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Protests in U.S. denounce fraudulent Honduran elections

Published Dec 2, 2009 3:09 PM

Los Angeles
WW photo: Cheryl LaBash


Although the Los Angeles Times estimates that 40,000 Hondurans live in Los Angeles, only a few hundred participated in the Honduran presidential elections on Nov. 29. They were met with a barrage of chants, banners, placards and music urging them not to participate in an “election” run by a military coup government. More than 70 protesters kept up a nonstop flow of chants, speeches, music, cheers and jeers from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. that echoed off the walls of the Evans Community Adult School.

Most of the cheers came around 2 p.m., when demonstrators got a report from a Honduran news radio station over the Internet. It said that the election had become a fiasco, with so little turnout that it would be hard to qualify as an official election.

Throughout the day coup supporters were allowed to poster and leaflet and give doughnuts to people entering the polls. However, police did not even allow protestors to pass out literature. And they had to remain across the street from the polling site.

This, however, wasn’t unfair enough for some coup supporters. One of the supporters of the election used his car as a weapon against peaceful demonstrators.

Protesters surrounded his car and made it clear to him that it was in his best interest to move on—and he did.

The protest action was organized by the Los Angeles Coalition for Peace and Democracy in Honduras (Coalición por la Paz y la Democracia en Honduras).


WW photo: Gloria Rubac

A spirited and militant demonstration was held outside of the Houston polling place set aside for Honduran citizens to vote in their country’s election. With several bullhorns and dozens of colorful signs, protesters took turns on the microphone to urge Hondurans to boycott the elections.

“Elections cannot be held while Honduras is being terrorized by the military regime and people are being arrested, beaten, murdered, raped and disappeared every day. You have an elected president—support José Manuel Zelaya!” Cristobal Hinojosa, an organizer with Mexicanos en Acción, shouted to those attempting to vote.

An organizer with the newly formed Houston Committee in Solidarity with the People of Honduras, Evelyn Silva, urged her fellow Hondurans to boycott the elections. “The elections are not legal. Zelaya is our legally elected president and the military coup is illegal. Do not vote in this fraudulent election to legitimize the coup!”

Several carloads of voters turned away after seeing the protest and two young Honduran women visiting Houston joined the demonstration. The multinational protesters included people from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia and Venezuela, as well as African Americans, Chicanos and whites from Houston, Austin and Dallas.