Category: Honduras

Human Rights Watch, While Hawkish on Venezuela, Is Quiet on Violent Repression and Apparent Coup in Honduras

Honduras’ US-backed right-wing government has been accused of stealing the election, but Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch (HRW) is fixated on Venezuela.

By Ben Norton / AlterNet

The right-wing government in Honduras, which enjoys the support of the United States, has for weeks waged a violent crackdown on protests amid widespread accusations that it stole the recent presidential election from the left-wing opposition.

There is strong evidence that the conservative ruling party planned to rig the November 26 election, which was criticized by international bodies for having numerous irregularities. Opposition political leaders say the state has launched a coup.

Mass protests erupted in response to the allegations of electoral fraud. In an attempt to quiet the dissent, Honduras’ incumbent right-wing government suspended constitutional rights and declared a curfew December 2, giving the army and police more powers to crush the protests.

At least 14 people were killed, including a teenage girl, in the subsequent days of government repression. Honduran police have shot and killed unarmed protesters, firing live bullets into large demonstrations. Dozens more protesters have been injured.

With this violent crackdown underway, one might expect the leading human rights organization in the U.S. to express concern. But Human Rights Watch was eerily silent.

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Ben Norton is a journalist and writer. He is a producer and reporter for The Real News, and a contributor to the Grayzone Project and FAIR. Ben co-hosts the Moderate Rebels podcast with Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com, and he tweets at @BenjaminNorton.