En Defensa del Padre Melo – In Defense of Father Ismael ‘Melo” Moreno

En español aquí

Statement by the Honduras Solidarity Network of North America

Our network emphatically rejects the recent accusations against Padre Ismael “Melo” Moreno made by the Rector of the National Autonomous University Julieta Castellanos on July 25, 2017 in which she accused the Padre and members of the Jesuit organizations in Honduras, as well as members of electoral opposition parties LIBRE and PINU of being responsible for the current crisis at the UNAH and of “fomenting anarchy”.

Members of the HSN are very familiar with the work of Padre Melo, Radio Progreso and ERIC-SJ over many years. That work has always been to understand the problems and needs of the majority of Hondurans, to give them a place in which to express themselves, and to advocate for solutions that would strengthen democracy and end conflict and violence – not foment it.

Ms. Castellanos’ assertions that Padre Melo is responsible for the crises and violence in the University is not only absurd but dangerous. It is part of a campaign to discredit critics of the Honduran regime and its officials; it seeks to intimidate free speech and political opposition and puts these defenders and communicators at risk for their lives. There is a pattern of such accusations by government officials and friends of the regime against Honduran and international DDHH groups and against Hondurans . Other well known targets of these inflammatory accusations have included Berta Caceres of COPINH (assassinated in 2016) and recently her daughters, as well as Berta Oliva of COFADEH. In Honduras, where impunity and human rights violations are endemic, these kinds of accusations are in fact threats and put the named defenders at a clear risk for physical violence, and even death.

Calls for the Rector and government to dialogue in good faith with the students, to comply with previous agreements with the students, and to end the criminalization and state repression against the student movement are necessary and legitimate activities for human rights defenders and for Honduran society.

We also are watching, with profound concern, the violence against the students. We condemn the selective assassinations of students and their family members, and the militarization of university campuses around the country that has been ongoing for many months. We have not forgotten the assassinations of other student activists in recent years such as 14 year old Soad Nicole Ham Bustillo, murdered in March of 2015 after denouncing President Hernandez on national TV.

We also condemn the general impunity for crimes against defenders of the environment, indigenous rights and land rights, of journalists and of those opposing the regime that include Berta Caceres Flores, Margarita Murillo and the hundreds more murdered since the coup in 2009.

The US and Canadian governments continue to provide substantial money, training and resources to the Honduran Security and Police apparatus. We continue to observe that this assistance only facilitates and helps to perpetuate human rights violations and state violence against the people of Honduras. This aid must be ended – or that reason we support the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act introduced in the US Congress on March 2, 2017.

We hold the Honduran government responsible for the safety and liberty of Padre Melo and the entire team of Radio Progreso and ERIC-SJ.

Honduras Solidarity Network in North America (HSN) July 31, 2017

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June 2017 Week of Action in Solidarity with Honduras!


8 Year Anniversary of the Jun 2009 coup in Honduras and one year since the assassination of Berta Cáceres.

Honduras Solidarity Network is uniting with our member organization Witness for Peace and other  organizations for  Week of Action for the Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act!

To support the Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act, HR 1299.

www.witnessforpeace.org/ bertacaceresact

Sunday, June 25th

Kick off the Week of Action by joining a webinar coordinated by the Honduras Solidarity Network: register for the webinar here.  Consider hosting a viewing party in your community!

Monday, June 26th

Join Berta’s family in calling for the Berta Cáceres Act.  Learn more about Berta’s life and legacy, the broader human rights crisis in Honduras, and the connections to US-funded militarization and ongoing security aid. Write to your Member of Congress and help us circulate a video about Berta and the importance of the bill on social media.   video here  This Monday we’ll be circulating/sharing it widely on social media, including sharing it on Reps pages and our own, as the first day of Congressional action.

Tuesday, June 27

Engage communities that are important to you, to help build awareness about the ongoing violence in Honduras and ensure their support for the Berta Cáceres Act. Organize your faith community, labor union, or other community organization to endorse the bill.

