Honduras

In Honduras, indigenous leader Jose Santos Sevilla has been assassinated by armed gunmen in his home in Montana de la Flor, north of the capital, Democracy Now! said on February 21.

Santos Sevilla was the leader of the indigenous Tolupan people, who are fighting to protect their ancestral lands from industrial mining and logging projects. In 2015, the United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples warned of rampant violence against Tolupan organisers, including assassinations, as well as state impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes.

More than 100 Honduran and international human rights and social justice groups have thrown their support behind a newly launched independent investigation, led by international legal experts, into the murder of renowned indigenous environmental activist Berta Caceres.

The US has announced it will continue giving millions of dollars in military funding to the Honduran government, despite the high-profile targeted assassinations and other human rights abuses documented this year in the Central American nation.

The decision was taken by the US Department of State on September 30. It was justified to Congress on the grounds that Honduras “has taken effective steps to meet the criteria specified in the Fiscal Year 2016 appropriation legislation.”

Protesters demand justice for murdered Indigenous environmentalist leader, Berta Caceres.

Honduras marked 195 years since winning its independence from Spain on September 15, but the small Central American country remains deprived of true independence. It is stuck under ongoing domination of wealthy local oligarchs, foreign corporations, and US imperialism.


Photo: TeleSUR.

International delegations from more than 20 different countries gathered with Honduran social movements on April 14 to demand justice for Berta Caceres, the environmentalist and indigenous activist assassinated in the Central American nation on March 3.

Since the 2009 US-backed coup that removed elected President Manuel Zelaya, 59 journalists have been assassinated in Honduras, with four murdered this year. Last year, 12 journalists were murdered.

In April last year, the Honduras National Congress approved the Journalist Protection Law, which included measures like providing police protection when a journalist receives a threat. The law also planned the creation of a centre monitoring threat follow-ups, although the government has not yet approved the budget.

At the recent meeting of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the three remaining Republican presidential candidates and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton vied to outdo each other as the most supportive of Israel and its right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

AIPAC is the powerful lobby in the US for the Israeli government and its policies. It exerts great pressure on all members of Congress.


Tegucigalpa, Honduras, March 16.

A group of 730 leading Latin American experts and scholars have called for United States Secretary of State John Kerry to halt aid and support to Honduras until the Central American country improves its atrocious human rights record.


Banners unfurled by activists in front of the offices of USAID in Washington to protest the agency's support for a controversial dam project on March 14. Photo: Twitter /@the_intercept

In a Democratic presidential primary debate in Miami on March 10, against his rival Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders opposed US invasions, coups and interventions against Latin American nations.

The socialist Senator also strongly opposed the ongoing US embargo against Cuba while praising the island for its social gains in health and education.

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