Incident Reporting by SAFEY

Suspicions of frauds in the most recent presidential elections in Honduras have sparked massive nationwide protests. Political instability in the country is unfortunately not new.

If being in Honduras during any eventful period cannot be avoided, special care and attention must be taken into consideration. SAFEY has issued 15 alerts of protests and unrest since election day, pointing out locations to be avoided and advice to be followed. The use of technology to mitigate risks and security impacts should not be underestimated during adverse circumstances.

In June 2009, then president Manuel Zelaya was deposed after proposing a referendum to reform the constitution. Zelaya was accused, at the time, of trying to insert re-election clauses in the constitution to remain in power. Massive demonstrations on both sides of the political spectrum unfolded. Besides popular unrest, both the congress and the supreme court clashed with Zelaya, who was eventually captured and sent abroad.

Every election and political process since have been marked with considerable unrest and suspicion of fraud and corruption. In 2015, a congressional and supreme court decision changed the constitution to allow presidential reelection. A maneuver that has been considered paradoxical, considering the turnout of events in 2009.

In 2017, the results of the presidential bid between current president Juan Orlando Hernandez and opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla have been causing turmoil and uncertainties of the country’s political future. Despite leading with a 5% margin until the day after the election, Nasralla has been beaten by Hernandez with a strict margin, causing a popular outcry for recounting and raising suspicions of electoral fraud.  After 21 days of the election, the Electoral Supreme Court (TSE) has declared on 18 December, Hernandez as the winner with 42,95% of the votes against Nasralla’s 41,24%.

The timeline between initial results and the official TSE confirmation was a tumultuous one. At least 16 people were killed and 1.600 injured during nationwide protests. A curfew has been imposed (and lifted) in almost the entire country. Even with the final declaration from the supreme court, a smooth political future for Honduras seems unlikely.

Count on SAFEY to bring you up to provide useful information to travelers anywhere in the world.

Timeline of Events

As the elections took place and unrest broke out, SAFEY provided at least 14 updates to its users. Here are selected contents of the alerts: 

  • Two alerts were sent out by SAFEY warning of possible gatherings and unrest as the elections were underway on 26 November, and concluded on 27 November
  • Alert by SAFEY at 16:46 (GMT+2) on 30 November
    • Clashes broke out between protesters and police in the capital Tegucigalpa, resulting in the police using tear gas and injuries to several people
  • Multiple alerts by SAFEY on 2 December
    • Alerts informing users that a state of emergency and curfew had been declared amid the possibility of further violence
  • Alert by SAFEY at 08:48 (GMT+2) on 3 December
    • Alert regarding planned protests near government buildings, public parks and squares in Tegucigalpa, La Ceiba, San Pedro Sula and other major cities. The alert also warned of the high likelihood of police intervention and clashes if protesters block roads or defy the curfew
  • Multiple alerts by SAFEY up until 18 December
    • Coverage of demonstrations and violent incidents has continued as sporadic protests have taken place across the country. Alerts were sent out on 5, 6, 7, 15 and 18 December

SAFEY continues to monitor the unstable situation in the country.