Wednesday, June 28

On the anniversary of the 2009 coup d’etat, join us in amplifying the voices of Hondurans calling for justice for Berta and demanding an end of military support for the Honduran state. Participate in our social media campaigns to publicly contact your Representative, and help Honduran organizations share their calls for justice.

Thursday, June 29

Join our friends at the Sierra Club in exploring the details of Berta’s assassination and honoring her life as an environmentalist, feminist, and visionary leader. Help us circulate their recent article about Berta’s life, assassination, and trial by sharing on social media and sending to your Representative.

Friday, June 30th

Finish the week by making and sharing your own video about the need for the Berta Cáceres Act. Help circulate other videos by posting them on social media and sharing them with your friends and Members of Congress, with the tags #justiceforberta and #bertacaceresact

We’ll be sending more information about the specific focus of each day of the Week of Action, and the Witness for Peace webpage for the Berta Cáceres Act will have information about each day’s focus. Thank you for your advocacy!



A Personal Appeal from Karen Spring and the Honduras Solidarity Network: Support Solidarity

Donate to Honduras Solidarity Network

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.

Human Rights Delegation (Karen Spring pictured far right) at Berta Carcere’s Grave

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.


Donate to Honduras Solidarity Network

Karen Spring

Honduras-based Coordinator, Honduras Solidarity Network (HSN)


Karen’s personal blog: Aquiabajo.org


HSN Statement on Digital Attacks on HSN and Honduran Organizations

Despues del ingles está en español 





The Honduras Solidarity Network in North America:  

Declaration on Recent Digital Attacks Against HSN

November 17, 2016

A new blog and Facebook page appeared recently calling itself “Defensores de Honduras” (Defenders of Honduras), which, on November 14th, published distortions and misinformation in an attempt to discredit our network and our coordinator in Honduras, Karen Spring. 

This attack was part of an article published on the blog and FB page about the assassinations of two members of the campesino organization MUCA, including its president Jose Angel Flores, that accuses human rights defenders Berta Oliva and COFADEH and others of protecting drug traffickers in northern Honduras. The article also prominently displays our organization’s logo and a picture of Karen Spring, while denigrating our solidarity work, asserting that the HSN is “totally politicized and aligned with the extremist ideas…”. (1)

The viewpoint and work of the HSN, a network of diverse organizations from the US and Canada, is no secret. The HSNetwork was organized immediately after the 2009 coup in solidarity with the Honduran people’s movement and organizations that opposed the ousting of the legitimately elected president and in defense of human rights. We have organized accompaniment and educational delegations and speaking tours; denounced violence and repression in Honduras including all the assassinations of campesinos and campesinas in the Aguan Valley. We have called for complete investigations of all the assassinations.  We oppose the US State Department’s September 2016 certification of human rights progress in Honduras and lobby the US congress to end US financing of state violence in Honduras, including supporting the recently proposed Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act in the House of Representatives.  We believe that it is this work that is making our organization a target of attacks. (2)

We deplore these attacks and condemn the fact that they are a provocation that increases the risk to persons already at risk for their work in defense of human rights. We consider the attacks from “Defenders of Honduras” to be the latest in an orchestrated campaign of psychological warfare to confuse and destroy the social and political movements opposed to authoritarianism and militarization and to isolate them from international support. We recognize this scenario. It is the same script written by the US State Department and US intelligence agencies and used in the 1954 overthrow of Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz,  in the Central American conflicts of the 1980’s and in Colombia to the present day. It is a scenario to justify and incite violence and conflict and to create “false positives” and call them extremists. This is about government-backed impunity and an effort to destroy the social fabric of the movements in the Aguan. The very use of the term “extremist ideas” reveals that this is not really about the crimes of narcos  in the Aguan.

Since the 2013 elections and even more since President Hernandez took office, a plethora of social media accounts with similar phrasing and messages and false accusations have appeared attacking Honduran journalists, social movement leaders, and human rights defenders, both national and international. The accusations echo statements made by President Hernández and his administration’s officials, which claim that in defending human, civil and territorial rights, these people are defaming the country, organizing violence, or more recently that they are linked to organized crime. Meanwhile, international solidarity and human rights activists are accused of being “aligned with the extremist ideas” of those Honduran defenders and activists. In fact, it is the Hernández administration and Honduran security forces who organize violence against the social movements and anyone who dares to publicize or advocate for their cause.

