Scores of demonstrators have taken to the streets of Tegucigalpa, Honduras as they march to the Congress to protest lawmakers' first session since disputed presidential elections took place in Nov. 26.
Amid a crackdown on demonstrations over alleged election fraud, Honduran activists have also reported being the victims of violence, intimidation, as well as receiving death threats as they continue to ramp up protests against the re-election of right-wing President Juan Orlando Hernandez.
Martin Fernandez, a lawyer from Movimiento Amplio, MA, a collective providing legal defense for communities opposed to the construction of mines and dams, has complained of receiving death threats. Also, the group's founder has been tailed and assaulted by armed men, The Guardian reported.
“We’re used to threats but this time we’re very worried. It’s clear there’s a well-resourced, well-coordinated operation to harass, repress and eliminate social leaders opposing the existing economic model. We went to the Americans because we’re clear about the fundamental role they play in Honduras,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez, along with other activists, have accused them, including armed civilians, of repressing demonstrators over alleged election fraud and a national strike which was launched on Sunday prior to Hernandez's presidential inauguration this coming weekend.
Since the presidential election, thousands of security forces, as well as the military police and elite Cobra riot officers, have been deployed.
Víctor Hernandez, a lawyer representing the family of slain indigenous leader Berta Caceres, said the people of Honduras “are fighting against an economic model which kills our people not just with bullets but from hunger, by stealing our natural resources and selling our public services,” according to The Guardian.
"Our work before and after the election fraud puts us in the first line of these grave threats."
People have been protesting the election since the end of November last year as many are convinced that Hernandez government has rigged the elections in his favor against former presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla. At least 30 people have been killed in protests and clashes with Military Police which has been using teargas and live ammunition against demonstrators.