According to the US State Department’s Executive Budget Summary for FY 2014, the Obama administration is requesting that Congress approve for Honduras $4.5 million worth of Foreign Military Financing. It is also requesting $650,000 under the International Military Education & Training program for Honduras as well. Together, this adds up to $5.15 million in requested security assistance for Honduras for FY 2014. Undoubtedly, this aid will only serve to empower right-wing Honduran regime’s apparatus of repression.
In March 2012, 94 members of Congress sent the State Department a letter requesting that it “suspend US assistance to the Honduran military and police given the credible allegations of widespread, serious violations of human rights attributed to the security forces.”
This past February, the NGO Rights Action has documented the killings of some 88 peasants and peasant supporters in the Bajo Aguan region of Honduras (a backgrounder on the land-based conflict in this region can be found here). Many of these killings–and other rights violations–have been attributed to the Honduran military’s 15th Battalion. According to Rights Action Co-Director Annie Bird, “at the same time the 15th Battalion was implicated in kidnappings, killings, threats, torture and abuse of authority, it received assistance and training from the Special Operations Command South (SOCSOUTH) of the United States Armed Forces.”
Last month, the Associated Press released an investigative piece on the presence of death squads within Honduras’ civilian police force.
- “US Funds Still Supporting Honduras Death Squads” by Lauren Carasik
- “Honduras is Open for Business and Repression” by Grahame Russell
- “Honduras: Exhumations in the Aguán in Search of the Truth” by Committee of Relatives of the Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH)
- “Remains of Tortured Campesino Dug up in Honduras” by Rights Action and Movimiento Unificado Campesino del Aguan (MUCA)