The HSN is not neutral, but we are truthful. The truth is that we stand with the Honduran people and with their organized social movements. We defend human and civil rights within the framework of recognized international standards, and we work to end our governments’ support for the violent authoritarianism and neoliberalism that is destroying Honduras.  

(1) https://defensoresdehonduras.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/quien-protege-a-los-sicarios-del-bajo-aguan/

(2) Hondurassolidarity.org


La Red de Solidaridad con Honduras de Norteamérica:  

Declaración ante los ataques digitales recientes en contra de la HSN

21 de noviembre, 2016

Un blog y página de Facebook recién aparecieron bajo el título “Defensores de Honduras,” lo cual ha publicado distorsiones y desinformación con la intención de desacreditar a nuestra red y nuestra coordinadora en Honduras, Karen Spring. 

Este ataque fue parte de un artículo publicado en el blog y la página de Facebook sobre los asesinatos de dos miembros de la organización campesina MUCA, incluyendo a su presidente José Ángel Flores, en lo cual acusan a la defensora de derechos humanos Berta Oliva y al COFADEH y otras personas de proteger a narcotraficantes en el norte de Honduras. El artículo también incluye en una posición prominente el logotipo de nuestra organización y una imagen de Karen Spring, a la vez menospreciando nuestro trabajo de solidaridad y diciendo que la Red de Solidaridad con Honduras (HSN por siglas en inglés) está “totalmente politizada y alineada con las mismas ideas extremistas…”. (1)

La perspectiva y el trabajo de la HSN, una red de organizaciones diversas de los Estados Unidos y Canadá, no es ningún secreto. La red HSN fue organizada inmediatamente después del golpe de estado del 2009 en solidaridad con el movimiento popular hondureño y las organizaciones que se opusieron al derroque del presidente legítimo y electo y quienes defendieron los derechos humanos. Hemos organizado delegaciones y giras de acompañamiento y educación; hemos denunciado la violencia y la represión en Honduras incluyendo todos los asesinatos de las campesinas y los campesinos del valle del Aguán. Hemos hecho llamados a investigaciones completas de todos los asesinatos. Nos oponemos a la certificación de progreso en materia de derechos humanos emitida por el Departamento de Estado de los EE.UU. en septiembre del 2016 y hacemos cabildeo en el congreso de los Estados Unidos para cortar el financiamiento a la violencia estatal en Honduras, trabajo que abarca nuestro apoyo a la recién propuesta Ley Berta Cáceres por los Derechos Humanos en Honduras en la Cámara de Representantes. Creemos que este es el trabajo que ha convertido nuestra organización en blanco de ataques. (2)

Reprobamos estos ataques y denunciamos que son una provocación que aumenta el riesgo a personas ya bajo riesgo por sus labores en defensa de los derechos humanos. Consideramos que los ataques de “Defensores de Honduras” son la táctica más recién de una campaña orquestada de guerra sicológica para confundir y destruir los movimientos sociales y políticos que se oponen al autoritarismo y la militarización y aislarlos del apoyo internacional. Reconocemos este escenario. Es el mismo escenario utilizado por el Departamento del Estado de los EE.UU y sus agencias de inteligencia para derrocar el gobierno del Presidente Guatemalteco Jacobo Arbenz en 1954, en los conflictos de Centroamérica en la década de los 1980, y en Colombia hasta el día de hoy. Es un escenario utilizado para justificar y provocar violencia y conflicto y para crear “positivos falsos” y llamarlos extremistas. Esto se trata de la impunidad respaldada por el gobierno y de esfuerzos de destruir el tejido social de los movimientos en el Aguán. El uso mismo del término “ideas extremistas” revela que esto realmente no se trata de los crímenes de los narcos en el Aguán.

