7 Years Later: Tell Senator Durbin & the House of Reps to Cut US Security Aid to Honduras Now!
(Español aquí) On June 8th, Tomás Gómez Membreño, General Coordinator of the Popular Indigenous Council of Honduras (COPINH), delivered a message to Senator Durbin’s Chicago office asking that he immediately hold all security aid to Honduras, which numbers in the tens of millions of US taxpayer dollars annually. Honduras maintains a 95% impunity rate while The Guardian newspaper recently reported credible allegations that Honduran military personnel maintained a hit list with Berta Cáceres—cofounder of COPINH and one of the most internationally well-known indigenous rights defenders in Honduras—at the very top. Despite this evidence and ongoing pressure from Illinois activists and community members, Senator Durbin’s office has failed to respond.
Today, Tuesday, June 28th marks 7 years since the U.S.-backed military coup in Honduras with hundreds of human rights defenders assassinated; political activists, dissidents & organizers increasingly criminalized; and the growing militarization of the civilian police force with no political will to follow the rule of law. This week, the Senate’s State and Foreign Operations (SFOPs) Subcommittee will be in a markup period for their Appropriations bill. Senator Durbin, as an SFOPs member has the power to recommend that 100% of U.S. security aid to Honduras meet human rights conditions. Senator Durbin also has the power, as a ranking Democrat on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, to immediately place a hold on all security aid to Honduras pending that human rights violations by Honduran security forces cease and their perpetrators are brought to justice.
1. Call Senator Durbin’s office today at 202-224-2152, ask for the foreign policy staffer and tell them or leave the following message for them:
I’m calling to ask that Senator Durbin place an immediate hold on all security assistance to Honduras and support 100% human rights conditioning for the fiscal year 2017 State and Foreign Operations Bill. As a member of the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, as a ranking member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and as my Illinois Senator, I ask that he use his power to protect human rights in Honduras.
2. Then click here to find your member of the House of Representatives, call their office in Washington DC, ask for the Foreign Policy staffer, & tell them or leave the following message:
I’m calling to ask that Rep. _________ support H.R.5474, the Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act. My community does not want our tax dollars funding death squads in Honduras. Instead we want a full and independent investigation into the murder of Berta Cáceres, prosecution of the intellectual and material authors of her murder, and the establishment of democratic systems of justice in Honduras in order to protect the rights of hundreds of political activists under attack all over the country.