|Congressional Letter Urging Congress to Act on Honduras|
IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED!
We need your help! This morning, Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY) began circulating a sign-on "Dear Colleague" letter in the U.S. House of Representatives to Secretary of State Kerry urging him to support a UN-sponsored Commission against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (CICIH, modeled on the commission that has worked so well in rooting out corruption in Guatemala). Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Dutch Ruppersberg (D-MD), and Hank Johnson (D-GA) have joined as initial co-signers.
The letter states that "Honduras has been plagued by extreme levels of violence—which has driven thousands of Hondurans to flee to the United States—and by rampant corruption." It states that the the Honduran government has failed to investigate adequately and lacks the independence necessary to address the severity of the issues, and emphasizes that an overwhelming number of Hondurans are supportive of an International Commission against Impunity in Honduras (or CICIH), functioning independently under U.N. auspices.
The letter asks the State Department to:
Support the establishment of an independent, UN-sponsored International Commission against Impunity in Honduras (CICIH), modeled on the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG, in Spanish) and invest in its future success.
The deadline to sign on is Tuesday, November 24th at 5:00 pm EST.
We need your help in securing the signature of your Member of the U.S. House of Representatives on this letter. Only members of the House can sign the letter.
To sign on to the letter (or if the staffer wishes an official copy of the letter), your Rep’s staffer must contact Angel Nigaglioni (Angel.Nigaglioni@mail.house.
Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, give them the name of your Rep, then ask to be connected. (If you do not know the name of your Rep, please go to http://www.house.gov/ and enter in your zip code at the upper right).
When you call, ask to speak with the aide who handles Foreign Policy. Use the script below in speaking with the aide. If the aide does not recall seeing the letter, ask for the aide’s email address so that you can forward a copy of the letter.
Use the script below in speaking with the aide. If the aide does not recall seeing the letter, ask for the aide’s email address so that you can forward a copy of the letter. If the foreign policy aide is not is not available, ask to leave a message on his or her voice mail. Be sure to get the name foreign policy staffer so you can follow up.
Script: “My name is _____. I am a constituent from (your town/city) in (your state). I am calling to ask Representative _____ to sign the Rep. Jose Serrano letter calling for support of a UN-sponsored Commission against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras. Has Representative _______ seen this letter? 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 the letter, and if Representative _____ will sign it.”
**In your phone conversation, please highlight why this letter is important to you, especially if you have travelled to Honduras or heard a Honduran speak in your community.
It's useful to follow up with an email to the aide. You can ask whoever answers the phone what their email is and/or use this formula if you know how to spell their name correctly (the person who first answer the phone can spell it for you): Firstname.Lastname@mail.house.
Here are two useful articles:
5525 Illinois Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20011