Obama Administration Must Support Human Rights In Honduras

In a recent statement, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton called President Zelaya's actions to approach the Nicaragua-Honduras border "reckless", but the administration has yet to condemn the human rights abuses being perpetrated by the Honduran military. 

Could you sign this letter asking the State Department to condemn the human rights abuses taking place in Honduras?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s latest statement, which appears to hold President Zelaya responsible for any potential further violence by the Honduran government against civilians, is unacceptable. It is very disheartening to see the United States government go against the international consensus that has called for the immediate and unconditional return of President Zelaya.

Even worse, such statements could be seen as a blank check to the Honduran military and others to use violence against peaceful protestors who support their elected president.

Clinton’s statement called Zelaya’s attempt to return peacefully to his country “reckless,” and said that "We have consistently urged all parties to avoid any provocative action that could lead to violence,” implying that Zelaya is responsible for the violence against his unarmed supporters.

Given that neither Clinton nor President Obama, nor any U.S. official, has even once criticized the Honduran dictatorship for the violence and political repression of the last four weeks, Clinton’s pointing the finger at Zelaya is especially threatening to the human rights of Hondurans.

By contrast, the shootings, beatings, arrests and detentions of journalists, closing of radio and TV stations, and other repression have been documented and condemned by the Inter American Commission for Human Rights, by human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders, and a report from the Honduran Committee for the Relatives of the Disappeared Detainees.

On July 23rd, an international commission of human rights organizations - including the International Federation of Human Rights and the Center for Justice and International Law - concluded that "grave and systematic violations of human rights" have taken place in Honduras since the military coup.
Yet the Obama administration has been silent in the face of these abuses.

By echoing the statements of the coup leaders, Clinton has also put the United States further outside the international community. By returning to Honduras, Zelaya is attempting to implement the resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly and the Organization of American States, which called for his immediate and unconditional return to the Presidency. He participated in the mediation process headed by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias and agreed to the proposal put forth by Arias, but the de facto government would not budge.

Signed,

ORGANIZATIONS:

Border Agricultural Workers Project

Coalition for Peace and Democracy, Los Angeles, CA

Committee in Solidarity With the People of El Salvador

Ecumenical Committee, Managua, Nicaragua

International Festival of Poetry of Resistance - Canada

Jubilee House Community in Nicaragua

Just Foreign Policy

Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance, Los Angeles, CA

Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

National Family Farm Coalition

Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, Oregon

School of the Americas Watch

The Quixote Center

INDIVIDUALS:

Leisy Abrego, UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Irvine

Alexis Aguilar, Assistant Professor of Geography and Geosciences, Salisbury University, MD

Alejandro Alvarez Béjar, Economic Faculty, UNAM

Dr Tim Anderson, University of Sydney, Australia

Robert Austin, Ph.D, Fellow, School of Historical Studies, University of Melbourne

William Avilés, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Nebraska at Kearney

Nikhil Aziz, Ph.D., Executive Director, Grassroots International

Alejandro Alvarez Béjar, Economic Faculty, UNAM

Mariantonia Bermúdez, Candidata a doctora por la Universidad de Barcelona

Dr. Mark Bonta, Associate Professor of Geography, Division of Social Sciences, Delta State University

Renate Bridenthal, Emerita Prof. of History, Brooklyn College, CUNY

Christopher L. Chiappari, St. Olaf College, MN

Aviva Chomsky, Professor of History and Coordinator, Latin American Studies, Salem State College

Dr. James D. Cockcroft, Ph.D., writer and online professor, SUNY

Brian Concannon Jr., Director, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti

Jennifer N. Costanza, MA, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Sociology, Brown University

Pablo Delano, Professor of Fine Arts, Trinity College

Elizabeth Dore, Professor of Latin American Studies, School of Humanities, University of Southampton

James Early, Director of Cultural Studies and Communication at the Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

Kate Ervine, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Politics, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

Arturo Escobar, Professor of Anthropology, UNC Chapel Hill

Alicia Ivonne Estrada, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Central American Studies Program, California State University, Northridge

Sterling Evans, PhD, Professor, Dept. of History, University of Oklahoma

P. Gabrielle Foreman, Visiting Distinguished Professor of Africana Studies, Bowdoin College, 2008, Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies, Occidental College, Los Angeles

Dana Frank, Professor of History, University of California, Santa Cruz

Jane Franklin, Historian, Author

Armando Gonzalez Caban, Latin American Perspectives, University of CA Riverside

Jose Gonzalez, Professor and Poet, Canada

Greg Grandin, Professor of History, New York University

John L. Hammond, Hunter College and Graduate Center, City University of New York

Doug Hertzler, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Eastern Mennonite University

Derrick Hindery, Assistant Professor of International Studies and Department of Geography, University of Oregon

Katherine Hoyt, Ph.D., National Co-Coordinator, Nicaragua Network

Eric Holt-Gimenez, executive director, Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy

Susanne Jonas, Dept. of Latin American & Latino Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz

Gilbert M. Joseph, Farnam Professor of History & International Studies, Yale University

Karen Kampwirth, Knox College

Laura Kaplan, Professor, Bronx Community College

Professor Deborah T. Levenson, Boston College

John Lindsay-Poland, Co-Director, Latin America Program, Fellowship of Reconciliation

Milton R. Machuca, Associate Professor, Pitzer College

Florencia E. Mallon, Julieta Kirkwood Professor of Latin American History, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Luis Martin-Cabrera, Assistant Professor, Literature, UC San Diego

Maria Elena Mesa, Visual Artist and Poet, Canada

Josefina Morales, Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas, UNAM

Peter and Gail Mott, Co-Editors, INTERCONNECT

Jocelyn Olcott, Department of History, Duke University

Adrienne Pine, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, American University

Dr. Aaron Pollack, Instituto de Investigaciones Dr. José María Luis Mora, Mexico City

Deborah Poole, Professor, Anthropology Department, Director, Program in Latin American Studies, Johns Hopkins University

Suyapa G. Portillo Villeda, PhD Candidate, Cornell University/CFD Fellow, Pomona College

Vijay Prashad, George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Studies, Trinity College

Marcus Rediker, Professor and Chair in the Department of History, University of Pittsburgh

Milla Riggio, James J. Goodwin Professor of English, Trinity College, Connecticut

Carlos Angulo Rivas, Journalist, poet and writer, Peru

William I. Robinson, Professor of Sociology and, Global and International Studies, University of California-Santa Barbara

Fred Rosen, Associate Editor, LASA Forum, Co-Managing Editor, Latin American Research Review

Steven Topik, Professor of History, University of California, Irvine

Professor Mayo Toruño, Department of Economics, California State University San Bernardino

Sheila R. Tully, San Francisco State University

Dr. Christine J. Wade, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies, Washington College, Maryland

Jeffery R. Webber, Assistant Professor, Political Science, University of Regina, Canada

Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director, Center for Economic and Policy Research

Kimberly Welch, PhD, University of Redlands, Redlands, CA

Sonja Wolf, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México

Justin Wolfe, Department of History, Tulane University

John Womack, Jr., Professor of History, emeritus, Harvard University

George Yúdice, Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures, Professor of Latin American Studies, University of Miami
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