From our friends at School of The Americas Watch on recent developments in Honduras. Please see below for actions you can take including signing the petition and calling your congressperson.
Two days after the assassination of Jose Angel and Silmer, the Honduran state security forces aggressively repressed a peaceful mobilization demanding justice for the March assassination of Berta Caceres by the Indigenous Lenca organization COPINH. The police, military police, and Cobras threw large amounts of tear gas into a crowd with many children, hit people with police batons, and chased them long distances. Tomas Gomez, current Coordinator of COPINH, has been followed by the military and twice had shots fired when he was driving.
While the assassinations and attacks on social movements continues unabated in Honduras, the US State Department recently certified that the Honduran government is taking effective steps on human rights, including to protect activists and human rights defenders, in order to enable $55 million in US aid to flow to Honduras. This is ridiculous. The State Department is in fact enabling the continued bloodshed and murders of activists in Honduras through this certification. The certification sends a clear message that it does not matter how many people are assassinated, nor how much military repression there is, the money will continues to flow.
Let Congress know that conditions on aid are not enough, as the State Department has shown they will certify conditions are being met while assassinations continue. As Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research writes in The Hill, 'there is plenty that Congress can do even now. Individual senators, for example, on committees such as Appropriations and Foreign Relations, can make it enormously difficult, and maybe impossible, for U.S. security aid to be disbursed to Honduras. That kind of justified obstructionism could put tremendous pressure on the Honduran government to respect human life and rights.'