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Honduras enters in spiral of violent protests in several points

Honduras
  • EFE

The Party Libertad y Refundación (LIBRE) began last Sunday a series of protests with burning of tires on public roads against the president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez, who is serving the first year of his second term, after being re-elected in 2017 between allegations of fraud.

The first demonstrations began around 07:00 local time (13.00 GMT) in several regions of the country with small groups of protesters carrying blankets, banners with messages against Hernandez and red flags of LIBRE.

In Tegucigalpa the protesters chanted slogans like "Fuera JOH" (Juan Orlando Hernández) and mobilized in several points of the city, with the presence of security forces in many of them. In the area known as Cerro Grande, the National Police dissolved one of the protests led by a director of LIBRE, Juan Barahona, who told reporters that they were scattered with tear gas.

He added that the security forces are "repressing the people who protest against the dictator", but that the mobilization "is not going to stop it". On Saturday, LIBRE released a list of sites where there will be protests this Sunday, in at least 14 of the country's 18 departments. In the case of Tegucigalpa, department of Francisco Morazán, center, LIBRE announced demonstrations in twelve points of the city.

The circulation of vehicles and people has been reduced by the protests announced by LIBRE, whose general coordinator, the ex-president of Honduras Manuel Zelaya, said on Saturday that the takings of this Sunday are the beginning of what will gradually be "a national strike" to take of power to Juan Orlando Hernández.

To "take the dictator out of power", Zelaya summoned the "insurrectionary commandos" on Sunday, although on Saturday he told the UNETV channel that what happened last Sunday is only "a warm-up" of what would be the expulsion of Juan Orlando Hernández from the power.

The security forces have also been stationed on several stretches of important roads such as the one that connects Tegucigalpa with San Pedro Sula, the two most important cities in the country. The same happens with other roads that connect San Pedro Sula with other cities in the north and west.

LIBRE and other opposition sectors do not recognize Juan Orlando Hernández as president, arguing that he was re-elected by fraud, of which they think the Supreme Electoral Tribunal holds responsible.

Hernandez, who in November 2013 won the presidency with the flag of the National Party for a period of four years, on Sunday celebrated his first year of the second term, but according to LIBRE, both periods he won with fraud and the support of the United States.

Hernandez traveled to Panama on Saturday to attend the closing of World Youth Day with a mass officiated by Pope Francis.

The protests in Tegucigalpa, Acan-Efe could see at least two of three evictions with gas from protesters that in small groups protested in the sector of the "Colonia Kennedy", a populous neighborhood in the east of the city. In other parts of the capital there were similar actions, which at various times closed the two lanes, placing barriers with tires that were set on fire.

The Secretariat of Security in advance warned that it would not allow the circulation of people and vehicles to be impeded. Situations similar to those of Tegucigalpa have been registered in other cities of the center, north, south, west and east of the country.

On another extreme close to the "Colonia Kennedy", a score of demonstrators carrying blue and white flags from Honduras; Party LIBRE reds and blankets with messages against the president of Honduras, remained only in one lane.

"We are here because they have called us, we are few, but we are demanding the exit of the dictator", one of the protesters told Acan-Efe, wearing a red vest with the message "Fuera JOH" on his back.

The same protester, who only identified himself as Roberto and a "university student", indicated that he does not believe that Hernández will be taken out of power at this moment because "the right strategy is not being taken" and "much more needs to be done". "There is a lack of awareness of the party's bases (LIBRE) in neighborhoods, regardless of the political color to end the apathy of the people", he said.

Some 40 meters from the group of LIBRE activists were posted two National Police patrols, each with eleven agents, who when the group of protesters moved in three vehicles to the Kennedy sector, they followed them keeping the distance.

"How can someone who feels rejected by the majority of the people rule", ask himself Zelaya, who stressed that with today's protest in different regions of the country "power returned to the people".

On the "insurrectional commandos”, he swore in December, he said that "at the moment they are in a percentage that we cannot dispose of a national strike". According to Zelaya, the people consider it necessary to change the government and to have elections, for which a popular consultation is needed.

Union leader Carlos Reyes, one of those who participated in the demonstrations in Tegucigalpa, told Acan-Efe that the political solution to overcome the crisis in the country "is to solve the central problem, which is the dictatorship".

"Here we have a dictatorship that is precisely what is affecting all relations in the country", said Reyes, who compared the "dictatorship" of Hernandez with Pinochet, with an added bonus: "drug trafficking, organized crime, corruption and impunity".

The next general election in Honduras is scheduled for November 28, 2021 and, according to Hernández on Friday, on January 27, 2022, he will hand over the presidential sash to his successor (man or woman).

President Hernández appeared before the Parliament, where the holders of the three branches of government gave a report of work corresponding to the last year, in addition to highlighting the achievements that, in his opinion, his government has had in terms of security and finances, and announced that it will increase the number of police to 26,000 to achieve the peace that Hondurans need, among other things.

Source- Information from EFE

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