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CRLN recently recommended that you watch a NISGUA webinar titled “From the U.S. to Central America: Asylum, Deportations, and COVID-19,” featuring five panelists from Central America and the U.S. who are experts on migration and powerful movement leaders. The panelists spoke about the illegal and inhumane Asylum Cooperative Agreements (ACAs), also known as safe third country agreements. They also discussed deportations during the pandemic, which have greatly impacted already under-resourced medical systems in the Global South.

The recording of the webinar, complete with English subtitles, is now available for viewing, if you were unable to see it when the webinar first aired.

Links: 

Asylum Cooperative Agreements (ACAs)

deportations during the pandemic

recording

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CRLN is a member of the Honduras Solidarity Network (HSN). Karen Spring is HSN’s representative in Honduras and is an insightful analyst of what is going on in Honduras today. We encourage you to tune into her upcoming podcast series. The first 2 episodes aired yesterday on the 11th anniversary of the 2009 overthrow of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales. Read her statement and listen below!

Hi there!

Today is the 11th anniversary of the 2009 coup d’état in Honduras. Like so many, I continue to be inspired by the amazing resistance of Hondurans across the country.

Today, I LAUNCHED the Honduras Now podcast, to remember not just a day that sparked a crisis in Honduras but a day that brought together an amazing and tireless popular movement that despite all odds, continues today.

 

Listen to the first two episodes:

** Episode One: The 2009 coup d’état in Honduras – download HERE
** Episode Two: What the coup means 11 years later – download HERE

If you would prefer to read the episodes (or get the links to Honduran feminist artist Karla Lara’s beautiful music), I will post the show notes at: www.hondurasnow.org

Hasta pronto! Thanks for listening!

Karen Spring
Honduras-based Coordinator, Honduras Solidarity Network (HSN)
Honduras Now Podcast

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Guatemala held elections last Sunday that were marred by the interference of the powers controlling the country in the electoral process. The primary anti-corruption candidate, who had been leading in the polls, fled to El Salvador after receiving a death threat earlier in the campaign season, as did the Special Prosecutor for Electoral Crimes. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal threw various obstacles in front of one of the indigenous parties, MLP, to limit its ability to campaign and to limit the number of votes for its candidates. One of its candidates and two of its campaign committee members were murdered. Neither of the two Presidential candidates who won the most votes and will have a run-off election in September have promised to support the International Commission Against Impunity (CICIG), and so it will cease operations in September 2019.

Nevertheless, indigenous and progressive parties did better than usual in this election, and the population in general is outraged at official corruption. Below is a more detailed report on the election results by our friends at the Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA.

 

Guatemala’s June 16th General Elections:

Parties implicated in corruption will face off for the presidency, dominate congress

Strongest showing yet by opposition parties

 

GHRC

June 18, 2019

As expected, Sunday’s general elections in Guatemala resulted in a run-off for the presidency between former First Lady Sandra Torres (National  Unity of Hope – UNE – party) and four-time presidential candidate Alejandro Giamattei (Vamos Party).  The Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) reports that Torres took the lead with close to 26% of the vote and Giamattei followed with just under 14%. The run-off will take place August 11. Elected candidates will take office January 14.

The TSE reports that UNE won 53 out of 160 available congressional seats, up from 28 in the last elections.  UNE’s congressional showing alone makes it the dominant political force. Vamos took 16 seats.  During the outgoing Congress, UNE often voted with the“Pact of Corrupts,” an informal coalition that promoted laws favoring corruption and impunity, of which Vamos was considered an ally.

