- About Us
- Rapid Response Network
- Young Adults
- Get Involved
- Memory & Resistance Coalition
November 7, 2021
On Sunday, November 7, 2021, the InterReligious Task Force on Central America (IRTF) will hold a special online gathering to mark the 41st anniversary of the ultimate sacrifice made by two Cleveland women in El Salvador (Jean Donovan and Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel of Cleveland), along with Maryknoll Sisters Ita Ford and Maura Clarke. The four women paid with their lives for their decision to stay in solidarity with poor, marginalized victims of the US-sponsored armed violence, which eventually claimed the lives of 75,000 Salvadorans and the led to the mass exodus of 1 million refugees. IRTF was founded by people of faith and conscience to honor their powerful witness and carry forward their legacy of solidarity. Please join our guest speakers from Honduras as we celebrate IRTF’s four decades of solidarity with the people of Central America and Colombia: promoting peace, justice, human rights, and systemic transformation through nonviolence.
October 24, 2021
We wrote to officials in Honduras expressing our outrage about violence waged against three LGBTI leaders in three areas of the country: Erika Tatiana Martínez García, who was murdered in her home on September 26 (Copán Department), Fausto Vásquez, whose bed was set on fire on September 30 (La Paz Department), and Victoria Rodríguez, who was beaten in her home on October 7 (Comayagua Department). LGBTI rights groups report that 390 LGBTI people have been murdered in Honduras in the past 12 years, including 17 this year. In only nine percent of the cases has there been a murder conviction; more than 90 percent of the cases remain in impunity. Tatiana's murder, Fausto’s harassment, and Vicky’s attack must all be seen as transgressions against protections that human rights defenders should receive. The government of Honduras should adhere to the ruling handed down by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (June 28, 2021) when it found the State responsible for the murder of transwoman Vicky Hernández on June 28, 2009. There must be accountability and an end to the impunity provided to the perpetrators of these crimes.
October 23, 2021
We wrote to officials in Honduras about a pattern of violence being inflicted on elected officials and candidates of the opposition LIBRE party (Freedom and Refoundation Party). A mayoral candidate for the municipality of Santa Ana de Yusguare in Choluteca, Nery Fernando Reyes, was shot to death on October 8. The following day, there was an attempted killing of Olivia Marcela Zúniga Cáceres, a LIBRE party congresswoman, at her home in La Esperanza, Intibucá. The legislator is the daughter of Berta Cáceres, the indigenous environmental defender who was assassinated in March 2016. According to the National Observatory on Violence at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (ONV-UNAH), 15 people linked to politics have been murdered from December 2020 to September 15, 2021. The assassination of Nery Fernando Reyes Pineda and the attempted assassination of Olivia Marcela Zúniga Cáceres are recent examples of an ongoing climate of anti-LIBRE hate crimes leading up to the presidential elections, which are scheduled for November 28.
October 23, 2021
The caravan had two specific requests for Congress: to enact both the Honduras Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Act (HR 2716) and the Berta Cáceres Act (HR 1574), which both call for the suspension of U.S. assistance to Honduran security forces.
October 22, 2021
On October 20, the ruling party with a majority in El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly approved an initiative entitled "Special and transitory provisions for the suspension of concentrations and public or private events,” which empowers the Attorney General and the National Civil Police (PNC) to take action against people who convene, promote, or organize rallies–under the pretext of containing the COVID-19 virus.
October 17, 2021
Data from the Victims Unit show that 192,638 Indigenous People and 794,703 Afro-Colombians were affected by the war experienced in recent years. The guerrilla made life impossible for several indigenous peoples and Afro-Colombians, and massacres such as that of the Awá in Nariño and Afro-Colombians in Bojayá, mined collective territories, communities stripped of their territories and young people and children recruited are some examples of the FARC's violent acts carried out against ethnic peoples. Almost a third of the national territory is categorised as indigenous reserves, and most of them have to face serious environmental conflicts and land grabbing due to extractive activities in the zone.
Migrant Justice: Green card installation represents hundreds of thousands of TPS families in need of permanent relief
October 14, 2021
The 400 placards installed in front of the U.S. Capitol read in part “United States of America Permanent Resident,” symbolized 400,000 Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders and families who need permanent relief. Among the speakers was Sitar Llama, who said he was representing nearly 15,000 Nepali TPS holders “whose lives are on the line.” “I was not able to see my kids grow up. My wife and I have lived apart for 20 years,” he said in a press release received by Daily Kos. “I work very hard 11-hour shifts, but I cannot get a promotion without a green card. The White House and Congress make our lives hard by not giving us citizenship.” Immigrants and advocates with the Communities United for Status and Protection (CUSP) collaborative effort stressed that a united Democratic front does have the power to bring permanent relief not just to Llama and other TPS holders but to millions of immigrants.
October 13, 2021
The thirteen Catholic bishops pointed out that the rule of law is essential for the rehabilitation of democracy, which is why the "good work" of three elements must be guaranteed: the participation of the people through the vote, the actions of the political parties and their leaders; and finally the actions of the electoral authorities. They asked citizens to overcome "feelings of indifference, apathy and skepticism," go to the polls urgently and elect "honest, responsible and sensitive candidates to the needs of the people." They outlined the vote as a sacred action "that you cannot give to those who do not deserve it."
Honduras: Sentencing Court in Comayagua Denies Liberty to Environmental Defenders Víctor Vásquez & José Santos Vigil
October 13, 2021
Since December 2020, Víctor Vásquez, a member of the General Coordination of the Independent Lenca Indigenous Movement of La Paz Honduras (MILPAH), and Santos Vigil, member of the Nueva Esperanza Peasant Base, have been imprisoned in the Penal Center of La Paz, accused of the crime of forced displacement. Víctor accompanied the peasants of the Nueva Esperanza Base, but they were unjustly accused by the alleged owners of three crimes, of which the judge rejected two, but they remain deprived of liberty for the crime of forced displacement. The legislature created the crime of forced displacement to prosecute the displacement caused by criminal gangs against communities and neighborhoods affected by their illegal activities. But now the Public Ministry is using it to illegally harass and prosecute human rights defenders who defend their territory, who fight for protection the environment and access to land. The Coalition Against Impunity has denounced the criminalization of these Lenca environmental defenders.
October 13, 2021
Excerpt: This is a time when the State is very clear that it is going to do everything possible to deprive the Garífuna community of its territory to hand it over to investors. That is why we reaffirm that there is a genocidal plan against the Garífuna people. And that is why we are making a call to see what is happening in Honduras. People have left the country en masse and continue to leave. The Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, says “don't come.” However, the United States continues to support corrupt governments like this one, governments that violate human rights. We all have the right to migrate, but we also have the right to stay in the country and live well. Because this is a country where we could live in well-being, only that it is captured by a mafia that does not let us live.