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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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In this montly newsletter, please read about : (1) Immigration Court in Cleveland, OH: Nicaraguans rank #1 in deportation proceedings filed; (2) - Recent Border Trends: Why We See so Many Nicaraguans and Venezuelans Arriving at the U.S. Southern Border; (3) Title 42: Expelling Migrants in the Name of Health Measures: Biden Urges Mexico to Take Migrants under COVID Expulsion Order He Promised to End; (4) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): Increase in ICE’s use of Ankle Monitors and Smartphones to Monitor Immigrants and Detention Numbers; (5) At The Border: Recent Incidents at and around the US-Mexico Border. TAKE ACTION ITEMS: After reading the articles, please take a few moments to advocate for migrant justice with our TAKE ACTION items: (1) Support Ohio Immigrant and Refugee Businesses this Holiday Season; (2) ​​​​​Urge Congress to Support and Pass Permanent Pathways to Citizenship (3) Stop the illegal and immoral transportation of migrants by certain governors to other states and Washington, DC.

https://www.irtfcleveland.org/blog

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Since its election of the new president Xiomara Castro, Honduras has a lot to do to move forward.

From October 26 to October 28, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) held a series of meetings with members of civil society, press, donors, the U.S. Embassy and President Castro.

The main talking points were the fight against corruption, migration and the human rights situation in the country. 

The state aims to dismantle the existing corruption networks in its institutions and strengthen the independence of the country's judicial system. To reach this goal, the government is cooperating with the the International Commission against Impunity (CICH).

Furthermore, Honduras plans on cutting crime rates, especially against women and other marginalized groups by reducing impunity for gender based violence. 

In the discussion about migration, the main focus was on displacement and the situation of unaccompanied minors at the U.S. border. WOLA emphasized the need for Honduras to work on the structural causes of migration and to implement immediate actions to address the humanitarian crisis contributing to migration.

WOLA will remain a partner on Honduras' rocky road towards the full implementation of human rights and to become a safe place for every citizen and migrant in the country. 

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For 13 years, the U.S. supported the violent and oppressive coup dictatorship in Honduras.                                                                                                                                           

Finally in November 2021 the people of Honduras held elections and their first female president, Xiomara Castro, came out as the winner.

Shortly after she took over the presidency in January 2022, Castro began the restoration of democracy in her country and worked to minimize the U.S.'s influence.                                                                             

Not even a year after the electi0n, on October 25 the US restarted its interference in Honduran internal affairs, aiming to undermine the new government and its policy agenda.  US Ambassador Laura Dogu as well as U.S. senators are proactively acting to delegitimize the government by vocally criticizing new labor laws and changes to the Honduran energy sector. Many supporters of former right-wing President Juan Orlando Hernandez are echoing Dogu and the senator's statements while calling for a new coup against the just-elected Castro presidency.

The Honduras Solidarity Network and IRTF are raising their voices against attempts to push Honduras back towards the past!

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More than a 1000 Honduran construction workers building the new U.S. Embassy complex in Tegucigalpa, Honduras have been on strike for over 4 months now. They are demanding fair payment,  a safe workspace and for the contractor to respect their human rights.  The state and the construction company are reacting with all of their power, firing strike leaders and bringing in riot police, tanks and sharpshooters. Learn how you can support the striking workers in the article below. 

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As Fiscal Year 2022 is almost over, we are hearing numbers of 750 or more migrant deaths over the past twelve months. While, tragically, it does still happen that migrants die while being chased by Border Patrol agents or shot when attempting to cross the border, the majority of these deaths are a result of the so-called “prevention through deterrence” strategy that forces people to take on more dangerous routes when traveling up to the southern U.S. border to seek safety. And if they do make it through to the U.S., they are often expelled immediately or put into deportation proceedings, waiting for their hearing in Mexican emergency shelters or U.S. detention centers. Read IRTF's monthly overview of recent updates on U.S. immigration and what has been happening at the border!

https://www.irtfcleveland.org/blog/migrant-justice-newsletter-sep-2022

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On behalf of IRTF’s Rapid Response Network (RRN) members, we wrote six letters this month to heads of state and other high-level officials in Colombia, Honduras, and Guatemala,  urging their swift action in response to human rights abuses occurring in their countries.  We join with civil society groups in Latin America to: (1) protect people living under threat, (2) demand investigations into human rights crimes, (3) bring human rights criminals to justice.

IRTF’s Rapid Response Network (RRN) volunteers write six letters in response to urgent human rights cases each month. We send copies of these letters to US ambassadors, embassy human rights officers, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, regional representatives of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and desk officers at the US State Department. To read the letters, see https://www.irtfcleveland.org/content/rrn , or ask us to mail you hard copies.

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