Advocating for Human Rights in Honduras
The Sisters of Mercy have been responding to human rights abuses in Honduras, a country in which we live and minister, ever since a coup in that country in June 2009. Mercy delegations from the United States have visited Honduras and, upon their return, work with other human rights defenders to urge Congress and the State Department to withhold assistance to Honduran security forces until respect for human rights and the rule of law are restored.
The human rights crisis in Honduras deteriorated even further in the aftermath of the presidential election in November 2017, which was widely regarded as unconstitutional and fraudulent. Nonviolent protests rose up across the country and have continued against government corruption, impunity and lack of the rule of law, and have been met with repression by the Honduran military and military police. Human rights defenders and journalists are constantly threatened for criticizing the government, and land rights and environmental activists challenging mining companies and agribusiness have been criminalized. U.S. policy has been to celebrate and support the Honduran government, despite its involvement in blatant corruption and human rights violations.
Delegation on Root Causes of Migration
In March 2019, Sisters of Mercy’s Justice Team co-sponsored a pilgrimage to Honduras, along with SHARE Foundation, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, and Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity to examine the root causes of migration. Close to seventy-five faith leaders and social justice advocates from the U.S. and South America participated, including nine Sisters of Mercy and two staff. This delegation issued a report calling for an immediate end to the violence, bloodshed, and arrests in Honduras; a halt to military and police repression of the Honduran people and attacks on human rights advocates, and termination of U.S. assistance to the Honduran security forces. Read the stories generated by this emergency delegation and see delegation summary report: Root Causes of Migration, Honduras 2019 Pilgrimage Brief: U.S. Responsibility and Roadmap for Change.
Take action (see Advocacy link below) to urge passage of the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act (HR 1945), which calls for suspension of U.S. security assistance to the Honduras until human rights violations cease.