Author: Andrea Fernández Aponte
This is dangerous. Over the last several months, we’ve seen a rise in false accusations and threats against human rights defenders, journalists, and international human rights observers in Honduras. And if we don’t act now, the situation will only get worse. Call your members of Congress today!
A recent wave of smear campaigns has escalated the danger facing Hondurans and others who document or attempt to speak out against abuses of power in the country. Journalists—including members of Radio Progreso and Nina Lakhani, the most prominent foreign journalist writing about the Berta Cáceres case—have been targeted by slander and received death threats. Human rights advocates—like Victor Fernádez, founder of the Broad Movement for Justice and Dignity (MADJ) and Berta Cáceres’ family’s lawyer, and Annie Bird, U.S. citizen and director of our partner organization Guatemala Human Rights Commission—have also been targeted. And international observers have been intimidated and barred from entering the country.
In response to this alarming situation, Sen. Ed Markey (MA) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL) are circulating a joint “Dear Colleague” letter urging President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo to condemn recent threats against human rights defenders, journalists, and international human rights observers in Honduras.
We don’t have much time. The deadline for signatures is TOMORROW. Tell your members of Congress to sign onto this crucial letter TODAY!
The letter calls on the Trump Administration to:
>> communicate concern to the Government of Honduras and request that it investigate these attacks, determine if state security forces were involved, and bring the perpetrators to justice;
>> and direct the State Department to: (1) provide Congress with a detailed assessment of the efficacy of current Honduran government efforts to protect freedom of expression; and (2) reassess its certification of human rights conditions in Honduras.
(1) CALL your representative and two senators and urge them to sign on! Remember, calling your members of Congress is the best way to get them to listen!
Enter your zip code to find your legislators’ contact information:
“Hello! My name is [YOUR NAME] and I’m a constituent calling from [YOUR CITY]. I’m calling to ask [SENATOR / REPRESENTATIVE’S NAME] to sign onto a Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s “Dear Colleague” letter calling for immediate action to address the alarming recent pattern of threats against journalists, human rights defenders, and international human rights observers—including American citizens—working in Honduras. The deadline to sign on is this Friday, October 19. I recognize this is a short turnaround but the letter is crucial for the protection of those who are tirelessly documenting and sounding the alarm on the human rights situation in Honduras to the U.S. and broader international community.
To sign onto the letter contact Aaron Weinberg at Rep. Schakowsky’s office or Satrajit (Jitu) Sardar at Sen. Markey’s. Thank you!”
(2) Once you’ve called their offices, send them an EMAIL!
The deadline for signatures is TOMORROW by close of business, so make sure you contact your legislators by 2:00pm EST tomorrow.
Honduras’ state of democracy and human rights is deteriorating even more with every passing day. We MUST do everything we can to stop this harmful trend. I’m glad we can count on you to push back with us.