Desde las elecciones del 2013 y aún más desde que el Presidente Hernandez ascendió a la presidencia, un montón de cuentas en las redes sociales con frases, mensajes y acusaciones falsas muy parecidas han aparecido para atacar a periodistas, líderes y lideresas de los movimientos sociales y defensoras y defensores de derechos humanos, tanto de Honduras como del exterior. Las acusaciones son un eco de las declaraciones hechas por el Presidente Hernández y los oficiales de su administración, las cuales afirman que al defender los derechos humanos, civiles y territoriales esta gente está difamando al país, organizando la violencia, o, más recién, que está vinculada con el crimen organizado. Mientras tanto, se les acusa a las y los activistas internacionales de derechos humanos y solidaridad de ser “alineada con las mismas ideas extremistas” de estos defensores y defensoras y activistas hondureñas. De hecho, es la administración del Presidente Hernández y las fuerzas de seguridad quienes organizan la violencia en contra de los movimientos sociales y cualquier persona que se atreve a amplificar o hacer incidencia por su causa.

La HSN no es neutral, pero sí nos apegamos a la verdad. La verdad es que estamos con el pueblo hondureño y sus movimientos sociales organizados. Defendemos los derecho humanos y civiles dentro del marco de las normas internacionalmente reconocidas y trabajamos para acabar con el apoyo de nuestro gobierno a la combinación de autoritarismo y neoliberalismo violento que está destruyendo a Honduras.  

(1) https://defensoresdehonduras.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/quien-protege-a-los-sicarios-del-bajo-aguan/

(2) Hondurassolidarity.org


New Assassinations – HSN Statement


En Español

October 18, 2016

Assassination, Repression, Impunity Continue in Honduras

US is Satisfied and Certifies Human Rights Requirements for More Aid

The Honduras Solidarity Network in North America denounces the assassination today, only a few hours before this writing,  of Jose Angel Flores, President of the campesino organization MUCA (Unified Campesino Movement of the Aguan) and Silmer Dionosio George, another MUCA leader. The campesino activists were killed by gunmen as they left a meeting of MUCA members. While we are still waiting for more information about the murders, we wish to emphasize that both men were recognized to be at risk by the Inter-American Human Rights Commission and were recipients of that organization’s precautionary measures making the Honduran government responsible for their safety. 

We are indignant that in the face of the ongoing and documented violence, repression and corruption involving the Honduran government, the US State Department has certified that it is satisfied that the Honduran government has taken effective steps to improve human rights. This inexplicable certification, given the situation in Honduras, clears the way for $55 million in U.S. aid.

Week by week, the human rights violations and violence against the Honduran people by the State continues.  We cite, as examples, some recent incidents:

  • On October 9th there were two separate assassination attempts against leaders of COPINH. The General Coordinator, Tomás Gómez Membreño, was driving the organization’s vehicle when he was fired on by unknown persons. Earlier, before dawn on  the same day a local COPINH leader Alexander García was asleep in his home with his wife and children when unknown persons opened fire on the house, riddling it with bullets. By sheer luck the victims escaped injury in both cases.  These assaults occurred  after all of the case files on the investigation of the March 2016 murder of COPINH’s leader Berta Caceres, were mysteriously stolen from a vehicle owned by a government judicial official on September 29th. The United Nations and the OAS anti-corruption entity in Honduras (MACCHI) have demanded an explanation and investigation from the Honduran government of why the files were not secured and how they  were stolen.  There has also been no follow on the reports of a “hit list” for political assassinations being implemented by a special group of the Honduran military.(1) We reiterate our support of the family of COPINH’s coordinator Berta Caceres Flores (assassinated on March 2, 2016) in their demands that all those responsible in any way  for that murder be brought to justice and that the illegal Agua Zarca project be ended. 
  • October 3  – A protest of privatization of highways at the toll road booths near Tegucigalpa was attacked by National Police using quantities of tear gas. The peaceful protest included elected members of the political opposition in the national congress. On September 30 the minister of security, in a clear attempt to stop citizens from exercising the right to assemble and to protest,  had publicly threatened repression for anyone planning to protest.
  • October  10 – During a protest against privatization of the highways at the new toll road near Progreso, armed, uniformed on-duty National Police from the special unit called the COBRAS threatened a participant during the peaceful protest, saying to well known writer, poet and photographer, Hector Flores (Chaco de la Pitoreta), “You are easy to find and to lose.”

