On February 23rd, Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon introduced the Honduras Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Act in the U.S. Senate. The bill would:
- Suspend U.S. assistance to the Honduran military and police, including U.S. military/police training and equipment, until the Honduran military and police cease committing human rights violations and those responsible for human rights violations are brought to justice.
- Prohibit exports of U.S. munitions, including semiautomatic firearms, tear gas, tasers, and more, to the Honduran military and police.
- Direct President Biden to sanction and stop supporting Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, who has been named as a co-conspirator by U.S. federal prosecutors in drug trafficking cases (yet is considered a U.S. ally and is still in power due to U.S. backing).
- Support the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Office in Honduras and the creation of a United Nations anti-corruption mission in Honduras with the ability to prosecute corruption cases against high-ranking government officials (a long-time demand of Honduran civil society).
Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Ed Markey (D-MA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) joined Senator Merkley (D-OR) as initial co-sponsors of the bill, which you can read here.
Call and e-mail your Senators today and ask them to join as a co-sponsor on the Honduras Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Act of 2021! Unless of course, your Senator(s) is/are the co-sponsors listed above, in which case, you can call to thank them.
1. Call your Senators (to find your Senators and their office phone numbers, click here). Identify yourself as a constituent and ask to speak to the foreign policy aide:
“I am calling from (town/city, state) to ask Senator _____ to co-sponsor the Honduras Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Act of 2021. The bill would suspend U.S. support for the Honduran government until systemic corruption, impunity, and human rights violations cease and their perpetrators are brought to justice. It is time for the U.S. to stop supporting a regime where environmental and Indigenous defenders, journalists, and demonstrators are murdered regularly. Please co-sponsor the Honduras Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Act of 2021 and let me know when you do so.”
For far too long, the U.S. has been training and equiping the Honduran military and police, who murder and repress with impunity. For far too long, the U.S. has been propping up President Hernandez — who has been named by U.S. federal prosecutors as a co-conspirator in drug trafficking cases — while simultaneously sending millions to his government under the guise of stopping drug trafficking. For far too long, the U.S. has been financing and backing a regime that regularly commits human rights violations and plunders the country, causing thousands upon thousands to flee Honduras for the U.S. It is far past time for the U.S. to stop supporting the Hernandez regime and cease training and equipping its military and police. This bill is a significant step forward because while the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act has been introduced in the House in recent years, this is the first time there is such a bill introduced in the Senate.
Call and e-mail your Senators today to ask them to co-sponsor the Honduras Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Act of 2021.
Take action: Ask your Senators to co-sponsor the Honduras Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Act of 2021, introduced yesterday by Senator Merkley and 7 other Senators. Click here to send an e-mail to your Senators: https://t.co/PseQONhpbk pic.twitter.com/dN0Nn4KI98
— SOAWatch (@SOAWatch) February 24, 2021
This post was originally published on SOA Watch.