Stop Funding Military Accused of Human Rights Abuses

Berta Caceres stands at the COPINH (the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras) offices in La Esperanza, Intibucá, Honduras where she, COPINH have organized a two year campaign to halt construction on the Agua Zarca Hydroelectric project, that poses grave threats to Rio Blanco regional environment, river and indigenous Lenca people.

Target: Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House

Goal: Suspend U.S. military support for Honduras until human rights violations cease and the perpetrators are brought to justice.

Since the 2009 coup in Honduras, there has been a huge increase in political violence perpetrated by state security forces. Between 2009 and 2012, 300 people were killed by members of the Honduran military, with law enforcement officials, 34 members of the opposition, and 13 journalists disappearing. Since 2012, 22 environmental activists have been murdered. Many more have been attacked, beaten, jailed, and threatened.

Among the dead is award winning environmental and indigenous rights activist Berta Caceres. While the government claims to have apprehended those responsible, the investigation was neither open nor transparent. Still, the arrest of an officer in the Honduran armed forces in connection to her murder points to the broader involvement of the Honduran military.

The Honduran military is trained by and receives funding from the U.S., receiving over $57 million in military aid between 2009 and 2014. However, a bill submitted by representative Hank Johnson of Georgia would stop this aid, thereby upholding U.S. commitments not to support regimes engaged in human rights violations. Sign our petition and demand that speaker of the House Paul Ryan support the bill to ensure that the USA lives up to its commitment to uphold human rights.

PETITION LETTER:  

Dear Speaker Ryan,

Since 2009, there has been a marked increase in political violence in Honduras, with hundreds of people killed by state security forces, and 34 members of the opposition as well as 13 journalists disappeared. Since 2012, 22 environmental activists have been murdered, and many other individuals attacked, beaten, jailed, and threatened.

Despite evidence of human rights violations perpetrated by the government of the Republic of Honduras, over $57 million in military aid has been dispensed to support the Honduran military. This is contrary to U.S. commitments to cease military support to governments with records of human rights abuses.

Bill H.R. 5474 would suspend this aid pending the cessation of human rights abuses and the prosecution of those responsible. Furthermore, this bill will save the American taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. I urge you to support H.R. 5474 for the good of both Americans and Hondurans.  

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Goldman Environmental Prize

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116 Signatures

  • Eric von Borstel
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