Our network is also in receipt of numerous complaints for this same period of continued criminalization, intimidation and violence against small farmers, and indigenous communities and we also take note of the reports of the intimidation against journalists, lawyers and the political opposition.

The U.S. government continues to support and enable  the violence and intimidation against Hondurans by the Honduran government and the national and international corporations it serves. President Juan Orlando Hernandez  has hired a US public relations firm and has traveled himself to the US at least 4 times in less than 4 months in a PR offensive aimed at countering the facts. The US State Dept. certification is part of this public relations “theater of the absurd” as it states that,  “We have certified that the central government of Honduras is taking effective steps to, among other things, combat corruption…; implement reforms, policies, and programs to improve transparency and strengthen public institutions, including increasing the capacity and independence of the judiciary and the Office of the Attorney General;…investigate and prosecute in the civilian justice system members of military and police forces who are credibly alleged to have violated human rights, and ensure that the military and police are cooperating in such cases; cooperate with commissions against impunity, as appropriate, and with regional human rights entities; and protect the right of political opposition parties, journalists, trade unionists, human rights defenders, and other civil society activists to operate without interference” (2)

We condemn these actions and once again make the demand that the US stop funding and training Honduran security forces, and stop supporting the megaprojects and privatizations that are behind the Honduran government’s ruthless assaults on the people’s human and civil rights.

(1)  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/21/berta-caceres-name-honduran-military-hitlist-former-soldier

(2) http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2016/10/263159.htm


Demand that your US Congressional Representatives support the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act – HR5474.  Since the 2009 coup, solidarity and human rights organizations in the US and in Honduras have worked to stop US funding violence in Honduras. On June 14, 2016, US Congressman Hank Johnson of Georgia introduced HR5474. This Act would cut off US funding and support for the repressive Honduran military and national police and end US support for funding of mega-projects against the wishes of the local population. As of September 25, 2016, 41 representatives have signed on in support.

Please contact your congressional representatives and find out if they are supporting HR 5474.

Honduras Solidarity Network in North America


Campaign for the Berta Caceres Human Rights Act !


Heavily armed troops driving through Tegucigalpa November 2013
Berta Caceres

Since the 2009 coup, solidarity and human rights organizations in the US and in Honduras have worked to get the United States government to stop funding human rights violations and violence in Honduras. On June 14, 2016 US Congressman Hank Johnson of Georgia introduced HR5474, the Berta Caceres Human Rights Act named after the Honduran indigenous environmentalists and resistance leader assassinated on March 2, 2016. This Act (cosponsored by Representatives Conyers, Kaptur, Ellison, Serrano, and Schakowsky) would cut off US funding and support for the repressive Honduran military and national police and end US support for funding of mega-projects like the Agua Zarca dam against the wishes of the local population.

Unarmed Hondurans face down troops the day after the coup in June 2009

Sponsoring congress members published a strong opinion piece in The Guardian Newspaper entitled “American Funding of Honduran Security Forces: Blood on Our Hands”.

As of July 14th there are 27 members of Congress signed on to the bill. This summer the Honduran Solidarity Network is supporting a campaign to House of Representative members to support this bill. July 14th was a national call-in day for the bill but it is important that calls and emails and visits to local congressional offices continue during the recess.  For updates and more info: HSN members SOAWatch and Witness for Peace are closely following the campaign. 



Join the Global Day of Action!  June 15, 2016


In Solidarity with the call to action by the Council of Indigenous Peoples COPINH for June 15, 2016 the Honduras Solidarity Network of North America (HSN) is organizing an electronic action to support COPINH and the Honduran people while all over the world people will take action at Honduran Embassies and Consulates. Take action now 


The Reality of the War on Drugs is a War on the People



16 April 2016

As the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs prepares to meet in New York City, the members of the Honduran Solidarity Network (HSN) join their voices with those of the Caravan for Peace, Life and Justice in denouncing the U.S. War on Drugs and the unjust and violent policies implemented by the U.S. Government and its contractors in pursuit of the flawed objectives of this ill-conceived project in Honduras, Mexico and all of Latin America and the Caribbean. In particular as we near another anniversary of the tragedy, we highlight the seemingly forgotten case of the slaughter of two pregnant women and two boys in the rural town of Ahuás, Honduras during a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) operation on May 11, 2012. These murders remain in impunity; no one has been held accountable for the crime and no serious investigation has been conducted by the DEA, or any other US government entity. Our members have interviewed the victims of Ahuás as well as other victims of violence that is justified as being part of the War on Drugs in Honduras.

