This news release was issued January 10 in Honduras.

Members of a 10-day U.S/Canada delegation, hosted by the Cross Border Network of Kansas City and the Honduras Solidarity Network of North America, have investigated how their two nations prioritize protecting the political, economic and military interests of their governments and corporations over the rights and interests of the Honduran people. 

Graphic: Honduras Solidarity Network

The delegation visited communities affected by mining and land grabbing, met with labor movement activists and spoke with U.S., Canadian and Honduran officials and found that the continuing poverty, inequality and dispossession of the Honduran people result from the crimes of the narco-dictatorship that ruled Honduras since the U.S.- and Canadian-supported coup in June 2009. Since then, both the U.S. and Canada have covered up and lied about their “democratic” ally [former Honduran President] Juan Orlando Hernandez, who they knew was trafficking drugs for years.

Since the restoration of democracy with the election of Xiomara Castro as Honduras’ first woman president [who took office in January 2022], both countries continue to interfere in the attempts of the Castro government to undo the damage done by the narco-dictatorship or to pass reforms that help to ameliorate the spirit-killing poverty of the majority of the population. Instead, they [U.S and Canada] exacerbate problems. 

The delegation found that extractive industries like mining in Guapinol; the loss of sovereignty, as in the CAFTA [Central America Free Trade Agreement]-imposed ISDS [Investor-State Dispute Settlement] tribunal on the $10.7 billion ZEDE [Employment and Economic Development Zone] Próspera suit against Honduras; the dispossession of campesinos in the Aguan Valley and Garifuna communities along the north coast; and Canada’s praise for textile company Gildan, which has closed a factory, violating injured workers’ rights, all benefit multinational corporations while failing to solve the deep issues of inequality in Honduras. 

These companies benefited economically from the coup and continued doing business to their own profit and benefit under the narco-state.

The U.S. is now seizing the opportunity of the trial of Juan Orlando Hernández (JOH) and his cronies, including the former head of the national police and a family member of Hernandez, to whitewash its own complicity in the narco-dictatorship from 2009 to 2022. It is obvious that those being tried could never have committed the dreadful crimes they are accused of without being enabled by the U.S. and Canada in exchange for favorable treatment for the U.S. military, its drug war and for North American corporations.

For all these reasons, the Honduras Solidarity Network and its members are launching a campaign and will present evidence of the complicity of the two nations during the trial. The campaign will take place before, during and after JOH’s trial in New York that begins on February 5.

The campaign demands:

  1. The declassification of documents pertaining to U.S. and Canadian involvement in the 2009 Honduran coup and subsequent administrations of Porfirio Lobo and JOH. This includes detailed information about DEA [Drug Enforcement Agency] operations in Honduras and the full extent of U.S. and Canadian support, training and funding for the Honduran military and police forces.
  1. Congressional and Parliamentary investigations or inquiries of U.S. and Canadian support for the 2009 coup and post-coup governments, including human rights violations committed by Honduran state forces and whether U.S. and Canadian officials acted negligently and/or lied to cover-up electoral fraud, violence and other abuses during and following the coup.
  1. Reparations for the Indigenous victims of the DEA-led Ahuas massacre, in consultation with the victims and their representatives.
  1. An immediate end to U.S. opposition to progressive reforms that address the root causes of migrations and that roll back the post-coup policies in Honduras.
  1. Drop support for ISDS clauses in trade agreements with Honduras that allow U.S. and foreign companies to sue the Honduran state. This includes claims that arise from odious investments made by U.S. companies under the JOH dictatorship.

Tegucigalpa, MDC, Honduras.

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