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March 13, 2012, New York, NY – Members of the House and Senate sent two letters to Secretary of State Clinton urging the State Department to address the worsening human rights crisis in Honduras and ensure that U.S. aid is not used to support police and military personnel involved in these abuses.
Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued the following statement in response:We welcome these letters from members of Congress for highlighting the gravity of the human rights crisis in Honduras and bringing the focus back to the U.S. funding of Honduran security forces implicated in these abuses.Since the 2009 coup that overthrew Honduras’s democratically-elected president, international and Honduran human rights organizations have been documenting the systematic violence against human rights defenders, opposition figures, journalists, LGBT activists and others in Honduras. Dozens of anti-coup activists and union leaders have been killed and at least 17 journalists, 74 lawyers and 62 members of the LGBT community have been assassinated. In the northeastern Aguán region alone, over 40 land rights activists have been murdered. Threats, surveillance and arbitrary detentions of opposition members have become commonplace. This violence is ongoing; the Center for Constitutional Rights sent a memorandum to the State Department in early February documenting dozens of human rights violations in December 2011 and January 2012 alone, some clearly involving Honduran state forces.In light of these gross human rights abuses, CCR and our partners in Honduras and the U.S. have repeatedly called for the U.S. government to change its course in Honduras and immediately stop funding the Honduran police and military. On March 2, 2012 U.S. ten labor unions representing 15 million members sent a letter to Congress calling for the suspension of all police and military aid. The 94 members of the House of Representatives and the seven Senators who wrote to Secretary Clinton called on the Obama administration to take the necessary measures to guarantee the U.S. is not supporting the repression and persecution of civilians in Honduras. We couldn’t agree more.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.