Maya Mam community organizer Thelma Cabrera (Movement for Peoples’ Liberation – MLP – party) came in with 10.5% of the vote, making her the highest polling indigenous presidential candidate ever in Guatemala, a majority indigenous country.  She came in a close fourth place behind Edmund Mulet.  Cabrera’s newly created MLP party issued a statement late in the day on Monday, rejecting the TSE’s official reports.  The MLP reports that local TSE officials refused to provide copies of the official acts registering polling station results as required by law, in some districts the MLP’s symbol was omitted from the ballot, the TSE did not provide MLP with its legally mandated publicity budget, and the TSE blocked MLP locals from opening bank accounts.  Concern regarding electoral irregularities has been heightened since the Special Prosecutor for Electoral Crimes, Oscar Schaad, resigned his post and fled Guatemala five days before the elections in response to death threats.   Leopaldo Guerra, the Director of the TSE’ Citizens Registry, which oversees the registration of candidates, also took a leave just days before the elections citing health reasons, while the Special Prosecutor Against Impunity (FECI), Juan Francisco Sandoval, is also reported to be on vacation.

Rural political observers note that during the campaign president Jimmy Morales’ principal anti-poverty initiative, a bag of foodstuffs known as “bolsa solidaria”, was handed out in many areas by UNE political operators.  This suggests an alliance between the outgoing FCN party and UNE.  Over seventeen years and one presidency, the UNE party, created to sponsor Torres’ former husbandÁlvaro Arzú [CRLN note: her former husband was Álvaro Colom] unsuccessful 2003 presidential bid, has built a voting base in rural areas where political clientelism dominates communities plagued by extreme levels of poverty.  Analysts also questioned Giammattei’s presidential showing, noting the Vamos party had no structure in the countryside and in the city polled similarly to Cabrera and Mulet.

On February 27 the International Commission Against Impunity (CICIG) and its counterpart in the Public Prosecutors office, FECI, asked the Supreme Court of Justice to remove Sandra Torres’ political immunity, which derives from her status as a candidate, to face indictment for crimes related to illicit campaign financing during her last presidential bid in 2015.  This impeachment request is currently pending before the Constitutional Court. Torres could still face charges. Guatemalan press revealed that the charges against Torres were held up in the Attorney Generals’ Office until after she had gained immunity by registering as a candidate.

In 2009 Alejandro Giamattei faced charges brought by CICIG, he was accused of participation in death squad activities while he served as National Penitentiary Director in 2005 and 2006. After first seeking asylum in the Honduran embassy during the de facto government of Roberto Micheletti, Giamattei was acquitted in 2011 by Judge Carol Patricia Flores.  Flores is renowned for judicial acrobatics which favor impunity for corruption and crimes against humanity.  In April 2015, CICIG and FECI requested the removal of Flores’ immunity so that she could be investigated for money laundering and illicit enrichment.  Instead she was sanctioned and it was removed from presiding over a high-risk courtroom.

Sandra Torres has also been touched by prison murder scandals.  Her niece was arrested as an accomplice of Marvin “El Taquero” Montiel Marin in the prison murder of Montiel Marin’s rival, Byron Lima, for control of criminal networks in prison.  Montiel Marin is imprisoned convicted of running a drug assassin network responsible for burning a bus, killing all 26 people inside.

In keeping with past elections, TSE reported that approximately 5 million of 8 million registered voters participated and 13% voted null or left their ballots blank.  In the 2015 electoral law time nullified ballots can have legal implications; if over 50% of ballots are annulled the electoral law would mandate repeated elections.

This election was deeply impacted by court decisions.  Torres’ early challenger Zury Rios was removed from the ballot after the Constitutional Court supported the Elections Tribunal’s finding that, as the daughter of military coup author Efrian Rios Montt, Zury Rios is constitutionally barred from the presidency.  Corruption charges generally believed to be politically motivated removed another early front runner from the race, Semilla candidate and former Attorney General Thelma Aldana.  Aldana remains unable to enter Guatemala without arrest.  Mario Estrada, a lower polling candidate but who represented a significant party, UCN, was arrested in Miami on drug trafficking charges on April 17.  Despite the scandal, UCN won twelve seats in Congress.

