Target: Jorge Ramon Hernandez Alcerro, the Honduras Ambassador to the US.
Goal: Stop violence against women and women human rights defenders in Honduras.
In 2009, Honduras’ democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya was overthrown in a coup d’etat. President Porfirio Lobo was then elected in what many consider to be a fraudulent election. Since the 2009 coup d’etat, Honduras conditions have become increasingly worse with human rights violations rising. Honduras’ capital, Tegucigalpa, is now considered the murder capital of the world and is one of the most dangerous places in the world for human rights defenders. UN reports state that Honduras now has the highest per capita homicide rate in the world. A great deal of the violence is being directed toward women, femicide has been on the rise with 460 women murdered in 2011 alone.
Recently, several international women’s organizations declared a day of action to stand in solidarity with women human rights defenders in Honduras. Many organizations do not recognize the Lobo government and many have called on the government for greater protection of women human rights defenders. Women in Honduras face violence and criminalization. On average, more than one woman is murdered in Honduras a day. Women human rights defenders are victims of illegal arrests, sexual assaults, murder and threats. From 2002 to 2010 femicide rates in Honduras jumped 257%, and that rate continues to rise. Honduran authorities are at the center of the blame as most femicides are never investigated.
The rights of human rights defenders are guaranteed by the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. The government of Honduras is responsible for protecting the human rights of its citizens as declared in international human rights treaties. The Honduran government has been ignoring the problem and does not have any legislation addressing it. Sign this petition to declare your solidarity with women human rights defenders in Honduras and demand an end to the violence against them.
Dear Ambassador Jorge Ramon Hernandez Alcerro,
The violence against women and against women human rights defenders must stop. Since President Lobo took office violence against women and human rights abuses has risen.
By not protecting its citizens’ human rights, the Honduran government is violating international human rights law and the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. Honduras cannot be considered a democracy if its citizens do not have access to freedom of speech without violence.
I am asking you to take action and urge President Lobo to pass legislation protecting women and human rights defenders. The Honduran government must see this issue as a priority and enforce international law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: daviditzi via Flickr