As Honduras deals with the aftermath of a contentious election, social media has given Hondurans a chance to tell their own stories. It’s become an invaluable resource, especially as journalists report they are being deported. More than a week after Hondurans cast their votes in the presidential election, the Central American country is in a state of unrest as accusations of voter fraud and human rights violations spread. After delays and inconsistencies with the tallying of the votes, the voting commission announced that incumbent president Juan Orlando Hernández came out on top, but didn’t declare him the winner. Dissatisfied with the results and fearing that Hernández stole the election, Hondurans have taken to the streets to protest.
Hernández – who stacked the Supreme Court in his favor to make it possible to run for re-election – has received a wave of criticism after bouncing back from a significant deficit. Soon after people began demonstrating last week, the government enacted a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. It quickly turned violent, with police employing tear gas and water cannons to quell dissent. Eleven have been reported dead as of Monday, according to The Guardian, which has only served to spark more outrage and direct attention to the United States’ complicity in the violence as US-trained security forces take orders from a US-backed president.
As a result of the lives lost, Teguicalpa’s national police have decided to disobey the federal government. “We want peace, and we will not follow government orders – we’re tired of this,” a spokesman said, according to The Guardian. “We aren’t with a political ideology. We can’t keep confronting people, and we don’t want to repress and violate the rights of the Honduran people.”
There are still forces at play suppressing Hondurans’ speech, but many have turned to social media to share their first-hand accounts and to counter some of the narratives featured on foreign media. And now, illustrators are being encouraged to share their own stories and bring increased visibility to what’s happening in Honduras through their art. With the hashtags #JusticeForHonduras and #JusticiaParaHonduras, illustrators are taking on the challenge.
Check out a few drawings below.