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Send a letter to authorities in Honduras in support of Garífuna communities’ demands for justice and defense of their territories.  Sounding drums, maracas, and other instruments, dozens of Garífuna community members of OFRANEH (The Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras) demonstrated on August 9 in front of the main headquarters of the Public Ministry in the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa.

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In 2012, the Inter-American Court for Human Rights (IACHR) ruled that the Guatemalan state was responsible for crimes associated with the Military Diary and ordered the state to determine who committed them, locate the victims’ remains, provide psychological support to families, and provide reparations. In spite of this, the national investigation of the case stalled for years The details outlined in the Military Diary have been corroborated by testimonies from both survivors and relatives of the victims. The family members have been demanding justice ever since their loved ones were illegally detained. The families are calling for international solidarity to push forward this case for justice and reparations.

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The United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM), who is in command of all US military forces deployed across Latin America, developed a seminar called "Honduras Human Righst initiative, gender equitz and international humanitarian law" to strengthen the knowledge and awareness of human rights issues within the Honduran Armed Forces. "The president and commander general of the Armed Forces, Xiomara Castro, is committed to strengthening the professionalization of our Armed Forces, creating spaces for military training based on respect and protection of human rights," said the Minister of Defense and Castro's nephew-in-law, José Manuel Zelaya. Human rights groups are questioning the extent and effectivity of that training. Historically, the Armed Forces have been characterized for violating and lacerating the human rights of Hondurans, in the recent past they perpetrated the crime of the 2009 coup d'état that left more than twenty people murdered without so far the military involved facing justice. 

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Criterio reports on the need to repeal the expansion of Carlos Escaleras National Park buffer zone as a first step to resolve the Guapinol conflict. "Throughout the process of struggle and resistance, the members of the fourteen communities that defend their water sources and oppose mining, have demanded the repeal of decree 252-2013. The member of the Municipal Committee for the Defense of Common and Public Goods of the municipality of Tocoa and current councilman, Leonel George, stated that "the communities have been fighting for the defense of the Carlos Escaleras Mejía Botaderos Mountain National Park, a protected area that supplies water and is a water producing area for the communities, as well as a source of oxygen and a livelihood for food production". The repeal of decree 252-2013, George explained to Criterio.hn, would solve part of the conflict and would give the communities a chance to recover the national park to restore the healthy environment in which they lived prior to the arrival of the mining company and in the face of climate change and the effects it generates."
 

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Practicing journalism in Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador is becoming increasingly difficult in the face of the persecution of independent media outlets by neo-populist rulers of different stripes, intolerant of criticism. The union of Guatemalan journalists and the reporter’s family say the arrest is a clear example of political persecution as a result of the investigations into corruption and mismanagement in the Giammattei administration published by the newspaper, which was founded in 1996. “I definitely believe it is a case of political persecution and harassment, and of violence against free expression and the expression of thought,” Ramón Zamora, son of the editor of elPeriódico who has been imprisoned since his arrest, told IPS from Guatemala City.

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The parsimony of the waves of the Caribbean Sea that bathe this paradise contrasts with the context of violence and dispossession experienced by the Garífuna communities. Between the years of 2012 and 2022, they have reported 105 attacks against their members and in the last seven years alone, 25 defenders of the Garífuna territories have been assassinated. According to the Honduran Black Fraternal Organization (OFRANEH), this situation worsened after in 2015 the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) ruled in favor of this Garífuna community and held the State of Honduras responsible for violating the ancestral and collective right to territory of its inhabitants.

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IRTF's solidarity with the people of Central America began in El Salvador 41 years ago. Salvadorans fought long and hard to build democracy and far too many paid for it with their lives. Three decades since the end of the civil war, the struggle continues. Here we share an urgent action from our friends at CISPES (Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador), which echoes what we heard on August 5 in Cleveland from Leslie Schuld of the CIS (Centro de Intercambio y Solidaridad). Thank you for taking a couple of minutes to read this and for taking the click action.

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Thousands of Colombians have celebrated in the streets what is hoped to be a “second liberation,” now from neoliberalism, via the ascension of the first left-wing president in the country’s history, Gustavo Petro, together with his vice president, Francia Márquez, to power. A former guerrillero and an Afro-Colombian activist now hold the highest political positions in the country, a turning point in Colombian political history and a key moment for the whole of Latin America. But Petro and Francia will not have much time to celebrate. Huge challenges await them.