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After Claims Of Electoral Fraud, Hondurans Are Fighting Their Government For A More Transparent Vote Recount

Violence has gripped the nation of Honduras as the Honduran Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) has refused to announce a winner in the presidential election held last week. Hondurans are demanding their government hold a new election, claiming that results from the recent vote are fraudulent. The race for the presidency came down to U.S.-backed incumbent, Juan Orlando Hernández, and challenger, TV star Salvador Nasralla.

One person, 19-year-old Kimberly Dayana Fonseca, was shot and killed in the nation’s capital of Tegucigalpa on Dec. 2 when police opened fire into a crowd of unarmed protesters. According to The Guardian, Fonseca was killed after the Honduran government issued a 10-day nationwide curfew. The curfew forces Honduran citizens to stay in their homes from 6 pm. to 6 a.m.

Here’s what we know so far about the crisis gripping the Central American country.

Salvador Nasralla’s supporters claim that the presidential election is being rigged to make Juan Orlando Hernández the winner.

Nasralla was leading in the polls when the results first started rolling in from the TSE. NPR writes that TSE reporting stalled when 57 percent of the votes were counted. At that time, Nasralla had a substantial lead over Hernández, one the TSE called irreversible. Yet, when the TSE was back online the next day the gap between both the candidates was closing. TSE then reported that electrical issues brought the servers down again before coming back online. Within that timeframe that servers were down, TSE claims Hernández took the lead.

Hondurans are calling on the government to have a transparent recount of the votes.

“If Juan Orlando wins, we’re ready to accept that, but we know that wasn’t the case,” Marlon Ochoa, the campaign manager of Nasralla’s alliance, told Reuters. “We know that Salvador won and that’s why they’re refusing the transparency demands.”

The unrest has led to fires being set across the country and thousands injured in clashes with police forces.

People are being arrested for being outside during the curfew and hundreds have been arrested for looting. Many are comparing the current crisis to the coup that overthrew the government in 2009. Back then, President Manuel Zelaya, who was closely aligned with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, wanted to rewrite the country’s constitution and lift presidential term limits. The result was months of protests and infighting before the military rushed the presidential palace in Tegucigalpa and exiled the president to Costa Rica while he was still in his pajamas.

As a result of the ongoing unrest, the TSE recounted 1,000 votes. However, protesters are demanding more.

Nasralla’s alliance is calling for the TSE to recount the votes in three of Honduras’ 18 voting regions. The candidate has been vocal about having a completely transparent redo of the presidential election to calm the unrest that has shaken the country.

One Salvadoran journalist has called into question the actions of the TSE.

“There are only two possibilities: The TSE is either as incompetent as the Olympic committee or they are committing fraud,” wrote Carlos Dada, the founder of El Faro.

Despite the ongoing turmoil, forced curfew and reports of physical violence against peaceful protesters, the U.S. State Department claims that Honduras has fought against corruption and supported human rights.

As a result, the Honduran government stands to receive $644 million in assistance, according to Reuters. The decision came just two days after the election crisis began.


READ: The Trump Administration Starts Rolling Back TPS Protection For Nicaraguans And Hondurans

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At Least 17 Dead And Hundreds Injured Following Massive Protests Across Colombia

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At Least 17 Dead And Hundreds Injured Following Massive Protests Across Colombia

A massive protest movement that swept across Colombia seems to have paid off – at least in the short term – as President Ivan Duque says that he will withdrawal the controversial tax plan that sent angry protesters into the streets. However, the protests claimed at least 17 victims who died during the unrest and hundreds more were injured.

Now that the president has withdrawn the controverial bill, many are wondering what’s next and will they have to take to the streets once again.

Massive protests claimed the lives of at least 17 people and hundreds more were injured across Colombia.

Unions and other groups kicked off marches on Wednesday to demand the government of President Ivan Duque withdraw a controversial tax plan that they say unfairly targets the most vulnerable Colombians.

Isolated vandalism, clashes between police and protesters and road blockades occurred in several cities on Saturday, and riot police were deployed in the capital.

Rights organization Human Rights Watch said it had received reports of possible police abuse in Cali, and local human rights groups alleged up to 17 deaths occurred.

After a week of protests, the government has shelved the controversial plan.

Faced with the unrest, the government of President Ivan Duque on Sunday ordered the proposal be withdrawn from Congress where it was being debated. In a televised statement, he said his government would work to produce new proposals and seek consensus with other parties and organizations.

President Duque, in his statement, acknowledged “it is a moment for the protection of the most vulnerable, an invitation to build and not to hate and destroy”.

“It is a moment for all of us to work together without paltriness,” he added. “A path of consensus, of clear perceptions. And it gives us the opportunity to say clearly that there will be no increase in VAT for goods and services.”

The tax reform had been heavily criticized for punishing the middle classes at a time of economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The government introduced the bill on April 15 as a means of financing public spending. The aim was to generate $6.3 billion between 2022 and 2031 to reignite the fourth largest economy in Latin America.

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Protesters In Mexico Take To Streets To Demand Justice For Dog Brutally Killed By Man With An Axe

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Protesters In Mexico Take To Streets To Demand Justice For Dog Brutally Killed By Man With An Axe

Residents of one Mexican city have taken to the streets to demand justice for a local stray dog who was brutally killed in an axe attack last month. Video of the incident was uploaded to social media and quickly went viral, leading to large protests in the Sinaloan city of Los Mochis.

Hundreds marched in Los Mochis to seek justice for a dog killed by man with an axe.

Hundreds took to the streets in Los Mochis, Sinaloa to demand justice for Rodolfo, a mixed breed dog killed with an axe on March 21. They showed banners that read “Justice for Rodolfo & for all who have no voice,” “We won’t stop until we have justice,” and “Justice for Rodolfo,” among others.

Despite the COVID-19 regulations, the participants in this new march, children, women and men, calmly marched through the center of the city of Los Mochis to make it clear that they are against animal cruelty and demanded justice for Rodolfo, who was a local stray dog. The demonstration gained traction after a video of the attack on Rodolfo, also known by Heart, Pirate and Shorty, was uploaded onto social media.

The predominantly young crowd marched to the state prosecutor’s office where environmental activist Arturo Islas Allende delivered a criminal complaint. Many brought their pets to the march and carried placards demanding the killer be sentenced to prison. One placard read: “Justice for Rodolfo and for all those that don’t have a voice.”

The suspected attacker, José “M,” a student at a Sinaloa university, has already delivered a preparatory statement to officials. Islas Allende questioned the morality of the killer. “We don’t want a psychopath like him as our neighbor,” he said.

The suspect’s girlfriend claimed that he killed the dog to protect her.

The girlfriend of the alleged attacker took to social media in his defense, saying the dog had attacked her days earlier and injured her face and hands.

On her Facebook account she claimed that medical treatments for her injuries had cost 8,000 pesos (US $400) and uploaded photographs of the injuries caused by the dog’s bites.

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