Left-leaning opposition parties made the strongest showing since the 1950 elections spurred a CIA backed coup that led to decades of extreme violence directed against any opposition to the business-military alliance that ruled the country.  Parties identified with social demands and anti-corruption platforms took 15 seats in Congress; Semilla (7), Winaq (4), MLP (1) and URNG (3).  In the previous congress, they held thirteen seats; URNG- Winaq (3), Convergencia (3), and Encuentro por Guatemala (7).  Nineth Montenegro, human rights activist and congresswoman since 1996, was not re-elected.  Her party, Encuentro por Guatemala, did not win any seats and according to reforms in the electoral law, will cease to exist. Winaq candidate Aldo Davila on Sunday became the first openly gay man elected to congress. Sandra Moran was the first openly gay woman when she won a congressional seat in the 2015 elections on the Convergencia ticket.  She did not seek re-election. Convergencia did not win any seats in congress and will face a similar fate as Encuentro por Guatemala.

TSE results divide the remaining congressional seats between fifteen small, right wing parties.  Like UNE, they generally appear to have ties to corruption and drug trafficking networks, but are more strongly allied with the military, which seeks protection from prosecution for crimes against humanity.  Giamattei’s VAMOS party won 16 seats, while current president Jimmy Morales’ FCN party took only 7 seats.  Zury Rios’ VALOR party won 9 seats. The Humanista party, whose presidential candidate Edmund Mulet took third place with just over 11% of the vote, won 4 seats in Congress. Mulet was accused of collaborating in a child trafficking ring in the early 1980s. Mulet’s newly formed party’s founders came from the government of former President Alfonso Portillo, who served a prison sentence in New York for financial crimes. Portillo’s attempted bid for Congress was barred by electoral laws, his party, BIEN, won 8 seats.

The most significant incident reported at the polls on election day was the arrest of former General Luis Enrique Mendoza Garcia, the father-in-law of Estuardo Galdamez, presidential candidate for the governing FCN party who garnered just 4% of the vote.  General Mendoza Garcia, arrested Salama, Baja Verapaz, is charged with participating in acts of genocide against Maya Ixil communities between 1982-83.  Galdamez, a congressman representing El Quiche, also served as a military officer in the Ixil area during the genocide.  Maya community leaders and authorities from El Quiche reported with concern that during his campaign Galdamez sought to revive networks of military and former civil patrollers by promising payments to war veterans and demanding impunity for crimes against humanity committed by the military against a largely civilian population in the 1970 and 1980s.  Galdamez and seven fellow congressmen are accused of working with then Vice President Roxana Baldetti to pay fellow congressional representatives for votes on law proposals.

At least two candidates were murdered during campaigns, a mayorial candidate with the FUERZA party and a municipal corporation candidate with MLP.  The MLP also reported the murder of two campaign committee members in the Peten department.  The MLP killings are the latest in a series of murders that target successful Maya-led political projects. Thelma Cabrera represented the newly formed MLP party, the political arm of CODECA, a grassroots indigenous campesino community development organization.  A second successful community development organization, CCDA, brought important support to the Convergencia party. CCDA’s former National Coordinator, Leocadio Juracan, was a high profile congressman who from congress visibly promoted indigenous and campesino rights.

Last year, as planning for campaigns began, CODECA reported that six local leaders were murdered; the CCDA reported three. In 2019, CODECA reported the murder of a community organizer. All of these killings remain in impunity.  Cabrera’s relative success has caused reactions from the business sector. Juan Carlos Telef, president of Guatemala’s largest business association, CACIF,expressed concern that someone with Thelma Cabrera’s political perspectives could gain 10% of the vote.

Given Cabrera’s successful campaign, the increased show in congress, and the violence against MLP, CODECA and CCDA, it is concerning that attacks against parties with strong indigenous and campesino ties could increase in coming years.


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Timeline of Events Surrounding Coup

Both the U.S. and Honduran mainstream media has published misinformation about the events surrounding the coup of June 28,2009.  For example, the allegation that President Zelaya wanted to change the constitution in order to extend his time in office was invented by the coup leaders and repeated early and often.  However, President Zelaya never stated this.  The following timeline includes critical events leading up to and following the coup, including social legislation passed by President Zelaya in the months before the coup:



November 11, 2008:


President Zelaya announces his intent to conduct an opinion poll to see if the people want to have a fourth ballot box installed at polling places during the next election (11/29/09).  This fourth ballot box would be in addition to the ballot boxes for President, Congress, and local officials for the purpose of holding a non-binding referendum asking people if they want the government to hold a National Constituent Assembly to draft a new constitution.



