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AFL-CIO Supports Suspension of All U.S. Funding for Honduran Security Forces

Photo courtesy SOA Watch on Flickr

The AFL-CIO supports the Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act, which would suspend all funding to Honduran security forces. These forces have engaged in well-documented cases of excessive use of deadly force, abuse of power and entrenched corruption. Just this week, another indigenous activist, Yaneth Urquia Urquia, was kidnapped and murdered. The AFL-CIO calls for a suspension of funding from the U.S. Congress and loans from multilateral development banks until abuses by security forces stop and those responsible are prosecuted.

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Family and Allies of Berta Cáceres Remember Her Life and Continue Her Struggle

Family and Allies of Berta Cáceres Remember Her Life and Continue Her Struggle

Like many who speak up in Honduras, indigenous leader Berta Cáceres was murdered for her activism. She was repeatedly threatened and eventually murdered just before midnight on March 2. Since 1993, Cáceres worked to build a democratic, just and sustainable Honduras. More than a month after her assassination, there is little reason to believe that the Honduran government is handling the investigation properly or addressing the causes of this and many other acts of violence against human rights defenders. As a reminder to those in positions of power to bring justice to Honduras, and in Berta’s honor, the Cáceres family, movement leaders and allies of COPINH, the organization she founded, marched yesterday in Washington, D.C., from the World Bank to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

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AFL-CIO Joins International Mission Demanding Accountability and Human Rights Protections in Honduras

On March 3, human rights activists denounced the assassination of Berta Cáceres, a leader for indigenous rights and environmental justice with the Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras. The Ides of March in Honduras demonstrated once again that the shocking level of violence against activists since the 2009 coup—with some 200 murdered—has reached crisis proportions.

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Honduran Leader Berta Cáceres Murdered in the Midst of a Life of Defending Her Community

In her life and in her death at the hands of assassins this week, Berta Cáceres, a leader in Honduran struggles for social justice, exemplifies the difficult choices that so many Central American communities have faced over the past 40 years. When the region was torn by Cold War struggles and civil war, Cáceres' family gave shelter and support to those fleeing the violence in El Salvador. As a tenuous peace was achieved, and many Hondurans faced poverty and violations of their rights, she went on to study and emerged as a leader for the rights of the Lenca people to stay on their land and sustain their rural communities, rather than migrate to cities that have become some of the most violent in the world or to the United States seeking safety and opportunity for decent work and better lives for their children.

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Honduras and CAFTA Show Us One of the Key Reasons Why TPP Should Be Opposed

This week, the governments of Honduras and the United States signed an action plan to begin addressing the widespread failure to enforce labor laws in Honduras. While this is a small step in the right direction, the Honduran government has not fully considered or included workers' recommendations regarding this Monitoring and Action Plan. The Honduran government, employers and unions have reached consensus on some points, but major issues remain unresolved. The action plan should not have been signed until the parties reached agreement on the draft inspection law that is central to the viability of the action plan.

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Trade, Violence and Migration: The Broken Promises to Honduran Workers

AFL-CIO delegation to Honduras.

In 2014, thousands of refugees from Central America fled violence, repression and poverty and made the perilous, often deadly, journey to the United States. As many as 74,000 unaccompanied minors crossed the U.S. border in 2014, some 18,000 of them from Honduras, where children and their families are fleeing their communities at a higher rate than in any other country in Central America. 

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Viewpoint from Honduras: CAFTA, Forced Immigration, Deportation Connections

Viewpoint from Honduras: CAFTA, Forced Immigration, Deportation Connections

At the deportation center in San Pedro Sula, planes land with more than 100 Hondurans a day, returned from our border prisons to their native land. They are mostly young men, with shackled hands and legs, who have harrowing tales of days in what they call the “ice box,” the U.S. detention centers on our borders that are so crowded they must stand up for hours, taking turns lying down to sleep. These were heartbreaking conversations, nearly hopeless tales through tears, of failed attempts to unify with families or find work.

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Border Crisis Spurs AFL-CIO, Honduran Labor Movement to Call for Renewed Attention to Labor Rights Violations in Honduras

Border Crisis Spurs AFL-CIO, Honduran Labor Movement to Call for Renewed Attention to Labor Rights Violations in Honduras

As thousands of unaccompanied minors have arrived at the United States’ southern border in recent weeks, right-wing politicians and activists have used the refugee situation to push their anti-immigrant agendas, roll back protections for potential trafficking victims and stoke xenophobia among the general public by focusing on gang violence and disease.

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Honduran Elections See Massive Turnout, yet Uncertainty Remains

Juan Barahona (in red) is vice presidential candidates and the president of the Honduran Federation of Independent Workers of CUT, Bill Camp and Patty Gomez (lower right) is the vice president of CUT Teachers

In spite of Sunday’s massive and unprecedented voter turnout and enthusiasm of Hondurans hoping to achieve social justice through free and fair elections, the day ended with widespread uncertainty and distrust in the capacity and will of the current government to run fair and transparent elections. As of Tuesday morning, results are still not final. At least two parties have rejected the official results reported thus far. 

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