Take Action: Contact your Senator to Co-sponsor the Honduras Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Act of 2021

The Honduras Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Act of 2021 (S388) was just introduced in the United States Senate by Senator Jeff Merkley (OR), and we need your help in securing more co-sponsors. The bill calls “to suspend United States support for the Government of Honduras until endemic corruption, impunity, and human rights violations cease, and their perpetrators are brought to justice.” See the press release here. Senators Bernie Sanders (VT), Patrick Leahy (VT) , Ed Markey (MA), Elizabeth Warren (MA), Dick Durbin (IL), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and Chris Van Hollen (MD) joined as initial cosponsors. See full press release here.

As the bill states, Honduras has been “plagued by endemic corruption and rights violations” since the 2009 military coup. Over the last decade, ever increasing levels of militarization and the steady weakening of oversight mechanisms and constitutional guarantees has stimulated systemic corruption in the government and the collapse of rule of law. Honduras has become an effective narco-state and the most dangerous country in the world to defend human rights, where civil society members are criminalized, attacked, disappeared and murdered in overwhelming numbers.

The legislation includes the following provisions:

- A call for justice, including successful prosecution of all material and intellectual authors of numerous emblematic human rights cases, including the murder of Berta Cáceres.

- Suspension of (1) US funds for Honduran security forces and (2) US support for funds from multilateral development banks to Honduran security forces until a series criteria have been met, laid out in the bill.

- Prohibition of US munitions sales to the Honduran police and military.

- A new MACCIH anti-corruption commission, to be negotiated by the United Nations, and strengthening of UFERCO, the special prosecutor's office

- $2 million for the Honduras office of the United Nations High Office on Human Rights.

- Sanctions for President Hernández.

Advocate for this bill to stand in solidarity with the water defenders from Guapinol, OFRANEH and the Garifuna community, COFADEH and the families of the forcibly disappeared, COPINH and all those fighting for justice for Berta Cáceres, and the countless others who risk their lives every day for a better Honduras.