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News > Honduras

UN Human Rights Office Warns Of Political Violence in Honduras

  • Funeral for Mayor Francisco Gaitan, Cantarranas, Honduras, Nov. 14, 2021.

    Funeral for Mayor Francisco Gaitan, Cantarranas, Honduras, Nov. 14, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @Noticias_GDH

Published 15 November 2021

Over the last weekend, two candidates were assassinated in public events leading up to the November 28 elections.

On Sunday, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) expressed concerns over the increase in political violence in Honduras during its electoral process.


Opposition Candidate Francisco Gaitan Shot to Death in Honduras

This multilateral organization referred to the systematic murders of political figures, especially those that happened at public events. One of these cases happened on Saturday, when gunmen assassinated Luis Casaña, a candidate for councilman in San Luis city. He was taking part, along with Presidential candidate Xiomara Castro, in a rally of the Liberty and Re-Foundation (LIBRE) party.

On that same day, other violent acts occurred in San Luis, where Cantarranas' Mayor Francisco Gaitan was shot to death while he was at a rally seeking his reelection.

Human rights organizations have urged authorities to protect candidates and political events for the upcoming Nov. 28 general election. In October, the OHCHR already warned about the seriousness of the Honduran political violence after the murder of the LIBRE mayoral candidate Nery Reyes.

“Violence is never the answer. Democracy is about participation, equality, safety, and development for all the people, without leaving anyone behind. The electoral process must be carried out peacefully.” United Nations Resident Coordinator in Honduras Alice Shackelford said.

The Association For a Fairer Society (ASJ) stated that Honduras is on “high alert” for the vulnerability of its political and social system. It showed that 25 percent of all the registered conflicts between January and October have been politically motivated. The National Violence Observatory (ONV) reported that between Dec. 20, 2020 and Oct. 25, 2021, there have been 27 murders, 18 acts of coercion, 6 threats, 11 attacks, and 1 kidnapping.

On Nov. 24, Hondurans will elect president, 3 vice-presidents, 298 city hall positions, 128 lawmakers, and 20 representatives for the Central American Parliament.

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