letters to the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs and U.S. Secretary of State. Join us in calling for justice in Honduras here.

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