TEGUCIGALPA – Honduran police who had gone on strike allegedly because of the country’s political crisis in the wake of the Nov. 26 presidential election ended on Tuesday their work stoppage to be able to discuss the matter with Security Minister Julian Pacheco.
“We will have a dialogue with the top authorities, we will touch on the points to end this and return to normality,” the spokesman for the striking officers, Carlos Carias, told reporters.
He said that the National Police “will return to their duties because the Honduran people pay us for that, we owe it to the people and each officer will return to take on his role because our people cannot be left unprotected.”
Officers with the special Cobras force within the National Police, who on Monday declared themselves to be on strike, said that their protest is “not over money,” but rather is “a just cause.”
“Our issue is not about money, it’s about the peace of our people and for this political crisis to come to an end, but that is not our business, the politicians must resolve their problems,” the strikers added.
The Security Secretariat reported in a communique that the police this month will receive a “significant salary increase,” the amount of which they did not specify.
They said that starting at 2 pm on Tuesday, a total of 179 lempiras (about $7.5 million) will be paid to the officers, who will also receive “an election bonus” for the extra work they have been forced to provide before and during the election.
The police also asked that none of their members be “removed” from his or her assigned unit and that top National Police officials “not take reprisals” against them.
They also called for “the rapid resolution of the political crisis” in Honduras resulting from the claims of election fraud leveled by the opposition alliance of presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla.
The crisis worsened last Wednesday when opposition supporters launched street protests claiming that Nasralla had won the election but, due to fraud, President Juan Orlando Hernandez, had been declared to have more votes.
The opposition is demanding that top electoral authorities review 5,179 precincts where they allege that fraud occurred to favor Hernandez.
With 99.98 percent of the precincts now counted, Hernandez stands with 42.98 percent of the votes to 41.38 for Nasralla, who on Monday evening issued a call for “civil disobedience” by his supporters.