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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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‘There’s no asylum for anyone.’ LGBTQ, disabled asylum seekers cross border with Julián Castro, but not for long
October 7, 2019
Presidential candidate Julián Castro on Monday escorted a group of asylum seekers across the border bridge to his native Texas from Mexico, where they had been sent under the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy. Walking across the bridge with Castro were eight gay and lesbian asylum seekers from Cuba, Guatemala and Honduras, as well as a deaf Salvadoran woman and her three relatives. All had earlier tried to cross here with a lawyer after being returned to Mexico to await court hearings, and all had been sent back by U.S. Customs officers. Some had already waited four months. More than 50,000 asylum seekers have been sent to Mexico to await the outcome of their U.S. immigration court cases since the Migrant Protection Protocols, known as Remain in Mexico, began in January. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials initially said “vulnerable” migrants would be exempted from the program. But scores of LGBTQ, disabled and pregnant asylum seekers have still been returned to Mexico. Late last month, the Department of Homeland Security set up courts in large white tents next to the border bridges to Matamoros and Nuevo Laredo to hear Remain in Mexico cases. The department barred public access and has required migrants to show up before dawn for hearings. Some migrants said they were kidnapped while traveling in the dark to court last month. Others have left Mexico before their court hearings, returning home on free flights and buses south provided by the Mexican government and the United Nations-affiliated International Organization for Migration.
October 3, 2019
Prosecutors in New York have alleged that the convicted Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán personally gave $1m in bribes to the brother of Honduras’s president to pass on to the Central American leader...
October 1, 2019
On September 22, agents of the Police Investigation Directorate (DPI) arrived at the home of María Concepción Hernández with an arrest warrant, and took her to a jail in Amapala municipality. She is accused of the crime of usurpation of land. For many years, landowner Jorge Cassis Leiva has harassed and threatened the inhabitants of Playa Blanca, on the Zacate Grande peninsula in the Gulf of Fonseca. Her family has been the victim of previous attacks by landowner Jorge Cassis Leiva. In February, Sabino González, an employee of Cassis, attacked Santos Hernández, the domestic partner of María Concepción Hernández, sending him to the hospital with head and leg injuries.
President Trump talked about shooting migrants, using alligators at the border, according to new book
October 1, 2019
That Donald Trump has a disturbed relationship to reality is well known, but what emerges in a recently published book is a new climax of Donald Trump's fantasies of violence ...
September 28, 2019
After a screening of The Wall (55min doc.), IRTF participates in a panel discussion about current immigration enforcement policies, including the vulnerability of DACA and TPS recipients. Held at Art House, 3119 Denison Ave., Cleveland 44109. Free and open to the public.
September 26, 2019 to September 28, 2019
The Festival de Cine Latinoamericano celebrates Hispanic Heritage month with four films from Latin America, receptions and community dialogues. IRTF will participate in a panel discussion following the screening of The Wall on Saturday, Sep 28, at Art House, 3119 Denison Ave, Cleveland 44109. All screenings and events, including receptions, are free and open to the public.
September 26, 2019
We are deeply concerned about police attacks on human rights observers Elizabeth Medina, Human Rights Coordinator for Without Borders, and Katherin Cruz Cerrato, a member of the National Network of Human Rights Defenders in Honduras. On September 17, Elizabeth Medina and Katherin Cruz Cerrato were documenting repression against peaceful protests organized in various parts of Tegucigalpa by village communities that oppose the Santa María housing project, which threatens the water resources of La Tigra National Park. The police used firearms and tear gas indiscriminately and excessively; consequently, at least two people were injured by gunshot and dozens affected by the tear gas.
September 26, 2019
The US spends almost $5B a year attempting to intercept shipments of illegal drugs from Central America, but despite the enormous outlay, the quantities of cocaine delivered to the country have continued to rise. A new study comes to drastic results...
September 25, 2019
The Border Patrol (tens of thousands of federal police agents who constitute the law enforcement force arm of US Border and Customs Protection) want to have free access to Greyhound vehicles. Greyhound says they are legally bound to let these federal police onto their buses. The ACLU and other civil rights groups disagree. They point out that Greyhound DOES have the right to refuse entry to Border Patrol agents under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure.
September 23, 2019
Miguel Ángel Tróchez, a television reporter from Channel 24 (Paradise TV) has faced threats and attack in attempt of extortion and intimidation; however, the authorities are have dismissed his pleas for protection, arguing that there is no link between Miguel’s position as a journalist and the threats and attacks launched against him. During one of the attacks, Miguel’s car was lit on fire.