February 2009:


President Zelaya increases the minimum wage by 60%. Chiquita (formerly United Fruit Company) and Dole join the Honduran Business Council in complaining that this will cut into their profits and lead to mass unemployment.  However, this increase results in salaries that are still less than a third of a living wage for Hondurans.



March 24, 2009:


President Zelaya issues a decree to the National Statistical Institute to hold the opinion poll on June 28, 2009.  Article 5 of the Honduran “Civil Participation Act” of 2006, approved by Congress and the Supreme Court at the time, allows public officials to perform non-binding public consultations to inquire what the population thinks about policy measures.  While the constitution can only be changed by a 2/3 majority of the Congress, Zelaya was merely attempting to gauge public opinion as an advisory measure for Congress.



March 25, 2009:


The Attorney General’s office notifies Zelaya that if he proceeds with the opinion poll, he will be charged with abuse of power.



May 2009:


The Supreme Court, the Congress, and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal all rule that the opinion poll is illegal, in spite of the fact that in 2006, the Congress had passed and the Supreme Court had approved the above-mentioned Civil Participation Act allowing for non-binding public consultations.



June 25, 2009:


Gen. Romeo Vasquez, trained at the U.S. Army School of the Americas, tells President Zelaya that the armed forces will not distribute ballots for the non-binding referendum as ordered by the president.  President Zelaya fires him.



June 26, 2009:


Supreme Court rules that Gen. Vasquez be reinstated.  President Zelaya refuses to do so, saying “If an army rebels against a president, then we are back to the era of the cavemen, back to the darkest chapters in Honduran history.”  He and his supporters go to the Air Force base to collect and distribute the ballot boxes themselves.



June 28, 2009:


Early in the morning, armed forces led by Gen. Vasquez storm Zelaya’s home, disarm the Presidential guard, and fly him to Costa Rica.  The plane stops at Palmerola, a joint U.S. and Honduran military airfield.

The military patrols the streets in tanks and fly overhead in planes.  Electricity, phone lines, and international cable TV lines are cut; water is cut off to some neighborhoods; TV and radio stations supportive of Zelaya are taken off the air; and the stations still on the air report no news.

Nine ministers in Zelaya’s administration are detained.  A dozen Zelaya ministers go into hiding, fearing arrest.

An extraordinary session of Congress is called, but not all legislators are notified or present.  There is later dispute over whether Congress had a quorum.  A fake letter of resignation from President Zelaya is read and a vote is taken to remove Zelaya from office and install Roberto Micheletti, President of the Congress, as President.  Micheletti immediately orders a 24 hour curfew for all citizens which lasts for three days.  People cannot leave their houses even to buy food or water, without fear of army retaliation.  After the third day, the curfew is suspended and reinstated arbitrarily, at the whim of the coup government, for the next several months.

The Front of Resistance to the Coup is born, a coalition of labor, farmworker, student, indigenous, Garifuna (a mixed Afro-Caribe people), and feminist groups.  People who had not been part of protests in the past join the Front’s non-violent resistance in daily public demonstrations and marches in spite of the curfew.

All Latin American countries, the European Union and much of the rest of the world unequivocally condemn the coup and call for the reinstatement of President Zelaya.  Many over the next several days recall their ambassadors and cease economic relations with Honduras.  Secretary of State Clinton, refusing to use the word “coup,” condemns the “action” taken against President Zelaya and calls on “all parties in Honduras to respect the constitution and the rule of law.”  President Obama calls Zelaya’s ouster “illegal.”  However, the U.S. does not recall its ambassador, withdraw its military personnel from Honduras, cut off aid, or cease trade relations with Honduras.



June 30:


UN General Assembly calls for restitution of Zelaya as president of Honduras.



July 1:


Introduced by Micheletti, Congress issues an order suspending freedom of assembly, freedom of transit, due process, and permitting search and seizure without a warrant.



July 2:


European Union countries recall their ambassadors to Honduras.



