IRB – Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (Author)
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] http://www.laprensahn.com/
natarc/9710/n02002.htm [Accessed 7 Dec. 19998]
_____. 11 September 1996. "Asesinan
dirigente liberal cuando iba a recoger piñatas para sus
hijos." [Internet] http://www.laprensahn.com/
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
_____. 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
_____. 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."