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Honduras: News & Updates

Honduras did not experience civil war in the 1980s, but its geography (bordering El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua) made it a key location for US military operations: training Salvadoran soldiers, a base for Nicaraguan contras, military exercises for US troops. The notorious Honduran death squad Battalion 316 was created, funded and trained by the US. The state-sponsored terror resulted in the forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of approximately 200 people during the 1980s. Many more were abducted and tortured. The 2009 military coup d’etat spawned a resurgence of state repression against the civilian population that continues today.

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Former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez was recently found guilty of drug-trafficking in a New York court, revealing the complicity of the U.S. and Canada in supporting his regime for over 12 years. The Under the Shadow podcast series discusses the U.S.-backed military coup in 2009 and subsequent support for the narco regime. Karen Spring, a former Rights Action colleague, provides insight into the trial, exposing the regime's violence and corruption, enabled by U.S. and Canadian support. The trial highlights the failure of the "war on drugs," institutional corruption, media complicity, and the challenges faced by the new Honduran government in repairing the damage. Despite this, there is a lack of accountability for the actions of U.S. and Canadian governments, leaving the Honduran population to suffer the consequences of their support for oppressive regimes.

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Honduras is set to withdraw from the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on August 25, a significant departure from its trade and investment policies of the past four decades. President Xiomara Castro's decision, announced in early March, comes amidst ongoing ICSID claims totaling at least $12 billion USD, equivalent to 40% of GDP or nearly three-quarters of the national budget. The move raises legal complexities as Honduras is party to multiple trade agreements, including CAFTA-DR, which specifies ICSID as the dispute forum. The government's rationale for withdrawal remains unclear, though concerns over investor-state dispute procedures have been voiced. Private-sector groups criticize the decision, anticipating economic repercussions and legal challenges. Meanwhile, discussions with China for a free-trade agreement suggest a strategic shift in Honduras' economic alliances. Despite skepticism about the move's long-term impact, it underscores the Castro administration's stance on national sovereignty and economic policy.

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To read the full article: Migrant Justice Newsletter - April 2024 | InterReligious Task Force on Central America (

Welcome to IRTF’s March 2024 newsletter on Migrant Justice and the current situation at the US-Mexico border. After you’ve looked through the articles, we hope you can take a few minutes to see the TAKE ACTION items at the bottom. In this newsletter, please read about : 1.  Changing Trends in Migrants at US-Mexico Border. 2. ICE Air: Update on Removal Flight Trends . 3. Study Reveals: Border Wall Height Exacerbates Trauma Incidents . 4. At the Border: Recent . Incidents at and around the US-Mexico Border . 5. Border Patrol and Local Law Enforcement’s Patterns of Abuse in Ohio’s Immigration Enforcement. 6. Raising the Credible Fear Screening Standard Will Endanger Lives but Won’t Fix The Border . 7. Children in US-Mexico Border Camps. 8. Migrants Mired in Transit as Mexico Becomes US’s Immigration Enforcer. 9. Kidnapping of Migrants and Asylum Seekers at Texas-Tamaulipas Border Reaches Intolerable Levels . 10.  Migrant Deaths in New Mexico and Western Texas . 11. Human Rights in the Darién Gap of Panamá.

 TAKE ACTION NOW. Here is what you can do to take action this week in solidarity with migrants and their families. (See details at the bottom of this newsletter.) A) SPEAK UP FOR DEMOCRACY IN EL SALVADOR. B)  SPEAK UP FOR PEOPLE IN HAITI. C) STOP DEPORTATIONS TO HAITI . D) PROTECT UNACCOMPANIED MINORS. E) VISIT CAPITOL HILL: #ReuniteUS. F) HELP REFUGEES & MIGRANTS IN CLEVELAND. 


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Approximately eleven years ago, Berta Cáceres led a group of activists to block a road, initiating a struggle against the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam in Honduras. Despite their victory and the halting of operations in 2018, the community still faces threats and violence. Since Cáceres' murder in 2016, 70 environmental activists have been killed in Honduras, making it the most dangerous country for nature defenders. The cancellation of the project led to division within the community, with some seeing it as a victory for their rights while others anticipated development opportunities. Despite challenges, there have been some strides towards justice, with evidence implicating individuals linked to the powerful Atala family in Cáceres' assassination. However, impunity remains a pervasive issue, and the community continues to face threats and harassment. The struggle for justice continues amidst ongoing violence and institutional weaknesses in Honduras.

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Read the full article: JOHonduras (

Over a span of twelve years (2010-2022), the United States collaborated with a corrupt drug trafficking regime in Honduras to advance its economic and military interests in the region. Despite its recent legal actions against former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández (JOH) for drug trafficking and weapons charges, the U.S. has failed to acknowledge its longstanding support for JOH. This omission reflects a historical pattern of U.S. intervention in Honduras, which has undermined democracy and contributed to the country's transformation into a narco-state under JOH's rule.

The trial against JOH represents a significant moment, with the U.S. government holding its former ally accountable for his crimes. However, it overlooks the U.S.'s own role in JOH's rise to power, including providing funding, weapons, and training to security forces involved in human rights abuses against Honduran citizens. This complicity underscores a paradox in U.S. foreign policy: a pursuit of justice that ignores its own involvement in undermining democratic values.

Anne Milgram, the DEA Administrator, highlighted JOH's central role in a large-scale cocaine trafficking conspiracy, financed by drug proceeds to support his political career and furthered through the resources of the Honduran government. This narrative sheds light on the broader implications of U.S. involvement in Honduras, revealing a complex interplay between economic interests, democratic principles, and the pursuit of justice.


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We acknowledge that this land, that we now call Colorado, was originally stewarded by the Apache, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Pueblo, Shoshone, and Ute people. . We are committed to uplifting our community members from these nations who reside alongside us. We are on land stolen from indigenous people, and it is our responsibility to not only do good work here and walk in gratitude, but also to support indigenous movements for justice.

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Former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández was found guilty of cocaine trafficking Friday after a two-week trial in a New York federal court, where prosecutors accused Hernández of ruling the Central American country as a narco-state and accepting millions of dollars in bribes from cocaine traffickers in exchange for protection. He faces a possible life sentence. Hernández served as president of Honduras from 2014 to 2022 and was a close U.S. ally despite mounting reports of human rights violations and accusations of corruption and involvement with drug smuggling during his tenure. Hernández was arrested less than a month after his term ended and was extradited to the United States in April 2022. “The majority feeling is satisfaction, a feeling of progress in achieving justice,” says activist Camilo Bermúdez from Tegucigalpa. He is a member of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, the organization founded by Berta Cáceres, the Lenca Indigenous environmental defender who was assassinated in 2016 while Juan Orlando Hernández was president. We also speak with Dana Frank, professor of history emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who says the 2009 U.S.-backed coup against President Manuel Zelaya set the stage for the corrupt governments that followed. While U.S. prosecutors may have convicted Hernández, Frank stresses that multiple U.S. administrations “legitimated and celebrated him.”