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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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News Article
In February 2020, still waiting as he now passed 950 days in detention, Kevin began thinking that he might just give up and self-deport, even if it meant going back to a place he’d been followed out of by text messages saying if he ever returned he would be killed. This is a story about the ongoing efforts of the U.S. government to deport a Honduran teenager named Kevin Euceda, who had already been in detention for more than two years. The U.S. government’s anti-trafficking program took the extraordinary step of certifying Kevin as a victim of “severe human trafficking,” finding that he had been “subjected to involuntary servitude by being forced to work for a gang.” The designation gave Kevin the right to all the benefits of a legal refugee, and meant he would be a prime candidate for asylum. [In September 2019, Kevin watched his court proceedings] from a remote detention center. On one side of the judge, he could see his lawyers, ready to argue that he should be freed immediately. Across from them was a lawyer for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), there to argue that Kevin should be deported. And in front of them all, inside a thick folder, was an old report from a shelter for immigrant children that was the reason the long-running matter of Kevin Euceda existed at all: “Youth reports history of physical abuse, neglect, and gang affiliation in country of origin. Unaccompanied child self-disclosed selling drugs. Unaccompanied child reports being part of witnessing torturing and killing, including dismemberment of body parts,” the report said. The person who had signed it: A therapist at a government shelter for immigrant children who had assured Kevin that their sessions would be confidential. Instead, the words Kevin spoke had traveled from the shelter to one federal agency and then another, followed him through three detention centers, been cited in multiple ICE filings arguing for his detention and deportation, and now, in the fall of 2019, were about to be used against him once more.
News Article
Study finds 42.5% interviewees leaving Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador reported the violent death of a relative “We’re speaking of human beings, not numbers,” Sergio Martín, MSF general coordinator in Mexico, said at the study’s presentation on Tuesday. “In many cases, it’s clear that migration is the only possible way out. Staying put is not an option.” A 2019 survey from Creative Associates International found violence was the main driver of migration for 38% of Salvadorans, 18% of Hondurans and 14% of Guatemalans. In Guatemala – the main source of migrants detained at the US border with Mexico – 71% of respondents cited “economic concerns” as their main motive.
News Article
Berta Cáceres, who was awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in 2015, had long protested the construction of the dam, which threatened the livelihood of the Indigenous Lenca community living along the Gualcarque River. The activist was later shot dead in March of 2016 at her home in La Esperanza, in southwest Honduras. Private call logs, SMS, and WhatsApp messages unearthed by the Honduran Public Prosecutor’s Office revealed that the hit squad “communicated through a compartmentalized chain that reached the highest ranks of leadership” of Desarrollos Energéticos SA (DESA), the company building the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam, the Intercept reported on December 21. Seven of the eight men accused of carrying out Caceres’ killing — among them US-trained former military officials and DESA employees — were found guilty in November of 2018 and later sentenced to serve between 30 and 50 years in jail.
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The Cleveland Immigration Working Group is engaged in a number of immigrant defense and support activities. We need more volunteer help. Please read below and consider helping with some of these needs: A. Safe Hotels Campaign B. Rapid Response Team C. Bond Packets for Release from Detention D. Court Monitoring E. Bus Reception F. Public Actions G. Sponsor Families H. Help for ICE Raid Victims and those in detention I. Prayer Support . If you would like to learn more about any of these initiatives, please email irtf@irtfcleveland.org or call (216) 961 0003.
News Article
Making Way for Corruption details how in Guatemala and Honduras, corrupt officials in executive branches and legislatures are putting into place laws and policies to limit oversight and action by judicial authorities, human rights defenders, civil society activists, and journalists to expose and protest abuses, while sweeping away obstacles to their own corruption.
News Article
Making Way for Corruption details how in Guatemala and Honduras, corrupt officials in executive branches and legislatures are putting into place laws and policies to limit oversight and action by judicial authorities, human rights defenders, civil society activists, and journalists to expose and protest abuses, while sweeping away obstacles to their own corruption.
News Article
In early 2019, after an international pressure campaign led by the International Labor Rights Forum and Fair World Project, Fyffes seemed to relent, agreeing to talk with the union and reinstate some workers allegedly fired in retaliation. But since then, the union says Fyffes has backtracked, refused to recognize the union, and instead supported parallel company-backed unions. This is meant to preempt militant unions like STAS from establishing themselves as representatives of the temporary workers, who make up 90 percent of the workforce. “The formation of those organizations was part of a pattern of anti union violence against STAS,” says the union’s general secretary, Moises Sanchez, in a phone interview with The Progressive from Honduras, conducted via a translator. “And the reason that they recognized those unions was not because they are a good farm or a good multinational corporation. What we want are exclusive bargaining rights for the temporary workers on the farms who don’t have a voice or a vote to improve their working conditions.”

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