The treatment of Liberal Party supporters at the hands of National Party supporters and vice-versa (1993 to December 1998) [HND30642.E]

The following information on the treatment of Liberal Party supporters at the hands of National Party supporters and vice versa is in addition to that already provided in HND28040.E of 7 November 1997, HND28933.E of 16 March 1998, HND29366.E of 27 May 1998, HND29498.E of 2 July 1998, HND30316.E of 9 November 1998 and HND30317.E of 30 November 1998.

Mesoamerica and Latin American Regional Reports stated that the November 1993 presidential election campaign was marked by smearing campaigns by both the National Party candidate, Oswaldo Ramos Soto and the winning Liberal Party candidate, Roberto Reina (Dec. 1993, 1; 9 Dec. 1993, 1). An earlier Mesoamerica report stated that the "slanderous" comments by both parties were attributable to a close election race (Oct. 1993, 9). The attacks between the two candidates had become more vicious through the months leading up to election day on 28 November 1993, and some incidents of violence were also reported (ibid., Dec. 1993, 1). The report does not elaborate on what kind of incidents took place, or on who instigated them. Both parties launched accusations of election fraud (ibid., Oct. 1993, 9). The Liberal Party claimed that 200,000 of its members had been excluded from the electoral records, while the National Party claimed that 17,450 of its members had been omitted from the records. Both parties accused each other of tampering with the records.

Central America Report reported in December 1993 that no major violent incident took place on election day except for two small bombs that exploded in San Pedro Sula (3 Dec. 1993, 2). The incident left no one injured and no party had claimed responsibility for it.

In September 1996, La Prensa reported that Magdaleno Ramos, the co-ordinator for the Liberal candidate running in Sandoval, was shot and killed by a stranger. The report does not indicate whether the murder was politically motivated or not.

In reference to the November 1997 elections, the Liberal Party rejected accusations by National Party representatives that it was instrumental in suspending the presidential debate (La Prensa 2 Oct. 1997). Carlos Flores, the Liberal presidential candidate, stated that the cancelling of the debate was not a Liberal Party trick, but a decision taken by the debate organizers.

Several sources stated that the November 1997 elections took place without any major incident (ACAN 30 Nov. 1997; CAR 4 Dec. 1997, 2; Latin American Regional Reports 2 Dec. 1997, 1; Mesoamerica Dec. 1997, 4). Mesoamerica described the elections as "a democratic success," while Latin American Regional Reports stated that the "elections were free and fair." However, the opposition National Party threatened to boycott the elections over a controversy concerning new identification cards that voters needed in order to vote (CAR 4 Dec. 1997, 1; Latin American Regional Reports 2 Dec. 1997, 1; Mesoamerica Dec. 1997, 4). According to the Mesoamerica report, about 600,000 voters still did not have their new identification cards by 23 November 1997. A compromise was finally reached by both parties two days before the elections which allowed for both old and new identification cards to be used on election day (ibid.; Latin American Regional Reports 2 Dec. 1997, 1). CAR reported that despite a smooth election, two election-related deaths took place in the western department of Olancho (4 Dec. 1997, 2).

The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights in Honduras (CODEH) released a report in September 1998 detailing the most prevalent human rights violations of the 1990s (CAR 18 Sept. 1998). In terms of politically motivated killings, CODEH reported that three murders had taken place between 1990 and 1998. In the report, CODEH stated that "the political repression of the 1980s seemed to have been replaced by the "economic repression" that characterized the 1990s as part and parcel of economic structural adjustment programs" (IPS 2 Sept. 1998).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


ACAN [Panama City, in Spanish]. 30 November 1997. "Polls Close; Elections Take Place 'Normally.' (FBIS-LAT-97-334 30 Nov. 1997/WNC).

Central America Report (CAR) [Guatemala City]. 18 September 1998. "Honduras: Report Reveals Continued Rights Violations During the 1980s." (NEXIS)

_____. 4 December 1997. "Honduras: Liberals Win Second Terms."

_____. 3 December 1993. "Honduras: Liberals Back in Power."

InterPress Service (IPS). 2 September 1998. Thelma Mejia. "Rights-Honduras: Torture Disappears, but not Summary Executions." (NEXIS)

La Prensa [San Pedro Sula]. 2 October 1997. "Partido Liberal rechaza culpabilidad por suspención del debate presidencial." [Internet] natarc/9710/n02002.htm [Accessed 7 Dec. 19998]

_____. 11 September 1996. "Asesinan dirigente liberal cuando iba a recoger piñatas para sus hijos." [Internet] natarc/9609/n11005.htm [Accessed 7 Dec. 19998]

Latin American Regional Reports: Caribbean & Central America Report [London]. 2 December 1997. "Flores Heads for Victory in Honduran Polls Marked by High Absention Rate."

_____. 9 December 1993. "Policies Forgotten as Candidates in Honduras Exchange Vitrolic Insults."

Mesoamerica [San José]. December 1997. Vol. 16, No. 12. "Honduras: Carlos Flores Celebrates Victory."

_____. December 1993. Vol. 12, No. 12. David P. Mille. "Honduras: And the Winner Is..."

_____. October 1993. Vol. 12, No. 10. Gayle Grin. "Honduras: Election Campaigns Become Hostile."