We call for an end to impunity and an end to this War that continues to bring such tragedies and suffering.

Set in motion by President Richard Nixon in the late sixties, the War on Drugs was confirmed by former top Nixon advisor John D. Ehrlichman in a 1994 interview as having been a framing tactic used to target African Americans and anti-war protesters. From this odious political genesis this “war” became the mechanism for the mass incarceration of Blacks and Latinos in the U.S., tearing apart communities and families for generations.

Washington inserted the War on Drugs into the foreign policy realm with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the need for a new external threat to justify bloated military budgets and U.S. military presence around the globe. Helicopter sales to Colombia, toxic illicit crop spraying projects and increased military aid in the name of disrupting the flow of cocaine and marijuana to the U.S., the War on Drugs made a slew of Pentagon and State Department contractors very wealthy while violence ravaged the affected countries.  Ironically, the effect of the War on Drugs on its stated objective – the eradication of the drug trade – was only to act as a catalyst for drug trafficking, making illicit profits greater and exacerbating the impunity, increased militarization, and human rights violations that now have come to characterize Honduras, the most violent country in the world.

In Honduras, the 2009 coup and its continuation increased the power of a corrupt oligarchy with ties to narcotics cartels while allowing the War on Drugs to be used to promote violence and human rights violations including forced disappearances and assassinations. The militarization of nations like Honduras has fostered an environment of impunity in which police, special forces, the military, and private security contractors, not to mention U.S. military, U.S. Government agents and U.S. contractors, are heavily armed and feel answerable to no one. Given this situation it should not be a surprise to anyone to see thousands of Hondurans fleeing their country in another of the forced migrations that wars produce. 

We stand with the brutalized but resistant peoples of Honduras, Mexico and the other victims of the War on Drugs who are taking a stand against crimes like the slaughter in Ahuás and the 2014 disappearing of the 43 students in Iguala, Mexico. The U.S. must stop providing support to governments that do not respect the rule of law, allow crimes to occur with impunity and are themselves implicated in many of the crimes committed in the name of national security and the War on Drugs. Impunity for crimes directly involving U.S. forces must also end.  We call on our elected officials to insist that officials in the State Department and the Department of Justice sweep aside delaying tactics and obfuscation, so that there can be a genuine and rigorous investigation of these cases and the many other that further stain the reputation of our nation and cause such pain and suffering both at home and abroad.


Donate to support COPINH and Berta’s Family

Network USA-Canada
The Honduras Solidarity Network of Canada and the United States, and its member organizations, have been organizing to demand justice for the murder of Berta Caceres, leader of the indigenous land and environmental group, COPINH.

We are turning to you to do something that we cannot do – provide funding for security for Berta’s family and COPINH leadership in this dark hour when their lives and liberty are also at risk. Funds are also needed by COPINH to feed and shelter the thousands of Lenca and other poor Hondurans who have gathered in La Esperansa and Tegucigalpa to demand that the defacto government allow an independent international investigation to unmask the murderers and the intellectual authors of this heinous crime.

Of the hundreds of resistance members who continued to demand a return to democracy since the 2009 coup and who paid for that opposition with their lives, not one murderer has been brought to justice by the successive coup-spawned governments. Berta is the highest profile national leader to be assassinated. If the powers that be – the government of Juan Orlando Hernandez, the oligarchy, the foreign companies, and the US-trained and funded military and police – are allowed to get away with her murder, it will be open season on the other leaders of COPINH and the nonviolent National Front for Popular Resistance.

