The Friendship Office Congratulates the Commission of Truth and the people of Honduras on the publication of a historic report on the 2009 coup d’état and deepening human rights crisis.
The report, “The Voice of Greatest Authority is that of the Victims” (this is a link to the report in Spanish) was presented today in Tegucigalpa, and presentations will be made in three other cities. The work of the Commission of Truth was carried out in the midst of an active conflict that rages on in Honduras, continuing to claiming lives of those who defend human rights and struggle to end impunity. Investigators, staff and Commissioners were targets of threats and attacks themselves, and repeatedly called on the international community to speak out for the right of victims to give testimony and to seek the truth without threat of reprisal.
Conclusions outlined in the report include:
-The 2009 coup d’état has resulted in the systematic violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms through state actions and omission, a crisis which persists and is deepening.
-Crimes against humanity were committed with the complicity of the Honduran Judicial System.
-Terror is used by the state as a policy of social control, including groups operating as deaths squads. Abuses on the part of police and military are part of state policy.
-The amnesty decreed in January 2010 is a policy of impunity; prosecution of the military Commanders responsible for the coup d’état should be re-opened. Impunity enjoyed by those responsible for flagrant human rights violations from earlier periods, especially though not exclusively the 1980’s, is a key factor in the repetition of violations.
The Commission expressed deep concern about the role of an alarming increase in presence of U.S. economic, military and security forces in Honduras since the coup, stating that,
The danger facing the people of Honduras is linked to U.S. policy. All military and security agreements with the United States should be ended; existing military bases closed, plans for new bases canceled, all programs for training and equipment suspended.
Please share the report and these concerns with your members of Congress. Underscore that it is time to face the truth about U.S. policy in Honduras. The report will be available in English in several weeks.
Thank you for all you do to help spread the truth.