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EXCLUSIVE: Hillary Clinton sold out Honduras: Lanny Davis, corporate cash, and the real story about the death of a Latin American democracy – Salon.com

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EXCLUSIVE: Hillary Clinton sold out Honduras: Lanny Davis, corporate cash, and the real story about the death of a Latin American democracy – Salon.com.

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Participate in a solidarity delegation to Honduras

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Deadline: April 24: Last Call: Join La Voz de los de Abajo in Honduras for the International Week of the Disappeared (Semana Internacional de los Desaparecidos) May 23 – May 31, 2015. 
As I write this last call for our May delegation I am looking at a photo of Donatilo Giménez, trade union leader and LIBRE party activist in La Ceiba on the northern coast of Honduras. Donatilo was disappeared from his workplace at the National Autonomous University Atlantida Center on April 8th and has not been found yet. This Spring has also seen the death of 4 student activists in Tegucigalpa, one of whom was a 14 year old girl and a death threat by a government official against a human rights defender accompanying the students.
Human rights defenders are asking for international solidarity and accompaniment as harassment and threats and a campaign to discredit them is increasing in the context of their work against the continuing serious human rights violations in Honduras. We are invited by the Committee of the Disappeared Detainees in Honduras (COFADEH) to accompany their work and other human rights defenders for the International Week of the Disappeared. 
 
Forced disappearances by death squads and security forces are a global problem that has reappeared  in Honduras since the June 2009 coup. This year’s week to commemorate the disappeared occurs as we see the number of desparecidos and desaparecidas increasing alarmingly in Central America and in Mexico; there is an urgent need to understand what is happening and to build solidarity and resistance together across borders.  
 
We will also meet with campesino communities, students and others at risk during our visit. 
 
Please contact me with any questions or interest in the delegation by April 25th. 
 
saludos solidarios
Victoria Cervantes
La Voz de los de Abajo Chicago
lavozchicago@yahoo.com

Interviews on “poetry & refugees” – 2 – Diana Vallejo

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lyrikline blog

Diana Vallejo Diana Vallejo bigwas born in Honduras in 1969. She is an ICORN Cities of Refuge guest writer in Sweden.

Lyrikline Blog (LB):In your view, is it the task of a poet also to be a chronicler or witness of his/her time?

Diana Vallejo (DV): The poetry itself is a result of what you think, your reflections, your deep beliefs and fears, what you feel, those desires or hopes that we have. In certain social conditions this deep view of our humanity will have a certain line and shape, a map of what we are living or knowing about our surroundings, even the geography will be an influence in that poem. For me the written poem is the last result of our vulnerability like a human being. In my case it is not a task, but it is inevitable that I show or tell that special place or chronicle that…

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VICE News: Murder and Migration in Honduras: Immigrant America

Published on Sep 8, 2014

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Last summer, Americans were stunned by images of children and families from Central America turning themselves in at the US-Mexico border. More migrants are now coming from the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula and surrounding areas than anywhere else in Central America. The society there has yet to recover from a 2009 coup that crippled the economy and unleashed extreme levels of violence and inequality.

In our latest episode of Immigrant America, VICE News traveled to San Pedro Sula — the most violent and second largest city in Honduras — to find out why so many families and young people are risking it all to migrate illegally to the US.

Solidarity actions as Hondurans resist 5 years of coup government

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Honduras, human rights, coup

Assassinated for their resistance to repression in Honduras

June 28th marked 5 years since an illegal coup overthrew the democratically-elected President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya.  Since the coup, politically-motivated assassinations, attacks on poor campesinos, violence against LGBT people, and an overall decline in the security situation have increased dramatically.  Recently, the U.S. ambassador to Honduras, Lisa Kubiskie, congratulated the government of Honduras for fair and democratic elections, despite widespread evidence of fraud and voter intimidation.  The U.S. continues to generously fund the Honduran security forces, who have been implicated in serious human rights violations.

The new President of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez, has vowed to combat violence with an “iron fist” and has already made steps to further militarize Honduran society, outlaw civil society groups, among other anti-democratic acts.  For more information, read Dana Frank’s article, “Who’s Responsible for the Flight of Honduran Children?”.

It is crucial that international solidarity organizations keep up the pressure on our own governments to cut off military spending to Honduras.  We also need to continue to publicize the grave human rights situation in Honduras.  There are many brave individuals and groups who continue to mount political resistance to the current repression, despite enormous risks.

In Chicago, social justice group La Voz de los de Abajo led a solidarity march.  Other participating organizations included the Chicago Religious Leadership Network and Radios Populares.  Photos by Miguel Vazquez of La Voz de los de Abajo:

Honduras, coup, resistance, human rights, solidarity

Solidarity in Chicago with Honduran coup resistance

Honduras, coup, human rights, solidarity

Banner re: repression against environmental activists in Honduras

Honduras, coup, solidarity, human rights

Your U.S. tax dollars at work

Honduras, coup, solidarity

No to Impunity in Honduras!

The following day, La Voz de los de Abajo and CRLN marched with the Gay Liberation Network in the Chicago Pride Parade.