July 4:


Organization of American States (OAS) suspends Honduras’ membership.



July 5:


President Zelaya flies to Honduras.  Crowds gather at the airport to meet him, but coup government prevents the plane from landing.  1 killed, dozens wounded.



August 4:


The State Department sends a letter to the Senate to “clarify” the U.S. position on the events in Honduras.  “We energetically condemn the actions of June 28. We also recognize that President Zelaya’s insistence on undertaking provocative actions contributed to the polarization of Honduran society and led to a confrontation that unleashed the events that led to his removal.”  The State Department is still unwilling to call the events of June 28 a coup.



September 3:


U.S. State Department stops $30 million in non-humanitarian aid from going to Honduras but is still unwilling to call the events of June 28 a military coup.



September 21:


President Zelaya returns to Honduras secretly and takes up residence in the Brazilian Embassy.  The coup government again declares a curfew, which lasts until Sept. 23 at 10 a.m., only to resume at 4 p.m. that same day.  People are trapped in their houses, many without food or water.  Nevertheless, many defy the curfew and gather outside the Brazilian Embassy in support of Zelaya that night.



September 22, 2009:


Early in the morning, police violently break up the gathering of Zelaya supporters.  Mr. Micheletti issues a secret decree suspending the constitution and civil liberties for 45 days, finally published in the government register September 26.  Campaign of harassment begun against those in the Brazilian Embassy.



September 30, 2009:


Police invade the National Agrarian Institute, arresting 50 farmworkers who had been occupying the building since the coup.  The farmworkers were trying to prevent the coup government from destroying or changing land titles that were finally being registered for farmworkers under Zelaya’s land reform measures.



October 29, 2009:


Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon negotiates an accord between Zelaya and Micheletti, in which Micheletti agrees to let the Congress vote on Zelaya’s restoration to the presidency in return for Zelaya’s agreement that he will not seek a constitutional assembly or change the constitution, that he will support November 29 elections and encourage his supporters not to protest them in any way, that the army will be responsible for elections logistics and “keeping order” during the campaign season and on election day, and that he will participate in a “unity and reconciliation government” with those who carried out the coup.  Sec. Shannon makes clear that the expectation on all sides is that Congress will vote on Zelaya’s reinstatement very soon, by November 6 at the latest.



October 30, 2009:


Congress announces it will go on indefinite recess.



November 3:


Sec. Shannon announces that the U.S. will recognize the legitimacy of the November 29 elections whether or not Zelaya is restored to the presidency.



November 9:


President Zelaya announces he will no longer support the accord, since the Congress shows no sign of voting on his reinstatement.

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(Español abajo) This week will mark eight months without justice in the assassination of Berta Cáceres. Her murder in March of this year was an escalation against Honduran social movement leaders in an already violent environment rampant with impunity. Meanwhile, Honduran social movements continue at great risk to resist the militarization of their communities with U.S. security aid. There have been

several more high level assassinations

of

human rights leaders

since March–this has got to stop!

Support the work of Central American communities struggling on the front lines!



Click here to sign CRLN’s letter to your Representative



asking them to support H.R.5474, the “

Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act

,” which would suspend U.S. security aid to Honduras until the Honduran police and military demonstrate respect for human rights according to international standards.


Resiste Militarización en Honduras HOY

Esta semana marcará ocho meses sin justicia en el asesinato de Berta Cáceres. Su asesinato en marzo de este año fue una escalación en contra de lxs líderes Hondureñxs de movimientos sociales en un ambiente ya lleno de impunidad y violencia. Mientras tanto, los movimientos sociales en Honduras siguen resistiendo la militarización, la cual se lleva a cabo con fondos de seguridad de los EE.UU, de sus comunidades. Desde el marzo,

han sido varios otros asesinatos

de

líderes de derechos humanos

–¡ya basta!

¡Apoye el trabajo de las comunidades en el frente de la lucha!



