Trump administration praises Honduras amid election crisis

Amid a deepening electoral crisis in Honduras, the administration of President Donald Trump on Thursday certified the country’s progress in protecting human rights and attacking corruption.

The move comes nearly two restive weeks after a presidential election, but Hondurans still do not know who their next leader will be. President Juan Orlando Hernandez narrowly leads in the vote tally, but has not been declared the winner. His challenger, Salvador Nasralla, alleges fraud.

Troops and police units, some trained by U.S. forces, are patrolling the streets of the capital and have been accused of killing and wounding demonstrators after Hernandez declared a dusk-to-dawn curfew and suspended some constitutional rights to tamp down pro-opposition protesters.

If accepted by U.S. congressional appropriations committees, the certifications by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would ensure that Honduras receives millions of dollars in U.S. funds that are conditional on progress in human rights and corruption.

Human rights defenders in Honduras were stunned by the certification.

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