Honduras Solidarity Network | 19 October, 2016
The Honduras Solidarity Network in North America denounces the October 18 assassination of Jose Angel Flores, President of the Movement of Unified Campesinos in the Aguan (MUCA) and Silmer Dionosio George, another MUCA leader. The campesino activists were killed by gunmen as they left a meeting of MUCA members. While we are still waiting for more information about the murders, we wish to emphasize that both men were recognized to be at risk by the Inter-American Human Rights Commission and were recipients of that organization’s precautionary measures making the Honduran government responsible for their safety.
We are indignant that in the face of the ongoing and documented violence, repression and corruption involving the Honduran government, the US State Department has certified that it is satisfied that the Honduran government has taken effective steps to improve human rights. This clears the way for $55 million more in U.S. aid.
Week by week, the human rights violations and violence against the Honduran people by the State continues. Recent examples before the assassinations of the MUCA members include assassination attempts on October 9th against leaders of the indigenous organization, COPINH whose general coordinator and co-founder Berta Caceres was murdered in March 2016. On October 3 and 10th there was repression against non-violent protests of privatization that included massive tear gas and death threats by police against a well known writer in Progreso.
The U.S. government continues to support and enable in endless ways the violence and intimidation against Hondurans by the Honduran government and the national and international corporations it serves. The US State Dept. certification is part of this public relations “theater of the absurd” as it states that, “We have certified that the central government of Honduras is taking effective steps to, among other things, combat corruption…; implement reforms, policies, and programs to improve transparency and strengthen public institutions, including increasing the capacity and independence of the judiciary and the Office of the Attorney General;…investigate and prosecute in the civilian justice system members of military and police forces who are credibly alleged to have violated human rights, and ensure that the military and police are cooperating in such cases; cooperate with commissions against impunity, as appropriate, and with regional human rights entities; and protect the right of political opposition parties, journalists, trade unionists, human rights defenders, and other civil society activists to operate without interference”
We condemn these actions and once again make the demand that the US stop funding and training Honduran security forces, and stop supporting the megaprojects and privatizations that are behind the Honduran government’s ruthless assaults on the people’s human and civil rights. We call on US citizens to demand that their congressional representatives support the Berta Caceres Human Rights Act – HR5474, introduced in the House of Representative in June of this year.
The Honduras Solidarity Network (HSN) is a decentralized network of approximately 30 organizations from across Canada and the United States that are committed to demonstrating and advocating for solidarity with the Honduran social movement.