Nurse Union Leaders from Around the World Unite to Condemn Repression, Assault on Democracy in Honduras
Nurse union leaders from 17 countries, organized with Global Nurses United, an international federation of nurses’ unions, today denounced the “violent repression” being carried out on the Honduran people by the armed forces and military police following the November 26th presidential election in that country.
The nurse leaders called attention to the multiple irregularities in the election and the fact that at least 14 people have been shot and killed by state security forces and over 50 more people 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,” the nurses said.
The statement was signed by leaders of the following unions: Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation; Federação Nacional dos Enfermeiros of Brasil; Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions; Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec of Canada; Asociación Nacional de Profesionales en Enfermería of Costa Rica; Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de Enfermeria of the Dominican Republic; Pan-Hellenic Federation of Nursing Staff of Greece; Sindicato Nacional de los Trabadores de Salud de Guatemala; Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation of Ireland; Asamblea Nacional de Enfermeras y Enfermeros de México; New Zealand Nurses Organisation; Asociación Paraguaya de Enfermería of Paraguay; Federación de Enfermeras del Ministerio de Salud del Perú; Filipino Nurses United of the Philippines; Korean Health and Medical Workers Union of South Korea; Taiwan Nurses’ Union; Taipei City Hospital Labor Union of Taiwan; National Nurses United of the United States; and Sindicato Único de Enfermería del Uruguay.
“As nurses, we understand that the threat to Honduran democracy is also a threat to Honduran health and well-being,” the statement states. “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,” the statement continued. “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.”
Among GNU’s affiliates is the auxiliary nurses’ union in Honduras, Asociación Nacional de Enfermeras/os Auxiliares de Honduras.
The nurse leaders demanded that the Honduran government lift the state of emergency and called on the international community to demand a recount of the election “supervised by independent, credible international bodies”; “call for an immediate end to the Honduran government’s repression of non-violent protestors, and condemning of pre-and post-election militarization”; and the “immediate suspension by all governments around the world of all military and police aid to the Honduran military and police forces that are carrying out human rights abuses.”
The complete statement can be found at https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/nurses-around-world-denounce-violent-repression-and-call-restoration-democracy-honduras