We write at this moment to ask for your help. Those who struggle in defense of human rights in Honduras, already shaken by months of relentless violence, are now reeling from the recent murders of two prominent human rights lawyers.
On September 22, Antonio Trejo-Cabrera, a courageous attorney representing peasant groups in land conflicts in the Aguán region of Honduras, was gunned down. Trejos had recently presented a constitutional challenge to the highly contested “model cities” venture advanced by corporate investors and the Honduran government. Trejo planned to travel to Washington D.C. in coming weeks to testify at the Inter American Commission on Human Rights with peasant leaders. He had received death threats in the months leading up to his killing.
Two days later, Manuel Díaz-Mazariegos, a public prosecutor with the human rights division of the Attorney General’s office, was gunned down. In 2008, Díaz Mazariego had participated in a hunger strike against corruption and for transparency in the Attorney General’s office.
In response to the murders, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva states,
“There is a menacing climate of insecurity and violence in Honduras, and human rights defenders have been targets of threats, harassment, physical assault and murder. The impunity that surrounds these violations is unacceptable. When the perpetrators know they are very likely to get off scot-free, there is nothing to deter them from killing off more of the country’s finest human rights defenders.”
Bertha Oliva of COFADEH (Committee of the Victims of the Detained and Disappeared of Honduras) issued an urgent plea to the international community,
“They want to paralyze us by picking us off piece by piece. I continue to trust in the people of Honduras, because they are wise. The people keep walking, demanding. It is clear where the repression comes from and who the repressors are. To stop us they will have to kill all of us. International solidarity to spread the truth about what is happening in Honduras will be key in this situation.”
On October 3, 2012, the Commission of Truth will release its final report on the 2009 coup d’état and the crisis it has unleashed. Presentations will be made in three cities in Honduras.
You can also help “spread the truth about what is happening in Honduras.” Take a moment to call your member of Congress: (To find the name of your Representative in the U.S. Congress, go to http://www.house.gov/. The Congressional Switchboard # is 202-224-3121.)
– Express your concern over these recent killings, for the campesino communities that Mr. Trejos represented, and for the lives of all who work for truth and human rights in Honduras
-Ask your member of Congress to contact Hillary Clinton at the U.S. State Department and urge the U.S. to SUSPEND ALL POLICE AND MILITARY AID TO HONDURAS.
Thank you for helping to spread the truth.
“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.” Dr. Martin Luther King