From Karen Spring in Honduras:
For 2016, the U.S. government approved $750 million USD for the Alliance for Prosperity (AfP) for the Northern Triangle countries – Honduras being one. Despite widespread and well-documented violations of basic human rights, rampant impunity, total lack of confidence in the judiciary and state security forces, the U.S. has simply continued its decades-long policy of imperialism, neoliberalism, and militarization in Honduras. The only thing that has changed with the U.S.’s support this year is the plan’s name.
As the Honduras-based Coordinator for the Honduras Solidarity Network (HSN), your financial contributions support the work that I do with Honduran communities and organizations in resistance to the unjust neoliberal economic model and U.S. and Canadian foreign policy. 2016 has been an extremely difficult year for the Honduran movement and their allies like the HSN and other international groups. For me, 2016 will be remembered as the year that indigenous activist Berta Caceres was assassinated in her home. Berta provided endless guidance to activists like myself and she was one of the most exceptional Honduran political analysts and movement leaders in the region. She is greatly missed. Berta is just one of many activists that have been killed in Honduras since the 2009 military coup.
What made 2016 different from previous years is how daring the Honduran government has gotten in targeting critics of its neoliberal policies and enhanced its fear and terror campaigns against those who resist. Unfortunately, we expect 2017 to be very similar. International solidarity allies should not shy away from Honduras or feel discouraged – this is the moment when solidarity is needed the most!
But at this very moment of great need, my funding is running out! By March 2017, the gift that has enabled me to be the Honduras Solidarity Network’s hands, eyes, and voice on the ground will run out. It is only through the tax-deductible support of people such as yourself that my position will continue beyond March.
This is a short summary of what I, with the HSN’s support, have done this year to resist U.S. and Canadian foreign policy in Honduras and to support the courageous Honduran social movement:
· Coordinated or assisted in the coordination of six educational delegations of U.S. and Canadian citizens to Honduras.
· Provided an immediate response to Berta Caceres’ assassination on March 2 including being present on the ground for days following her death; immediate assistance to Mexican witness, Gustavo Castro being held in police custody; facilitating communication to international allies and media, amongst other actions
· Published a report about a Honduran community defending their graveyard from the expansion of Canadian company Aura Mineral’s open-pit gold mine
· Provided information, interviews, and/or contextual analysis to various international media including The Guardian, Outsider Magazine, the New Yorker, the Toronto Star, amongst many others.
· Conducted research upon request for various grassroots Honduran organizations including COPINH, OFRANEH, Azacualpa Environmental Committee, the Siria Valley Environmental Committee, amongst others.
· Provided on-going physical accompaniment and meticulous casework including asylum cases and migration detention cases in the U.S.; U.S. drug war cases including the massacre of four indigenous Miskito in Ahuas in May 2012; Canadian investors in neoliberal tourist projects on Garifuna land in Trujillo Bay, amongst others.
· Mobilized the HSN’s emergency human rights alerts when the life or freedom of Honduran human rights activists were in danger; provided a monthly update for the HSN’s monthly membership call, and participated in determining HSN’s program and priorities.
PLEASE SUPPORT MY WORK AS PART OF THE HSN’S SOLIDARITY WITH THE HONDURAN SOCIAL MOVEMENT. THANK YOU.
Honduras-based Coordinator, Honduras Solidarity Network (HSN)
Karen’s personal blog: Aquiabajo.org