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Representative Schakowsky and Senator Markey Lead Call for Holding Honduran Government Accountable for Human Rights

Washington (October 24, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) today led a letter with 50 of their Senate and House colleagues highlighting the growing threats against human rights defenders, journalists, and international human rights observers in Honduras.  The lawmakers cite death threats to journalists and human rights groups, expulsions of Americans and other non-Hondurans documenting human rights violations, and intimidation campaigns against members of civil society as grave concerns around Honduras’s human rights record. In their letter, the Senator Markey, Congresswoman Schakowsky, and the lawmakers call on the Trump administration to request the Honduran government immediately investigate these attacks, direct the State Department to reassess its certification of human rights conditions in Honduras, investigate threats against Americans, and publicly express concern about these attacks. 

“The Trump administration can’t be in the business of permitting impunity,” said Senator Markey. “Continued support of Juan Orlando Hernández’s government without continued checks on its behavior will only fuel the destruction of the rule of law, cripple an already devastated economy, and allow for a pervasive fear among the Honduran people, which are the very factors leading to the mass migration of ordinary citizens from Honduras we are currently witnessing. In order to properly address the plight of those in the migrant caravan fleeing Honduras, the administration must develop policies that tackle the root causes of this migration, not just make hateful assertions about those fleeing or deny them refuge.”

“By supporting the corrupt and repressive regime of Juan Orlando Hernández, the United States is tacitly approving state-sanctioned violence and the complete disregard for worker rights, indigenous rights, and individual freedoms,” said Rep. Schakowsky. “The Hernández regime has made what was already an uphill climb for impoverished Hondurans impossibly steep, and thus helped to create the circumstances that lead immigrants and refugees to flee towards the United States. By supporting Mr. Hernández while barely questioning the apparent human rights violations we outlined in our letter, President Trump and his Administration have some responsibility in creating this situation as well. We should not tolerate this anti-Democratic behavior in an ally of the United States.”

A copy of the letter can be found HERE.

The letter was also signed by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-Penn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.); and Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Peter A. DeFazio (D-OR), Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Bill Foster (D-IL), Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL), Denny Heck (D-WA), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (D-GA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Robin L. Kelly (D-IL), Joseph P. Kennedy, III (D-MA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), James P. McGovern (D-MA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Bobby L. Rush (D-IL), Bradley S. Schneider (D-IL), José E. Serrano (D-NY), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Paul D. Tonko (D-NY), Peter Welch (D-VT), Frederica S. Wilson (D-FL), Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), and John Yarmuth (D-KY).

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