Disputed elections in November 2017 have triggered country-wide protests and peaceful demonstrations in Honduras that have been met with ongoing and excessive force. Honduran security forces, many of which receive U.S. aid, are directly implicated in human rights violations, including excessive force against protesters, and attacks on human rights defenders and media workers. Honduran women also face systemic violence with as many as 96% of crimes committed against women going unpenalized according to accounts from our partners.
The dangers that women and human rights defenders face in Honduras are inseparable from the violation of ancestral and Indigenous land rights—in many cases linked to U.S.-backed development projects. This violence forces more people to flee the country in search of safety, exacerbating instability throughout the region.
UUSC joined a May 2018 emergency delegation to Honduras to accompany human rights defenders and survivors of state violence and repression on their return home from a U.S. tour where they spoke out about the continuing crisis affecting their country. This is the second time UUSC staff have joined Hondurans to show solidarity and provide protective accompaniment since January 2018.
UUSC’s grassroots partners — groups like Foro de Mujeres por la Vida, a coalition of 17 grassroots women’s organizations that work to confront gender-based violence, and Radio Progreso, an independent radio station which aims to improve the human rights of the rural poor — have also been directly threatened for their dissent and participation in the protest.