In a letter sent yesterday to President Lobo, 17 members of the United States Congress expressed concern regarding the escalation of violence targeting human rights defenders and international human rights accompaniment efforts in Honduras in recent months. The representatives requested an exhaustive investigation into recent death threats issued to human rights defenders, journalists and PROAH accompaniers by C.A.M. – Comando Alvarez Martinez, a group linked to a paramilitary death squad responsible for human rights violations during the 1980’s.
In the letter, members of Congress recognized the important role of international human rights accompaniment:
International accompaniers – the non-Honduran citizens who provide accompaniment to Honduran human rights defenders who face threats and intimidation -play a critical role. Human rights defenders in Honduras tell us that they cannot rely on the police, who are often implicated in the very abuses under investigation, or on state and local authorities, who routinely fail to provide adequate protection. By providing a link to the outside world, international accompaniers provide a minimal degree of protection.
Please read the full letter (attached) and thank your members of Congress for signing.