Juan Orlando Hernández was declared the winner in Honduras’ presidential elections last week, despite his party’s poor track record on crime, violence and femicide. Hernández narrowly beat out his main competitor Xiomara Castro, a a more liberal female candidate who campaigned on promoting change and constitutional reform.
This was a high stakes election for Honduras, especially for women. The country has become the murder capital of the world and rates of femicide have skyrocketed. Honduran women human rights defenders have also faced escalating violence with 119 registered attacks last year.
A number of independent electoral observers have questioned the legitimacy of the election results. There have been allegations of vote tampering and bribery on the part of the National party. Protestors have taken to the streets to contest the results and were met with violent repression.
The Laureates of the Nobel Women’s Initiative called for free, fair and secure elections, as well as security for women’s human rights defenders as the country went to vote.