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Reflections

#justiceOPportunity Thursday—February 25, 2021

#justiceOPportunity Thursday—February 25, 2021

It’s #justiceOPportunity Thursday and we are hoping you will join us in advocating for the Honduras Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Act of 2021 which was introduced in the United States Senate this week by Senator Jeff Merkley (OR). The bill calls for the suspension of “United States support for the Government of Honduras until endemic corruption, impunity, and human rights violations cease, and their perpetrators are brought to justice.”

Honduras has been “plagued by endemic corruption and rights violations” since the 2009 military coup. Over the last decade, ever-increasing levels of militarization and the steady weakening of oversight mechanisms and constitutional guarantees have been coupled with systemic corruption in the government and the collapse of the rule of law. Honduras has become, in effect, a narco-state and the most dangerous country in the world to defend human rights. Civil society members are criminalized, attacked, disappeared, and murdered in overwhelming numbers. U.S. policy has fueled these dynamics, celebrating the Honduran government as “a great partner” and pouring support to its repressive military and police forces. Is there any wonder why Honduran migrants are fleeing for their lives!

The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Jeff Merkley, Bernie Sanders, Patrick Leahy, Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren, Dick Durbin, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Chris Van Hollen.  We need your help in securing more Senators to sign on as co-sponsors.  If your senators are not among the original co-sponsors, please call the Capitol switchboard (202) 224-3121) and ask your senators to co-sponsor the Honduras Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Act of 2021.

When you call your Senator’s office, ask to speak to the foreign policy aide. If the aide has not seen the bill, ask for the aide’s email address so that you can forward a copy of the bill. If the foreign policy aide is not available, ask to leave a message on their voice mail. Be sure to get the name of the foreign policy staffer so you can follow up.

A suggested script appears below:

“My name is _____. I am a constituent from (your town/city) in (your state) and a Catholic sister/person of faith who is deeply concerned about the violence and corruption that is forcing families to flee their homes in Honduras. I am calling to ask Senator _____ to co-sponsor The Honduras Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Act of 2021. The bill calls for the suspension of United States support for the Government of Honduras until endemic corruption, impunity, and human rights violations cease, and their perpetrators are brought to justice.” Has Senator _______ seen this bill? Can I count on him/her to join as a cosponsor?

 

If you have to leave a message add: Please call me this week at (_____) to let me know if you have seen the bill, and if Senator _____ will support.” 

**In your phone conversation, please highlight why this bill is important to you.  

Senators who wish to co-sponsor should contact Caroline Kuritzkes and Matt Squeri in Senator Merkley’s office to add their Senator’s names as cosponsors of the bill!

Please join us in advocating for The Honduras Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Act of 2021.

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