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News > Honduras

Honduran UN-Backed Dialogue Ends 'Without Formal Agreements'

  • Honduran riot police crackdown on protesters during a May Day parade. May 1 2018.

    Honduran riot police crackdown on protesters during a May Day parade. May 1 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 December 2018

After months of a U.N.-mediated dialogue between the Honduran government and opposition forces, they reached "no formal agreement."

The United Nations-mediated national dialogue in Honduras, which sought to resolve the country’s post-electoral political crisis, ended “without formal agreements,” U.N. representative in Honduras Igor Garafulic said Wednesday. 

OAS Members Avoiding the 'Honduras Issue'

Honduras’ political crisis began in November 2017, after incumbent Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH) was declared the winner of the presidential elections despite projections and trends.

After months of negotiations between representatives from international organizations, the government, businesses and political parties, including Hernandez’s National Party, the Liberal Party and the Opposition Alliance that supported Salvador Nasralla’s presidential bid, "there have been no formal agreements."

The Organization of American States (OAS), Nasralla and several European Union governments began calling for a national dialogue after a brutal crackdown by the Honduran government against civilians protesting the electoral results.

Anti-government protesters were shot and killed with impunity by state security forces. The killings were condemned by rights groups and U.N. representatives.

President Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH) was announced the official winner on Dec. 17. According to the electoral body, JOH won with 42.95 percent of the vote compared to Nasralla’s 41.42 percent. The announcement was made after a blackout in the electoral body’s website, during which the result changed in favor of JOH.  

Since then, Nasralla and his supporters have demanded JOH to step down, arguing the results were fradulent.

Preliminary talks began last February but discord among participants, particularly on the part of the administration, prevented the talks from forming until August.

Eduardo Martell, from former president Manuel Zelaya’s Liberal Party told reporters Wednesday: "The National Party and the government boycotted the talks from the beginning." "We regret that (the dialogue) has not had the results expected by the Honduran people who demanded to end this crisis," he said.

Martell said his party will continue looking for "ways" to return the country to "peace and tranquility," that includes JOH’s “stepping down from power” and new elections.

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The Hernandez administration is "illegitimate" and is causing "enormous damage" to Honduras, said Martell. "The crisis is not resolved ... on the contrary, I believe that the levels of tension in society have increased."

Antonio Garcia, Opposition Alliance representative said that "there is a crisis" in Honduras and the dialogue was a space to find a way out, but "it was not possible due to a lack of political will." Hernandez announced last August that he would not take part in the talks because his agenda was too full.

"The issue of electoral fraud and the illegal re-election of the current president was not treated seriously or in depth," during the months of dialogues, Garcia told the press.

Nasralla’s spokesperson said he felt "sad" for not having reached a "binding agreement" to help solve the country's political crisis and stressed that they will continue in the struggle to "return to the rule of law and democracy."

The Honduran Minister of the Presidency, Ebal Diaz said Tuesday dialogue must "continue” whether or not formal agreements were reached.

Thousands of Hondurans were injured by state security earlier this year and Hondurans who oppose the govnerment contiue to be threatened.

The country’s high level of crime, impunity, poverty, and hunger have pushed thousands to seek asylum in the United States and Mexico since October, adding to the country’s already high migration trend that began after Zelaya was illegally ousted by right-wing forces in 2009.

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