Nurses Around the World Denounce Violent Repression and Call for the Restoration of Democracy in Honduras

Submitted by kblatt on

Global Nurses United

Nurses around the world in 17 countries, organized through Global Nurses United, stand by our sister and brother nurses in Honduras in denouncing violent repression being carried out against the Honduran population by the Honduran armed forces and military police in the context of the unresolved November 26th presidential election. The election has been characterized by multiple irregularities including vote buying, a lack of transparency in the vote counting process, mysterious ballot transmission outages followed by a statistically impossible reversal in the results, and a week-long delay in the results being reported. At least 14 have been shot and killed by state security forces under the command of current president (and candidate for re-election) Juan Orlando Hernández, and over 50 more have been hospitalized for bullet wounds. The current state of emergency and military-imposed curfew during an electoral process is not just harmful for the victims of repression; it also prevents patients from accessing necessary care and treatment.

As nurses, we understand that the threat to Honduran democracy is also a threat to Honduran health and well-being. Hondurans have already suffered deeply the health impacts of the Hernández administration’s illegal defunding of the Honduran Institute for Social Security (IHSS), and privatization of public hospitals and clinics despite widespread public protest led by nurses and other healthcare workers. In addition, the administration has abolished hard-won labor rights of public sector nurses with the intention of limiting their ability to care and advocate for their patients. Since the 2009 military coup, Hernández’s support for land grabs and mining and other extractive projects with dire environmental consequences have had deleterious impacts on the health of Hondurans. Dozens of human rights defenders—including nurses—protesting these threats to Honduran health and democracy have been killed in targeted assassinations.

Given the current crisis, we join Honduran nurses in calling upon the international community and our respective governments to demand:

  1. A recount supervised by independent, credible international bodies;
  2. That the international community take a stance calling for an immediate end to the Honduran government’s repression of non-violent protestors, and condemning of pre-and post-election militarization;
  3. That the Honduras government lift the state of emergency imposed during the electoral process, including the military-enforced curfew aimed at shutting down large non-violent “cacerolazo” protests;
  4. Immediate suspension by all governments around the world of all military & police aid to the Honduran military and police forces that are carrying out human rights abuses.

Annie Butler, Acting Federal Secretary
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation

Solange Aparecida Caetano, President
Federação Nacional dos Enfermeiros

Linda Silas, President
Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions

Nancy Bédard, President
Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec

Rodrigo López García Rodríguez, General Secretary
Asociación Nacional de Profesionales en Enfermería of Costa Rica
Costa Rica

Julio Cesar García Cruceta, General Secretary
Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de Enfermería
Dominican Republic

George Tsolas, President
Thomai Aslanoglou, General Secretary
Pan-Hellenic Federation of Nursing Staff

Dora Regina Ruano Saldaña de Lara, Secretaria General Adjunta
Sindicato Nacional de los Trabadores de Salud de Guatemala
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Dr. Edward Matthews, Director of Regulation and Social Policy
Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation

José Marcos Rojas Martínez, Dirección Política Nacional
Asamblea Nacional de Enfermeras y Enfermeros de México

María Concepción Chávez, President
Asociación Paraguaya de Enfermería

Kerri Nuku, Co-President
Grant Brookes, Co-President
New Zealand Nurses Organisation
New Zealand

Zoila Bernardita Cotrina Díaz, President
Federación de Enfermeras del Ministerio de salud del Perú

Jocelyn S. Andamo, General Secretary
Filipino Nurses United
The Philippines

Ji Hyun Yoo, President
Korean Health and Medical Workers Union
South Korea

Zxyyann Jane Lu, Chairperson, Board of Directors
Taiwan Nurses’ Union

Ming-Chang Tsai, Chairman
Wei Hsu, Supervisor
Taipei City Hospital Labor Union

Deborah Burger, Co-President
Jean Ross, Co-President
National Nurses United
United States

Mg. Silvia Santana, Comisión Directiva
Sindicato Único de Enfermería del Uruguay