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U.S. State Department Asked to Suspend Aid to Honduras due to Another Journalist Death

Article Summary:

A group of U.S. House of Representatives members requested suspension of military and police aid to Honduras, after the death of another journalist and continuing human rights violations in that country.

Original Article Text From Prensa Honduras via Google Translate :

United States Congressmen call for suspension of police assistance to Honduras

A group of 94 leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives requested suspension of the military and police aid to Honduras, after the death of another journalist and continuing human rights violations in that country.

In a letter sent today to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Congress charged that human rights defenders, journalists, community leaders and the opposition are subject to “death threats, attacks and extrajudicial executions.”

“The U.S. must suspend military aid to Honduras , in the absence of a serious commitment to curb human rights abuses “, investigate crimes and prosecute those responsible, said in the letter, led by the Democrat of Illinois, Jan Schakowsky.

“The Honduran government has to know that America speaks absolutely serious about stopping these violations of human rights,” they said in the letter, which called for “significant response from the State Department.”

Lawmakers asked the State Department suspended all aid to the army and police of Honduras “given credible allegations” of abuses blamed on security forces.

Also want the State Department continue pressing the government of President Porfirio Lobo to protect fundamental human rights, investigate abuses in the Lower Aguán and around the country to account the current status of several cases, and punish who have acted with impunity.

The letter states that the Honduran government must comply with the agreements with farmers’ organizations to respond to conflict in Lower Aguán and comprehensive solutions to the problem of lack of access to land, which fuels the conflict.

Schakowsky, who traveled to Honduras in 2009 after the coup that overthrew President Manuel Zelaya, said that U.S. aid because the U.S. has “the obligation to ensure respect for human rights.

Groups like the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), which advocates for human rights in the region, applauded the sending of the letter considered a “wake-up call for the Administration Lobo”.

“It’s a wake up call because 45 peasant leaders in a small area of ​​Honduras have been killed. Human rights advocates of all kinds … are being threatened and killed,” said Lisa Haugaard Efe, executive director of WOLA.

He added that the Government of Lobo has not done enough to protect them and punish those responsible and, often, the agents of the army and the police are involved or assist in committing such abuses.

The letter was sent after the murder of journalist Fausto Flores Valley , bringing to 19 the number of violent deaths among informants from the coup of 2009.

In Honduras, according to the State Commissioner of Human Rights in the 23 months of the current government headed by Wolf were recorded 12,838 violent deaths , that number rises to 46,450 between 2000 and 2011.

Meanwhile, the group Reporters Without Borders said today in a decade, 26 journalists have been murdered in Honduras, 19 in the period following the coup.

Link to Original Article:

From Prensa Honduras

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