Firme nuesta carta a su Representante



urgiendo que apoye H.R.5474, el “

Proyecto de Ley de Derechos Humanos en Honduras ‘Berta Cáceres’

,” que suspendería asistencia de seguridad de los EE.UU. a Honduras hasta que su ejército y policía conformen con normas internacionales de derechos humanos.

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CRLN board member, Sidney Hollander, and program director, Gary Cozette, are currently in Honduras on human rights delegation with our partners,


La Voz de los de Abajo

a Chicago-based group. Yesterday, on the anniversary of the coup, the group attended the Resistance March in Tegucigalpa, in solidarity with the Resistance movement and in protest of the on-going human rights abuses committed under coup-successor, President “Pepe” Lobo. Below is a letter from Gary and pictures from the march.
Dear CRLN Members and Friends,

Yesterday, our Chicago delegation accompanied the lively, diverse Resistance March in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa. Sidney Hollander, the CRLN Board member on this delegation, calculates turn-out by about how many people can fill a baseball stadium, which he estimates at 40,000. His guess? A shade under 40,000. Others estimated as high as 100,000.   We heard unconfirmed reports that some buses coming to the march were not allowed to enter Tegucigalpa. The reason the numbers were lower in Tegucigalpa than in previous major marches is in large part because the Frente has decided to decentralize them. Subsequently, major marches took place in all parts of the country yesterday. In Tegucigalpa, I was amazed by the great number of young people, ages 14-25, participating with great creativity. We hope to have pictures on our web site soon. In the mean time, you can see pictures from one of the web sites noted below in today’s


Hemispheric Brief


coverage of the coup anniversary.

On a negative note,


Berta Caceres,


a key leader of COPINH, the national indigenous organization of Honduras, was taken captive by military police in the town of La Esperanza. After the local population mobilized at the police station and an urgent action alert went out, Berta was released several hours after her capture. However, the police confiscated from Berta 400 signed affidavits seeking a national Constitutional assembly. The Resistance Front is organizing across Honduras to secure over 1 million signed affidavits to convene a national constituent assembly to draft a new Constitution to replace the current one drafted in 1982 amid the Cold War violence of the 1980s.  Diverse sectors of Honduran civil society in the resistance movement tell us that the current Constitution is privileging the interests of the oligarchy, the elite and transnational corporations seeking to “loot” their national resources.


Gary L. Cozette, Program Director

Hemispheric Brief – June 29, 2010 / Excerpts covering Honduras

In Honduras, more on the one year anniversary of the coup.

IPS has a good report

from Thelma Mejía who says “defacto” military veto power in the country continues to block any possible political or electoral reforms in the country.  The story comes after the head of the Honduran Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) said the possibility of ending the military’s role as the transporter of ballot boxes during elections was being considered.  Just days later, however, the TSE changed its tune entirely after a meeting with senior military officials.  According to IPS, the TSE now it “will seek to ‘expand’ the functions of the military [in the electoral process], including the possibility of allowing members of the armed forces to vote. According to Leticia Salomón, an expert in military affairs, one of the most significant consequences of last year’s coup has been the growing role of the military in the public sphere.  The country now has “highly politicized security forces, and in the case of the military, the leadership has become a decision-making body, says Salomón.

The pro-coup


El Heraldo


reports on FNRP protests yesterday, saying only about 2000 individuals showed up for marches in the capital commemorating last year’s coup.  I haven’t seen figures from the FNRP itself yet but

Vos el Soberano

does have photos. Pro-coup

La Tribuna

, meanwhile, reports on FNRP marches in San Pedro Sula where some 3000 resistance members took a bridge for nearly three hours.  Meanwhile, the FNRP announced it had collected

some 600,000 signatures

in favor of holding a constituent assembly.  For his part, Mel Zelaya watched events from the Dominican Republic.  In a letter released on the coup’s anniversary, Mr. Zelaya’s harshest words were saved for the United States, which, he now claims, was “behind the coup.”  As the

AP

reports, Zelaya cited what he called the “public support the United States wound up giving to the coup.”  And RAJ at

Honduras Culture and Politics

has a list of recommendations about what the Lobo government could do to start a process of real national dialogue.  I recommend reading in-full.

