Sending Office: Honorable Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr.
Since the assassination of the renowned feminist, indigenous human rights defender Berta Cáceres in March of 2016, we have been calling for the passage of the Berta Cáceres Human Rights Act in Honduras. With the support of US financing and training for police
and military forces, the Honduran government has become one of the most repressive in the world, engaged in targeted campaigns of violence, arbitrary detention, and assassinations against journalists, human rights activists, and Black and Indigenous community
leaders. The Berta Cáceres Act would cut all security funding to Honduras until very specific human rights improvements have been made, and until emblematic cases have been addressed according to international standards for justice.
The events since the Honduran election on November 26, 2017 have only underscored the critical importance of passing this Act. At least 35 people have been killed by state security forces for the supposed crime of protesting credible accusations of fraud
committed by Juan Orlando Hernández, the incumbent presidential candidate from the National Party. Thousands have been arbitrarily detained, with reports of torture, forced disappearance, kidnapping, and the systematic use of excessive force against peaceful
protests. The Honduran administration has denied access to OAS human rights investigators, allowing the widespread and systematic abuses since the election to continue in a state of absolute impunity.
Under the appropriations bill, 50% of aid to Honduras is conditioned on human rights improvements. The fundamental insufficiency of this measure was made clear when the State Department certified that Honduras had met those conditions two days into the current
escalation of repression. Secretary of State Tillerson has made clear in the Honduran case and others that human rights are not a priority for this administration.
We urge you to join the 70 of your colleagues who have already co-sponsored H.R.1299, the Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act. The imperative to demonstrate the continued commitment of the United States to human rights and rule of law has taken on
a new level of urgency.
If you have any questions, or wish to co-sponsor this legislation, please contact Chelsea Grey in my office at
Rep. Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr Rep. Keith Ellison
Member of Congress Member of Congress
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