Sending Office: Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Briefing
Voices from Honduras: Human Rights and Accountability
Friday, May 18, 2018
9:30 – 10:30 AM
2255 Rayburn House Office Building
Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a briefing
on the human rights situation in post-election Honduras.
Widespread protests occurred in the aftermath of the disputed November 2017 general elections in Honduras. In response, the Honduran government imposed a state of emergency and curfew, and deployed police and members of the armed forces to remove
protesters from the streets. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights registered 23 people killed during the post-electoral protests, and identified other irregularities that led the Office to express concerns about the use of excessive lethal
force. Non-governmental organizations documented additional abuses.
Prior to the elections, there was already widespread alarm about threats and attacks against human rights defenders. The March 2016 assassination of Berta Cáceres, an award-winning indigenous rights and environmental leader, is the most notorious
case. But Honduras has the highest number of killings of human rights defenders on a per capita basis in the world. Broad international concern with the ineffectiveness of the judicial system had informed the creation of the Mission to Support the Fight against
Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH) just two months before Cáceres’ death.
Honduras is encompassed within the U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America, and U.S. officials just concluded a bilateral human rights dialogue. This briefing will provide an opportunity to hear from Honduran human rights defenders about
the current situation on the ground, and ask what more Congress and the U.S. government should be doing in light of ongoing human rights problems.
- Rev. Ismael Moreno Coto, S.J. (Padre Melo), Jesuit priest in Honduras
- Karla Rivas, Honduran journalist
- Ely Castro Rosales, Local Coordinator, Convergence Against Continuance, Honduras
- Lisa Haugaard, Executive Director, Latin America Working Group
- Charles Call, Associate Professor, American University and Nonresident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
- Peter J. Meyer, Specialist in Latin American Affairs, Congressional Research Service
- Rep. James P. McGovern, Co-Chair, TLHRC
This briefing will be open to Members of Congress, congressional staff, the interested public, and the media. For any questions, please contact Kimberly Stanton at 202-225-3599 or
Kimberly.Stanton@mail.house.gov (for Rep. McGovern) or Jamie Staley at 202-226-1516 or
Jamie.Staley@mail.house.gov (for Rep. Hultgren).
Rep. James P. McGovern Rep. Randy Hultgren
Co-Chair, TLHRC Co-Chair, TLHRC
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0