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El viernes, 16 de diciembre, CRLN, La Voz de Los de Abajo, y varixs compañerxs de Chicago llevaron 200 cartas de Navidad firmadas por residentes de Illinois hasta la oficina local del Senador Durbin para urgir que ponga un alto de inmediato a toda la asistencia militar de los EE.UU. a Honduras hasta que cumplan con estándares internacionales de derechos humanos.

Miembros y amigxs de CRLN hicieron posible este esfuerzo por sus firmas en las cartas al Senador, quien tiene una posición de alto rango en el Subcomité de Defensa del Comité de Asignaciones. Con esta posición él tiene el poder de suspender la asistencia de seguridad a Honduras dado las violaciones graves y consistentes en contra los derechos humanos en Honduras. Nuestro equipo llevó las cartas a la oficina del Senador y se reunieron con el personal de su oficina, quienes expresaron preocupación por la situación en Honduras y nos prometieron pasar nuestras peticiones al Senador. En este momento, no pudieron darnos una respuesta fija sobre el asunto de la suspensión de la asistencia de seguridad.

Seguiremos presionando el Senador Durbin en el año 2017 y esperamos trabajo duro para ganar el apoyo también de la Senadora-elegida Duckworth.


Estas 200 firmantes también aparecieron en cartas a los miembros de Illinois de la Cámera Baja pidiendo que apoyen H.R.5474 El Proyecto de Ley “Berta Cáceres” de Derechos Humanos en Honduras, una ley que también suspendería la asistencia militar y policiaca a Honduras.

En este momento, siete de los diez Demócratas de Illinois decidieron co-patrocinar H.R.5474, un gran triunfo que no habría sido posible sin la presión de base que por ustedes.


Berta Cáceres

, co-fundadora del Consejo Cívico y Popular de Organizaciones Indígenas de Honduras (COPINH), fue asesinada el 2 de mazo de 2016 y en los nueve meses que han pasado desde su asesinato, las carpetas del caso fueron robados y su familia ha sido excluida completamente del proceso judicial. En julio,

Nelson Garcia

, miembro de COPINH, fue asesinado y

Tomás Gómez Membreño

, Coordinador General actual de COPINH quien visitó a la oficina de Senador Durbin pidiendo que suspenda la asistencia de seguridad en junio del 2016, sobrevivió un intento en contra su vida.

En octubre,

Jose Angel Flores

, Presidente de la organización campesina MUCA (Movimiento Unido Campesino del Aguán) y

Silmer Dionosio George

, otro miembro de MUCA, fueron asesinados por hombres armados mientras salían de una reunión de miembros de MUCA. Más activistas y defensores de derechos humanos fueron

detenidos y amenazados

por fuerzas de seguridad Hondureñas mientras manifestaban pacíficamente en contra de la privatización de las autopistas. El reporte más reciénte sobre derechos humanos en Honduras de la Asociación de Participación de los Ciudadanos aclaró

que en 2016 hubieron 32 asesinatos

de defensores de derechos humanos, activistas ambientales, y defensores de derechos campesinos e Indígenas.


A pesar de estos ataques, acusaciones creíbles de la complicidad del estado Hondureño, y un nivel de impunidad de 95%, los EE.UU. ha mandado $200 millones en la forma de asistencia militar y policiaca desde el golpe de estado en el 2009. Además, el mes pasado, el Departamento del Estado certificó—con poca o sin evidencia—que el gobierno Hondureño cumplió con condiciones de derechos humanos puestas por el Congreso Estadounidense, así soltando $55,000,000 en asistencia de seguridad.

Como respuesta, aproximadamente 200 residentes de Illinois fueron representados en la entrega de las cartas de navidad a la oficina del Senador urgiendo que use su, “poder para suspender la asistencia de seguridad hasta que la policía y ejército Hondureño cumplan con los estándares internacionales de derechos humanos. Nuestros impuestos ya no deben apoyar las fuerzas de seguridad Hondureñas con los recursos materiales y legitimidad internacional para poder cometer violaciones de derechos humanos con impunidad.”


