December 4th, 2017

NDP Statement on Situation in Honduras

Statement by NDP Foreign Affairs Critic, Hélène Laverdière, and NDP Vice-Chair of Sub-committee on International Human Rights, Cheryl Hardcastle:

"New Democrats are deeply ­­­­concerned about the political and human rights crisis in Honduras developing since the national elections were held on November 26.

There is substantial evidence of voting irregularities, including voter intimidation, delays in communication of results, and voter fraud that favour the incumbent National Party candidate, President Juan Orlando Hernández. The opposition has called for the election to be held again under the supervision of an international electoral tribunal.

The resulting political crisis has deepened over the past week, with reports of widespread protests by tens of thousands of Hondurans and fears of further government repression by security forces. Reports indicate at least eight deaths and scores injured and detained.

This is the worst political crisis Honduras has faced in years. Canada has an important role to play in promoting human rights in Honduras, given Honduras benefits from Canada’s largest bilateral development program in Central America. However, New Democrats note that Canada’s relationship with Honduras has for years been overly dominated by trade interests at the expense of human rights.

New Democrats call on the Canadian government to suspend political support of the Honduran government until election results can be scrutinized by international observers and declared free and fair. We further call on the Canadian government to demand the government of Honduras respect the constitutional rights and human rights of Hondurans."