On March 3rd, five years after the assassination of visionary Indigenous rights leader Berta Caceres in Honduras, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) and 44 cosponsors reintroduced the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act (H.R.1574). The bill would suspend all U.S. aid to the Honduran military and police forces until:
- Those responsible for human rights violations — including the murder of Berta Caceres, the killings of over 100 small farmer activists in the Aguan region, the murders of 22 people during state repression of protests against electoral fraud in 2017, the forced disappearance of Triunfo de la Cruz community leaders, and numerous other cases — are brought to justice.
- Human rights violations by the military and police cease to occur.
- The military is withdrawn from domestic policing, in accordance with the Honduran Constitution.
- Human rights defenders and activists are able to operate freely.
Take action to ask your Representative to cosponsor the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act!
1. E-mail your representative to ask them to cosponsor the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act by clicking here. If your Representative is already a cosponsor, you can use the same Action Page to thank them.
2. Call your representative’s office! You can find your representative’s phone number here. Identify yourself as a constituent and ask to speak to a foreign policy aide:
“I am calling from (town/city, state) to ask Congressman/woman ____ to cosponsor the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act (H.R.1574). The bill would suspend U.S. security aid to Honduran military forces until human rights violations against the people of Honduras cease and the perpetrators of human rights violations are brought to justice including those responsible for the assasination of internationally recognized Indigenous leader Berta Caceres. Please cosponsor the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act and let me know when you do so. Thank you.”
Note: Some offices are harder to reach via phone due to staff working from home because of the pandemic. If you are not able to reach anyone by phone, please consider sending a personalized e-mail or trying to contact local district offices.
Why is this bill important?
Five years after the assassination of visionary social movement and Indigenous rights leader Berta Caceres, the killing and repression of Indigenous and Afro-Indigenous land defenders, environmental defenders, small-farmers, journalists, and critics of the government continues to occur with impunity. The United States bears significant responsibility for the human rights crisis in Honduras, as it has financed, trained, supported, and backed the post-coup regimes at every turn. Every time the Honduran people have demonstrated for months on end, it has been the U.S. financed and trained military and police forces that have been unleashed to murder them and maintain the current regime’s power.
The unchecked power and threat-of-violence over the people of Honduras has to end. We support Hondurans in their struggle to transform Honduras into a safe and equitable country where lives matter and families don’t have to flee. Tell your representative to cosponsor the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act (H.R.1574) and suspend U.S. funding for Honduran security forces until the human rights violations committed by Honduran security forces cease, and their perpetrators are brought to justice.
You may recall that this bill has been introduced in the House of Represenatives in past years. This is the first year that a companion bill in the Senate has also been introduced, providing more opportunities for advancing the legislation.
This post was originally published on SOA Watch.