On January 27, 2010 a new president assumed office in Honduras in what the resistance movement considers an institutionalization of the June 2009, military coup d’état. The Generals directly involved in the coup were granted immunity, reinforcing the culture of impunity that humans rights defenders have worked so hard to dismantle in Honduras.
Today, we are writing to ask you to take action related to the case of Father James “Guadalupe” Carney, a U.S. priest who disappeared in Honduras in 1983 when a small revolutionary group for whom he served as chaplain was attacked and captured by Honduran military forces in a counterinsurgency operation. Although the Honduran military officially denied any involvement or knowledge of the priest’s disappearance, a former Honduran army officer later testified that Carney, a longtime defender of human rights for Honduran peasants, had been tortured and executed. The CIA has stated that it cannot rule out the possibility that Carney was captured and killed by the Honduran military.
Our long time friend, Father Joe Mulligan, submitted a FOIA request in 2001 that was never decided. In July 2009, he renewed the request. Support for this request is urgent at this time because 25 years have passed and declassification is more likely.
You can help by sending a letter to President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, your U.S. senators and your U.S. representative, asking them to contact CIA Director Leon Panetta to express their support for a Freedom of Information Act request that Father Joseph Mulligan has sent to the CIA. If you have the time, old-fashioned snail mail letters will be most effective.
This sample letter provides the basic information. You may wish to follow up with phone calls about a week after sending your letter (White House: 202-456-1111; State Department: 202-647-4000; U.S. Capitol: 202-224-3121).
The disappearance of Fr. Carney is significant because he was a U.S. citizen and because of credible allegations that U.S. military and intelligence personnel were directly involved.
Thanks very much for helping to stop impunity in Honduras. Please visit our website for updates and information.