The continued repression of trade unionists by the regime set up in Honduras after a June 28 coup makes it impossible to hold free and fair elections, says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in a Nov. 13 letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. 

Trumka points out that delegates to the AFL-CIO Convention in September passed a resolution calling on the U.S. government to suspend military aid to Honduras until President Manuel Zelaya, the democratically elected leader, is returned to office and human and trade union rights have been restored.

With an illegitimate government in power, scheduled elections later this month cannot be fair, free and open, Trumka says.

The violent and coercive repression of political opposition to the de facto coup regime, including trade unionists, has continued.

At least 12 trade unionists have died in the violence since June 28.

National and international human rights organizations report ongoing human rights violations committed by state security forces, including killings, severe beatings, sexual violence, the imprisonment and torture of activists, as well as the arrest and detention of President Zelaya’s supporters.

Trumka calls on Clinton and the U.S. government to oppose national elections in Honduras unless Zelaya is reinstated and to implement the recommendations in the AFL-CIO resolution.
November 16, 2009