LBGT rights, Honduras, immigrants, human rights

Immigrant and Refugee Rights – Chicago Pride Parade

GLN’s contingent focused on LGBTQ immigrant and refugee rights.  Many Honduran LGBTQ people have fled to the U.S. and other countries as violence against their community has increased.  Gay activist Nelson Arambu of the Movimiento de Diversidad en Resistencia spoke at a GLN event about the harrowing environment in which gay and resistance activists must work in Honduras.  Read more here.

School of Americas Watch has posted an online petition calling for U.S. Congress to cut off military aid.  Please click here to sign the petition.

Tomas Garcia, Honduras, coup, human rights

Tomas Garcia, killed by the Honduran military for his peaceful resistance to a dam project in his community.

 

NYT: Lawmakers Ask State Dept. to Review Support for Honduras

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108 members of the U.S. House or Representatives have submitted a “Dear Colleague” letter to Secretary of State John Kerry re: human rights in Honduras. In the letter, the critical human rights situation in Honduras is outlined, and calls are made to evaluate the U.S. role in funding and supporting the Honduran security forces.

This important letter was made possible by the leadership of Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL) and the advocacy of human rights and solidarity activists.  Special credit is due to the Chicago Religious Leadership Network, who worked hard to educate members of U.S. Congress on Honduras and U.S. military aid.  It’s always important to remember that without our activist efforts, elected officials may not take action on issues important to human rights and foreign policy in Latin America.

The following is an article by the New York Times on the Dear Colleague letter:

In the past few months, international organizations have raised renewed concern over the targeted killings of journalists and advocates for human and land rights.

The letter to Secretary of State John Kerry was signed by 108 members of Congress, led by Representative Jan Schakowsky, Democrat of Illinois. In it, the lawmakers argued that the government of President Juan Orlando Hernández has “adopted policies that threaten to make the human rights situation even worse” by promoting a militarized police force and using its army for domestic law enforcement.

The letter called on the State Department to evaluate Washington’s support and training for the Honduran police and military.

In its 2013 human rights report, the State Department acknowledged the severity of human rights abuses in Honduras. It described the “corruption, intimidation, and institutional weakness of the justice system leading to widespread impunity,” along with “unlawful and arbitrary killings by security forces, organized criminal elements, and others.”

The letter from House members mentioned the tear-gassing of opposition legislators and activists during a protest in the Honduran Congress building two weeks ago, as well as the killings of lawyers and human rights defenders, among others.

Other outbreaks of violence over the past few weeks have continued the pattern.

Carlos Mejia Orellana, Honduras, ERIC, Radio Progreso

Carlos Mejia Orellana of Radio Progreso, killed in April. Photo credit: Honduras Tierra Libre.

In April, Carlos Mejía Orellana, the marketing director of Radio Progreso, a Jesuit radio station critical of the government, was stabbed to death in El Progreso. His killing prompted a statement at the time from Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, saying, “Too often, Honduran officials have dismissed threats and attacks against journalists, and questioned whether the violence was connected to the victims’ profession.”

Other homicide investigations have been quick to assign personal motives or describe killings as tied to robberies.

Last week Aníbal Duarte, the popular mayor of the municipality of Iriona, was shot and killed in front of his family in a hotel swimming pool in Jutiapa, near the Caribbean port city of La Ceiba.

Mr. Duarte administered a vast and sparsely populated territory in northeastern Honduras where illegal logging and drug trafficking are rampant. Officials in the investigative arm of the national police told local reporters that they believed a personal dispute was behind his killing.

Three days later, a government forester was fatally shot in La Ceiba as he got off a bus. The victim, José Alexander González Cerros, 33, who worked in the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve, had recently reported illegal logging in the area.

In another case, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights issued a statement this month condemning the killing of Orlando Orellana, 75, a rights advocate who led a community in a property dispute outside the city of San Pedro Sula, in the northwest. No arrests have been made in these deaths.

The commission also expressed concern about the rising number of children and young people who have been victims of violence in Honduras. Casa Alianza, an organization that works with street children, presented a report last month showing that 270 children and young people throughout Honduras had been killed in the first three months of this year. Two weeks later José Guadalupe Ruelas, the director of the Honduras branch of the group, was beaten by the military police.

 

New Report Explores Harmful Impacts of Canadian Mining in Latin America

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Guatemala Human Rights Commission

MarlinMine1 A crater and contaminated rubble — results of the Marlin Mine in Guatemala. Photo by James Rodríguez

A recent report presented to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) explores the growing presence of Canadian mining companies in Latin America, highlighting a series of environmental and social concerns, and raising questions about who should ultimately be held responsible for violations related to Canadian-owned projects. The report, titled The Impact of Canadian Mining in Latin America and Canada’s responsibility [full report in Spanish], was written by a working group made up of six civil society organizations from Latin America and one from the US, with input from twenty-two additional Latin America-based organizations.

Open pit mining is well known to cause serious environmental damage, and the authors draw particular attention to the contamination of rivers and drinking water. The damning report also describes flagrant violations of the right to life…

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