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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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National and international organizations demand that Honduran authorities respect the decision of the people of Tocoa to say NO to the petroleum coke thermoelectric plant and Emco's mining megaproject, among other demands. On Saturday, December 9, 2023, the people of Tocoa were called by the Municipal Corporation to participate in an open town meeting regarding the Ecotek petroleum coke thermoelectric project, one of the seven components of an iron oxide megaproject promoted by the "Emco Holdings" consortium of Ana Facusse and Lenir Perez. 

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A summary of each fraudulent election; the warning signs; words from U.S. prosecutors about the significance of each election in entrenching the narco-state; and the post-electoral responses from the U.S. and Canadian governments in 2009, 2013 and 2017.

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The trial of Juan Orlando Hernández, the former president of Honduras, is set to begin on February 12 in New York, facing drug-trafficking and weapons charges. Once considered untouchable, Hernández may be testified against by Juan Carlos “El Tigre” Bonilla, the former head of Honduras’s National Police, who recently pleaded guilty. The trial raises questions about the US support for Hernández, despite allegations of corruption and drug trafficking. The article highlights the role of the 2009 military coup, supported by the US, in paving the way for Hernández's rise to power. The US government's backing of Hernández and Bonilla, despite evidence of human rights abuses and corruption, is seen as part of a longstanding policy to maintain pro-US allies in Honduras, prioritizing geopolitical interests over justice. The article also discusses the reemergence of police death squads in Honduras and the State Department's efforts to downplay corruption within the police force. Despite multiple scandals and protests, the US consistently supported Hernández, revealing the complex dynamics of the US War on Drugs and its selective enforcement. The piece emphasizes the need to consider the broader implications of the trial for US foreign policy and its impact on the people of Honduras.

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Rights Action supports, and encourages Canadians and Americans to follow this ‘Putting the U.S. and Canada On Trial’ campaign.

The repressive, corrupt, drug-trafficking regime in Honduras was in power from June 28, 2009 (seizing power after a U.S. and Canadian-backed military coup) through to January 27, 2022. During the entire time, the U.S. and Canada basically lied about their relations with the regime in Honduras, and referred to it as a “democratic allie”. Countless North American companies, banks and investors happily did business with the “Open for Global Business” regime, and some of them directly contracted with known drug traffickers.

This ‘Putting the U.S. and Canada On Trial’ campaign is an important effort to once again expose, and try and achieve a small amount of political or even legal accountability in the U.S. and Canada for the knowing complicity of our governments and certain businesses and investors.

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Former Honduran police chief Juan Carlos Bonilla, known as "El Tigre," has pleaded guilty to a U.S. drug trafficking charge related to cocaine importation conspiracy. He was initially expected to be tried alongside the country's ex-President Juan Orlando Hernandez, who faces similar charges. Bonilla admitted directing police to allow cocaine shipments through checkpoints without inspection in exchange for bribes during his tenure as the national police chief from 2012 to 2013. Bonilla faces a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. Hernandez, who pleaded not guilty to taking bribes from cartels during his presidency, will now be tried alone. Another defendant, Hernandez's cousin Mauricio Hernandez, pleaded guilty to cocaine importation conspiracy. The U.S. Department of Justice has accused Hernandez of running Honduras as a "narco-state" and receiving bribes from the Sinaloa cartel's leader, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. Hernandez contends that drug traffickers are falsely accusing him in retaliation for his anti-drug efforts.

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Medea Benjamin and Steve Ellner argue that the Trump and Biden administrations' continuation of the 19th-century Monroe Doctrine has led to disastrous consequences in Latin America. The authors highlight the failure of US policies towards Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua, leading to economic sanctions, coup attempts, and a migration crisis. They propose a new approach based on Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Good Neighbor Policy" from the 1930s, emphasizing the need to end military intervention, close US military bases in the region, stop political meddling, eliminate economic blackmail, and support trade policies that benefit people and the environment. The authors also call for a humane immigration policy, recognizing Latin America's cultural contributions and addressing the root causes of migration. They argue that a New Good Neighbor Policy is essential for mutual respect, non-intervention, and cooperation in the 21st century.

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