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Call on Congress to cut US security aid to Honduras PDF Print E-mail
Written by Hendrik Voss   
Monday, 12 December 2016 19:22
Before Congress adjourns for 2016, we have one last opportunity to build support for suspending US military and security aid to Honduras, where repression of human rights defenders and social movements continues unabated.  With the US State Department certifying that the Honduran government is taking effective steps on human rights, despite continued assassinations and impunity, it is important that Congress pushes back. To date, 49 Representatives have co-sponsored the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act, which would suspend US military and security aid to Honduras.  Can you take a moment today to call your Representative if he or she has not yet signed on and ask him/her to sponsor HR 5474, the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act?

See if your representative has already co-sponsored the bill here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/5474/cosponsors   (Need the name of your Representative?  Click here)
If not, call the Switchboard at 202-224-3121, ask to be transfered to your Representative and ask your him/her to sponsor the bill: 

"Hello, I am calling to ask Rep. _____ to sponsor HR 5474, the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act, before the end of the year. Internationally recognized Indigenous leader Berta Caceres and other leaders have been brutally assassinated in Honduras this year.  The death threats and attacks on environmental activists, human rights leaders, journalists, and others continue today.  Please sponsor HR 5474 before this year is out to call for an end to US military aid in Honduras."

If your Representative has signed on to support the bill, call his or her office to thank them (202-224-3121):

"Hello, I am calling to thank Rep. _____ for sponsoring HR 5474, the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act, in 2016.  The repression and death threats and attacks on environmental activists, human rights leaders, journalists, and others continue unabated in Honduras.  I hope that your office will continue to speak out for the suspension of US security aid to Honduras at every opportunity."

Let us know how your call went here.

Thank you for all your efforts to call on Congress to cut destructive US security aid to Honduras in 2016.  We look forward to continuing to work together in 2017.


Last Updated on Monday, 12 December 2016 19:29
 
Greetings from the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia PDF Print E-mail
Written by Hendrik Voss   
Saturday, 19 November 2016 19:05

On this sunny Saturday, we are once again standing vigil at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia - home to the notorious School of the Americas / Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (SOA/ WHINSEC) - calling for justice and accountability.

As we are gathered here today, we are hopeful and encouraged by the fact that thousands across the country have have been mobilized following the election of an openly racist bully, and have taken to the streets in cities across the US in protest. We need to organize, take action, and build broad-based grassroots power to push back against racism and xenophobia, and against the militarization of our communities at home and abroad.

Please support SOA Watch today with a donation for our joint efforts for justice.

Later this afternoon, we will caravan together with our friends from the Interreligious Task Force on the Americas to the Stewart Detention Center, to demand an end to the incarceration of migrants. People from Latin America continue to be forced to flee from US trained repressive security forces, only to be confronted with a militarized border and racist policies.

 
Call to Action: The Repression Continues so the Resistance can't Stop! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Hendrik Voss   
Wednesday, 09 November 2016 15:42

Saturday, November 19, 2016: Converge in your community and at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia

SOA Watch has organized protests against the training of repressive militaries at Fort Benning since 1983, when three activists -
Father Roy Bourgeois, Linda Ventimiglia and Father Larry Rosenbaugh - scaled a tree next to the El Salvadoran troop barracks and blasted Archbishop Oscar Romero’s last homily with a portable sound system into the night. Starting in 1990, on the one-year anniversary of the killing of 16-year-old Celina Ramos, her mother Elba Ramos, and six Jesuit priests at the University of Central America (UCA) in San Salvador, El Salvador, SOA Watch has stood vigil at the gates of Fort Benning to demand the closure of the SOA-WHINSEC and remember the victims of US militarization in the Americas.

This year, we moved our annual mobilization to the US/Mexico border, to take a stand against the militariz
ation of the border, to shine a light on the connection between US militarization abroad and the forced migration of thousands who are fleeing North, as well as racist immigration laws. The Convergence at the border took place in October to commemorate the 4th Anniversary of the killing of 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez by a US Border Patrol agent in Nogales. Over 1,000 people came together, raised their voices for justice, and the convergence at the border was big success for our movement. Click here for videos and photos, check out the media coverage, and see the list of participating groups, speakers and musicians

As we approach the weekend in November where we have traditionally gathered at Ft Benning, members of SOA Watch will once again bear witness.  The gates of Fort Benning remain sacred ground for our movement, where we have shed tears, celebrated the successes of movements for justice, mourned the dead, spread the ashes of our friends, crossed the line, been arrested, booked, tried, and sentenced, and taken a stand for justice the past 26 years. A small group will gather this year at the main gates of Fort Benning on Saturday, November 19 at 12noon. We won't build the big stage that we had in past years, and there won't be workshops or concerts at the Columbus Convention Center, just a presence at the gates with a speak out and vigil, where we will hold banners and the posters with the faces of the victims of US militarization. This year we will especially call out Presente for those who have been murdered this year in Honduras and demand an end to US military funding and training in Honduras. There will also be a presence at the Stewart Detention Center at 6pm on Saturday, November 19, which going to be organized by our friends from the Interreligious Task Force (IRTF). IRTF is organizing a Caravan for Justice from November 17-20.

Help us make that demand heard loud and clear -- and you do not need to travel across the country to do so.  We are asking communities across the country to hold your own actions to speak out against US military training and funding in Honduras. Here are a few action ideas:

 
Son of Honduran Human Rights leader assassinated PDF Print E-mail
Written by Hendrik Voss   
Monday, 31 October 2016 15:27

In Honduras, the son of a prominent human rights leader was shot dead yesterday in what appears to be the latest assassination targeting campesino organizers fighting massive palm oil plantation companies in the valley of Aguán in northern Honduras. Fernando Alemán Banegas was shot several times as he exited a nightclub in the city of La Ceiba. He’s the oldest son of Elsy Banegas president of the Coordinating Committee of Popular Organizations of Aguán. This comes after two campesino leaders in the Aguán region were also assassinated earlier this month (see our message from last week).

Fernando Alemán Banegas ¡Presente!

Enough bloodshed. Click here to ask Congress to cut off US military and security aid to Honduras!

Last Updated on Monday, 31 October 2016 15:41
 
Double assassination of movement leaders in Honduras PDF Print E-mail
Written by Hendrik Voss   
Thursday, 27 October 2016 20:35

On October 18, José Ángel Flores, the President of the Unified Campesino Movement of the Aguan (MUCA) in Honduras Jose Angel Floresand fellow MUCA leader Silmer Dionisio George were assassinated in front of doezens of people as they came out of a meeting.  The Agrarian Platform of the Bajo Aguan denounced that they were murdered by a paramilitary group that colaborates with high ranking military officials.  They also report that the United States Special Forces have trained Honduran special forces units at the 15th Battalion base in Rio Claro, which is linked to the death squads.  Earlier this year, a former soldier with the Xatruch Task Force, which operates out of the 15th Battalion base, reported that the military unit had been given hitlists with names and photos of campesino leaders in the Aguan.

Ask Congress to cut off all US security aid to Honduras NOW!

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 October 2016 20:51
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