Won’t you make a tax-deductible gift right now to help protect Berta’s mother and three young daughters who are themselves now threatened for speaking out? Won’t you make a contribution to protect the life of Gustavo Castro, the Mexican human rights accompanier who was the only witness to the murder and who the judge, after suspending Gustavo’s lawyer, will not allow to leave the community where the murderers still run free? Won’t you contribute the price of a pizza or a night at the movies so that COPINH and other popular movements can feed and shelter the thousands of Hondurans who are demanding their government end impunity, stop the violence, and allow international investigators to solve the murder of our friend and compañera Berta Caceres?

Rights Actions is a member group of the Honduras Solidarity Network and has agreed to channel all donations we raise to COPINH. You can donate securely online by clicking here. If you are Canadian, you can donate here.

Thank you for your support for justice and dignity for the Lenca people and all the people of Honduras who hunger for a life of peace in a democratic company.

Donate Now. Support Hondurans seeking justice.


On the Assassination of Berta Cáceres

El español sigue el ingles

The Honduras Solidarity Network of North America

On the Assassination of Berta Cáceres12794522_464428840392709_4776651423002942093_n

With indignation and sadness, the organizations that form the Honduras Solidarity Network of North America denounce the assassination of Berta Caceres, leader of the indigenous Lenca organization COPINH and a tireless fighter for  social justice and for the defense of the environment and indigenous territories.  Recognized around the globe for her leadership and spirit in 2015 she received the world’s leading environmental award the Goldman Environmental Prize. Many of our members knew Berta and have witnessed first hand her courage and integrity. We join the multitude of voices in Honduras and the world raised against this outrage

Berta became an activist when she was still a teenager and continued even in the face of violence from the government and oligarchy, arrests and threats. After the 2009 coup, Berta and COPINH took up an important role in the resistance movement despite the unleashing  of a ferocious repression  against that resistance and the peoples’ movement in Honduras and against leaders like Berta. 

After the coup, attacks on the indigenous and campesino communities in Honduras escalated as land grabbing by the government, the oligarchy and international mining and hydroelectric companies increased.  Berta and COPINH are in the forefront of the struggle of the indigenous people for their land and a number of COPINH members have been assassinated and others arrested and threatened during this struggle.

Over the past few weeks, repression and threats escalated. On February 20th, Berta and other members of COPINH and the community of Rio Blanco were physically threatened by police and military trying to stop a peaceful activity in defense of the Gualcarque River which is threatened by a hydroelectric project of the Honduran company DESA  with international financing. On February 25th another Lenca community supported by COPINH  was violently evicted from their land.

We strongly support  human rights defenders in Honduras and internationally in demanding that there be a serious and complete, independent international investigation of Berta’s murder so that all those involved are identified and brought to justice rapidly. We reject any attempt to criminalize the leaders and members of COPINH. Berta was a recipient of an order for protective measures by the Inter-American Human Rights Court due to the constant threats and harassment against her and we are concerned and angered to hear pronouncements by Julian Pacheco, Minister of Security at a press conference this morning that can only be seen as an attempt to sidestep responsibility for her security and to blame the victim of this political crime.

We have read the communique of condolences issued by the US Embassy in Honduras earlier today and can only say that, “actions speak louder than words”. The US government has been and is the main economic and political support for the governments in power since the 2009 coup, including the current government of Juan Orlando Hernandez. The US government bears its own responsibility for the militarization and downward spiral in all spheres of life in Honduras, and for the grave human rights situation.  We reiterate the demand that US aid and training to the Honduran security and military apparatus be stopped immediately because it, in action, supports human rights violations such as the murder of Berta Caceres. 

We express our most profound condolences to Berta Caceres’ family, her organization, her community, and the Honduran people and their organizations in struggle as well as our own determination to redouble our solidarity.

March 3, 2016

The Honduras Solidarity Network of North AmericaThe HSN is made up of more than 30 organizations in Canada and the United States.