Mientras la Sesión 114va del Congreso ya se terminó para el 2016, seguiremos apoyando nuestrxs compañerxs en Honduras y presionando al Senador Durbin y todxs los oficiales elegidxs para suspender la asistencia de seguridad Estadounidense a Honduras. Seguiremos exigiendo que respondan a los asesinatos y violencia en contra de lxs defensores de derechos humanos en Honduras.

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More Death Caused by Honduran Military and Paramilitaries

CRLN’s partners, La Voz de Los de Abajo, report on their blog about the latest military and paramilitary violence in Honduras.  Media, newspapers, radio stations, and journalists have been targeted for repression, abduction and execution; this latest episode included a police attack on Radio Uno in the town of San Pedro Sula.  At least one death was reported.  For more information, check La Voz de Los de Abajo’s blog Honduras Resists at

http://hondurasresists.blogspot.com/

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Honduras es el país más peligroso del mundo para ser un activista ambiental y uno de los más peligrosos para ser periodista, miembro de un sindicato o miembro de un movimiento social opuesto a las políticas actuales de la administración hondureña. Los miembros del ejército y la policía han sido implicados en actos de violencia contra los miembros de estos grupos, incluyendo asesinatos. El 97% de los crímenes cometidos en Honduras quedan sin resolver, y sin consecuencias para los perpetradores.

En este contexto, les damos las gracias por sus firmas apoyando el Proyecto de Ley de Derechos Humanos en Honduras Berta Cáceres (H.R. 5474). Las firmas ayudaron a CRLN a convencer a 7 de 10 representantes demócratas de Illinois en los Estados Unidos a copatrocinar esta importante legislación presentada por el representante Hank Johnson. A finales del 2016, el proyecto de ley, que suspendería la ayuda de seguridad de los Estados Unidos a Honduras en espera del cumplimiento de las normas internacionales de derechos humanos, reunió un total de 52 copatrocinadores en todo el país.

Debido que la sesión del Congreso número 114 terminó el 3 de enero y cualquier legislación que no llegó a la Cámara y el Senado para su votación terminó con ella, el Proyecto de Ley H.R. 5474 tendrá que ser reintroducido en la sesión del Congreso número 115 que va desde ahora hasta finales de 2018. El representante Hank Johnson planea reintroducir este proyecto de ley.

Tan pronto como esto ocurra, CRLN se pondrá en contacto con los y las representantes de Illinois para pedirle a los firmantes (Schakowsky, Gutiérrez, Davis, Rush, Quigley, Lipinski) que firmen de nuevo. Nos pondremos en contacto con aquellxs de ustedes en sus distritos para que contacten a sus representantes, se identifiquen como miembros de CRLN, les agradezcan por su copatrocinio el año pasado y pedirles apoyo para que vuelvan a firmar.

Para aquellos de ustedes en los distritos cuyos representantes no fueron co-patrocinadores, vamos a construir nuevos argumentos por los cuales deben ser co-patrocinadores y nos pondremos en contacto con ustedes en el momento apropiado para recolectar firmas de nuevo para mostrar el apoyo que hay en sus distritos para este proyecto de ley. Además, tenemos una nueva oportunidad de hablar con los representantes elegidos en noviembre (Brad Schneider en el Distrito 10, que reemplaza a Bob Dold, y Raja Krishnamoorthi, que reemplaza a Tammy Duckworth, ahora una de los Senadores de Illinois en el Distrito 8).

Es de vital importancia para las personas cuyas vidas están bajo amenaza en Honduras que Estados Unidos deje de suministrar armas y entrenar a las fuerzas de seguridad bajo la autoridad del actual presidente hondureño, Juan Orlando Hernández, cuyo partido utilizó y privó ilegalmente al público de los fondos designados para la el sistema de salud para financiar su última elección y que acaba de orquestar un cambio a la constitución para reelegirse como presidente en el 2017. Bajo su administración, fuerzas militares y policiales han sido desatadas para actuar violentamente en contra de quienes se oponen a la corrupción y las maniobras antidemocráticas de muchos de los que actualmente están en el poder.

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