There will be a national Call-in day on Thursday, July 14th in support of The Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act (HR-5474). This is timed for the 3-year anniversary of the murder of Tomas Garcia by the Honduran military.
Call your Representative on Thursday, July 14th and ask him/her to co-sponsor the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act, HR 5474
Congressional Switchboard: (202) 224-3121
This week marks the three year anniversary of the murder of Indigenous leader Tomás García by the Honduran military during a peaceful protest against the Agua Zarca Dam. A community leader and father of seven, Tomás is just one of far too many Hondurans persecuted and murdered by the Honduran security forces for simply standing up for their rights. Berta Cáceres herself was arrested by the Honduran military on trumped up charges in an attempt to discredit and silence her. When that didn’t work, she was murdered.
Army Major Mariano Diaz – a graduate of the TESON special forces training course created by the US Army Rangers – has been arrested and charged in Berta’s murder, raising serious concerns regarding the chain of command. To that end, COPINH and Berta’s family insist there must be an international, independent investigation into the higher levels of the Honduran government and Armed Forces to ensure all those who ordered the murder are also prosecuted. The Honduran security forces have also been linked to numerous murders of small farmers in the Bajo Aguan region of Honduras, and a recent article published in The Guardian reveals that Berta, as well as prominent campesino leaders in the Aguan, “appeared on a hitlist distributed to US-trained special forces units of the Honduran military.”
After she won the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize, Berta Cáceres met with members of the U.S. Congress and asked them to stop financing and supporting the repressive Honduran government, including the security forces. A few weeks ago, Tomás Gómez Membreño, a close colleague of Berta, traveled to Washington to do the same, remarking that a year earlier Berta had informed them of Tomas Garcia and others who had been murdered and that now it was his turn to inform them of Berta’s murder. Gómez Membreño mentioned that if the support for the Honduran regime didn’t stop, somebody else would have to come next year with news of his murder. And that they would keep coming and denouncing murder after murder of Indigenous and social movement leaders in Honduras until there was nobody left. Just days ago, yet another community leader active opposing a major hydroelectric project in Lenca territory, Lesbia Yaneth Urquía, was murdered in the department of La Paz.
How many more people must be killed before the U.S. stops financing and training the Honduran security forces?
Call your Representative today and ask him/her to co-sponsor H.R. 5474, the Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act, which calls for a suspension of U.S. security aid to Honduras. Call the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to your representative, then request the foreign policy aide. (If your representative is on the list of co-sponsors below, you can instead call to thank them for co-sponsoring!)
Sample script: “My name is _____. I am a constituent from (your town/city) in (your state). I am calling to ask Rep. _____ to co-sponsor H.R. 5474, the Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act, which calls for a suspension of U.S. security aid to Honduras until human rights violations committed by the Honduran security forces cease. Has Rep. _______ seen this bill? Can I count on him/her to sign on? Please call me this week at (_your phone number_) to let me know if you have seen HR 5474, and if Rep. _____ will co-sponsor it.”
Please mention the growing list of support among Congressional representatives! Below is a list of current co-sponsors:
1. Johnson (GA)
2. Conyers (MI)
3. Ellison (MN)
4. Kaptur (OH)
5. Serrano (NY)
6. Schakowsky (IL)
7. McGovern (MA)
8. Lee (CA)
9. McCollum (MN)
10, Kind (WI)
11. DeLauro (CT)
12. Gutierrez (IL)
13. Lawrence (MI)
14. Farr (CA)
15. Danny Davis (IL)
16. Napolitano (CA)
17. Pocan (WI)
18. Nolan (MN)
19. Susan Davis (CA)
20. Waters (CA)
21. Norton (DC)
You can also request the aide’s e-mail to follow-up in a few days or provide more information.
Click here to let us know how your call goes and thank you so much for your continued support!