When the trial of former U.S. and Canadian-back Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez (“JOH”) begins in New York on February 5th, Karen Spring of the HSN and Honduras Now will report from the trial, and make the links between the drug-trafficking and violence of the Honduran military-backed regimes, led by JOH, and close to 13 years of unconditional political, military and economic relations with the US and Canadian governments and numerous global corporations and banks.
On January 10, 2024, a delegation of 20 Canadians and US citizens held a press conference in Tegucigalpa, Honduras outside of the U.S. Embassy to launch the 'U.S. and Canada on trial' campaign that will run before, during, and after Juan Orlando Hernández's trial in New York in February 2024.
US and Canada Delegation to Honduras Launches Campaign to Indict the United States and Canada as Co-Conspirators in the Narco-Trafficking Trial of Juan Orlando Hernández
MEDIA ADVISORY, January 10, 2024, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
- Karen Spring, Honduras Solidarity Network (Honduras): 504-8785-5757
- Victoria Cervantes, Honduras Solidarity Network (US): 312-259-5042
- Judy Ancel, Cross Border Network: 816-835-4745
Members of a ten-day US/Canada delegation hosted by the Cross Border Network of Kansas City and the Honduras Solidarity Network of North America have investigated how their two nations prioritize protecting the political, economic, and military interests of their governments and corporations over the rights and interests of the Honduran people.
The delegation visited communities affected by mining and land grabbing, met with labor movement activists, and spoke with US, Canadian and Honduran officials and found that the continuing poverty, inequality, and dispossession of the Honduran people result from the crimes of the narco-dictatorship that ruled Honduras since the U.S. and Canadian-supported coup in June 2009.
Since then both the U.S. and Canada have covered up and lied about their “democratic” ally Juan Orlando Hernandez who they knew was trafficking drugs for years.
Since the restoration of democracy with the election of Xiomara Castro as Honduras’s first woman president, both countries continue to interfere in the attempts of the Castro government to undo the damage done by the narco-dictatorship or to pass reforms that help to ameliorate the spirit-killing poverty of the majority of the population. Instead, they exacerbate problems.
The delegation found that extractive industries (like mining in the Guapinol region), the loss of sovereignty (as in the CAFTA-imposed ISDS tribunal on the $10.7 billion ZEDE Próspera suit against Honduras), the dispossession of campesinos in the Aguan Valley and Garifuna communities along the north coast, and Canada’s praise for textile company Gildan which has closed a factory, violating injured workers’ rights all benefit multinational corporations while failing to solve the deep issues of inequality in Honduras.
These companies benefitted economically from the coup and continued doing business to their own profit and benefit under the narco-state.
The U.S. is now seizing the opportunity of the drug trafficking trial of former President Juan Orlando Hernández (long-time “democratic allie” of the U.S. and Canada) and his cronies, including the former head of the national police and a family member of Hernandez, to whitewash their own complicity in the narco-dictatorship from 2009 to 2022.
It is obvious that those being tried could never have committed the dreadful crimes they are accused of without being enabled by the U.S. and Canada in exchange for favorable treatment for the U.S. military, its drug war and for North American corporations.
For all these reasons, the Honduras Solidarity Network and its members are launching a campaign and will present evidence of the complicity of the two nations. The campaign will take place before, during and after JOH’s trial in New York that begins on February 5.
The campaign demands:
1. The declassification of documents pertaining to U.S. and Canadian involvement in the 2009
Honduran coup and subsequent administrations of Porfirio Lobo and Juan Orlando Hernández
(JOH). This includes detailed information about DEA operations in Honduras and the full extent of U.S. and Canadian support, training and funding for the Honduran military and police forces.
2. Congressional and Parliamentary investigations or inquiries of U.S. and Canadian support for the 2009 coup and post-coup governments including human rights violations committed by Honduran state forces and whether U.S. and Canadian officials acted negligently and/or lied to cover-up electoral fraud, violence, and other abuses during and following the coup.
3. Reparations for the Indigenous victims of the DEA-led Ahuas massacre in consultation with the victims and their representatives.
4. An immediate end to U.S. opposition to progressive reforms that address the root causes of
migrations that roll-back the post-coup policies in Honduras.
5. Drop support for ISDS clauses in trade agreements with Honduras that allow U.S. and foreign
companies to sue the Honduran state. This includes claims that arise from odious investments
made by U.S. companies under the JOH dictatorship.
Tegucigalpa, MDC, Honduras.
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- “Trial of Honduran ex-president reveals Washington’s protection of ‘narco-state’”, by Alexander Rubinstein & Anya Parampil, Sept.18, 2023, https://thegrayzone.com/2023/09/18/trial-honduran-president-narco-state/
- Check Rights Action archives (https://rightsaction.org/archives) for information about work and struggle in defense of land and human rights, democracy and justice, during the entire 13 years of the U.S. and Canadian backed Narco State in Honduras.
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Canadian Mining in the Aftermath of Genocides in Guatemala
Edited by Catherine Nolin & Grahame Russell