WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following joint statement Thursday in response to the Trump Administration’s recognition of a winner in the Honduran presidential election despite widespread irregularities reported by international election observers. Protests and political unrest in Honduras continue:
“In advance of the Honduran presidential inauguration later this month, we remain deeply concerned about the legitimacy of the November 26 election. The Trump Administration’s decision to recognize President Hernandez as the winner of the election – despite the overwhelming evidence of widespread irregularities documented by the OAS and European Union electoral observation missions – marked yet another American diplomatic misstep on the global stage.
“We encourage former Latin American Presidents Jorge Quiroga and Álvaro Colom to continue their efforts to foster a national dialogue in Honduras that can restore the credibility of the country’s electoral process and foster agreement on long overdue political reforms. It is imperative that Honduran electoral authorities take additional steps to increase citizen confidence in the electoral process and its results.
“We are deeply troubled by the extrajudicial killings of protesters committed by the Honduran Military Police and other incidents of violence that have occurred across Honduras since the election. President Hernandez must ensure that the perpetrators of these crimes are identified and held accountable. We urge the Honduran authorities to refrain from violence and allow the people of Honduras to peacefully exercise their fundamental democratic rights enshrined in the Honduran constitution and the Inter-American Democratic Charter.”