Comunicado sobre el asesinato de Berta Caceres

Con indignación y tristeza, las organizaciones que integramos la Red de Solidaridad con Honduras de América del Norte, denunciamos el asesinato de Berta Cáceres, la dirigente de la organización indígena lenca COPINH y una luchadora incansable por la justicia social y por la defensa del medio ambiente y los territorios indígenas. Ella es reconocida en todo el mundo por su liderazgo y su espíritu. En el 2015 ella recibió el premio ambiental más importante del mundo, el Premio Ambiental Goldman. Muchos de nuestros miembros conocían a Berta y han sido testigos de primera mano de su valor e integridad. Nos sumamos a la multitud de voces en Honduras y en el mundo que están alzadas en contra de este acto ultrajante.

Berta se convirtió en una activista cuando todavía era un adolescente y continuó, incluso en la cara de la violencia por parte del gobierno y la oligarquía, y las detenciones y amenazas. Después del golpe de estado del 2009, Berta y el COPINH jugaron un papel importante en el movimiento de resistencia a pesar del desencadenamiento de una represión feroz contra esa resistencia y el movimiento popular en Honduras y en contra de líderes como Berta.

Después del golpe, los ataques a las comunidades indígenas y campesinas de Honduras se intensificaron con cada vez más acaparamiento de tierras por parte del gobierno, la oligarquía y las compañías mineras e hidroeléctricas internacionales. Berta y el COPINH han estado en la vanguardia de la lucha de los pueblos indígenas por sus territorios y varios miembros del COPINH han sido asesinados, detenidos y amenazados durante esta lucha.

Durante las últimas semanas, la represión y las amenazas se intensificaron. El 20 de febrero, Berta y otr@s miembros y miembras del COPINH y de la comunidad de Río Blanco fueron amenazad@s físicamente por la policía y por los militares quienes pretendían detener una actividad pacífica en defensa del Río Gualcarque, lo cual se ve amenazado por un proyecto hidroeléctrico de la empresa Hondureña DESA con financiamiento internacional. El 25 de febrero otra comunidad lenca apoyado por el COPINH fue desalojada violentamente de sus tierras.

Apoyamos firmemente a las defensoras y los defensores de derechos humanos en Honduras e internacionalmente en la exigencia de que el asesinato de Berta sea seriamente, completamente, independientemente e internacionalmente investigado de manera que todos los participantes sean identificados y llevados ante la justicia rápidamente. Rechazamos contundentemente cualquier intento de criminalizar a los y las líderes y miembr@s del COPINH. Berta había recibido medidas cautelares por parte de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos debido a las constantes amenazas y hostigamiento en contra de ella. Estamos sumamente preocupados y enfurecidos al escuchar las declaraciones de Julián Pacheco, Ministro de Seguridad, en una conferencia de prensa esta mañana que sólo puede ser visto como un intento de eludir la responsabilidad del estado por la seguridad de Berta y de culpar a la víctima misma de este crimen político.

Hemos leído el comunicado de pésame emitido por la Embajada de los Estados Unidos en Honduras el día de hoy y sólo podemos decir que, “las acciones hablan más que las palabras.” El gobierno de Estados Unidos ha sido y sigue siendo la fuente principal de apoyo económico y político al gobierno hondureño desde el golpe de estado del 2009, incluyendo al gobierno actual de Juan Orlando Hernández. El gobierno de Estados Unidos tiene su propia responsabilidad por la militarización y el deterioro en todos los ámbitos de la vida en Honduras, y por la grave situación de los derechos humanos. Reiteramos la exigencia de que se detenga de inmediato toda la ayuda de los Estados Unidos al aparato de seguridad y militar y el entrenamiento a los mismos en Honduras, ya que representa apoyo directo a las violaciones de los derechos humanos, tales como el asesinato de Berta Cáceres.

Expresamos nuestras más profundas condolencias a la familia de Berta Cáceres, a su organización, a su comunidad y al pueblo hondureño y sus organizaciones en lucha, así también expresamos nuestra propia determinación de redoblar nuestra solidaridad.

El día 3 de Marzo 2016

La Red de Solidaridad con Honduras – Honduras Solidarity Network

en Norteamérica

La HSN esta compuesta de más de 30 organizaciones en Canada y EEUU

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