Honduran army enforces curfew after vote count stalls
TEGUCIGALPA - Reuters
Honduran security forces fanned out on Dec. 2 to enforce a curfew as sporadic demonstrations continued over a contested presidential election that triggered violent protests that have killed at least three people.
Hundreds have been arrested after the tally from Nov. 26’s presidential race stalled without a clear winner. Opposition leaders accused the government of trying to steal the election.
TV star Salvador Nasralla on Dec. 2 accused his rival, President Juan Orlando Hernandez, of carrying out a “coup” by manipulating the vote count and declaring the curfew to stifle protests.
International concern has grown about the electoral crisis in the poor Central American country, which struggles with violent drug gangs and one of the world’s highest murder rates.
Lines formed at supermarkets and early Dec. 2 as people stocked up on supplies, but upscale malls and many shops were shuttered while others closed early as groups of workers waited to catch buses and get back to their homes before the 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew took effect.
“I’m afraid I’m going to get arrested by the army and be stuck in jail overnight or hit a blockade in the streets,” said Daniel Solorzono, 27, as he heaved eggs, bananas and sausage into his pick-up truck at a market and rushed off to his home.
Nasralla’s early 5 percentage point lead on Nov. 27 was later reversed, after a pause of more than a day in the count, in favor of Hernandez, leading to accusations of vote fraud and calls for protests. Disputed votes could swing the outcome.