It is vital that funds be raised for continued human rights accompaniment in Honduras
I made the above video in 2013 based on my experience during my first year as a human rights accompanier. Since I first arrived in Honduras in May of 2012 I have been present during land evictions and seen first hand the brutality of the police and military. I have been to communities threatened by mining and hydroelectric projects. I have interviewed numerous people unjustly incarcerated for protesting against government repression. I have helped funnel money to people in the hospital with bullet wounds they received from government “security” forces. I have witnessed exhumations of bodies dumped into shallow graves by the private paramilitary guards of the Dinant Corporation.
All through this, I have seen many sign-on letters from US Congress members denouncing the violence and demanding that military and police aid be tied to human rights compliances. And yet, the money continues to flow. Indeed, it increases, incrementally, almost as if it is a payout for each violation, each atrocity. I saw the corruption and theft of the election process in 2013 that installed the current President, Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH). The theft was carried out under the auspices of the then US Ambassador, Lisa Kubisky and the corruption continues under the direction of current Ambassador James Nealon who has publically stated what a pleasure it is to work with JOH, the man who admitted that his party took money from the IHSS to fund his campaign. And there is still impunity for that embezzlement. A theft that has left the public hospital destitute and left those who make up the 70% in poverty without adequate healthcare.
JOH has succeeded in subverting the Honduran Constitution and is poised to run for reelection in 2017. He has consolidated his power in all three branches of the government as well as in the 4th pillar, the mass media. He succeeded in having Globo TV, the only opposition station on the Honduran airwaves investigating and reporting on the corruption of the JOH government, kicked off the airwaves.
The run up to the 2013 elections was drenched in blood as members of the opposition parties were eliminated. Now with stakes in receiving a portion of the $1 Billion promised from the US to the countries of the Northern Triangle (Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador), JOH will do whatever it takes to get his hands on that money. It can be assured that Ambassador Nealon and the US State Department will keep the wheels of neoliberalism greased and assure that their puppet dances to their tune.
There was huge international attention when Berta Cáceres, the Lenca leader and resistance activist who fought against hydroelectric projects and for Lenca territory sovereignty, was murdered on March 2, 2016. But as international attention dies down, the repression continues. There is still a great need for international human rights accompaniment. Your economic support is vital to the struggle for dignity and justice in Honduras.