U.S. legislators urged Wednesday U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to properly address the “urgent situation” of trade unionists under death threat in Honduras.
The move followed the murder of a prominent activist Berta Caceres, co-founder of the Council of Indigenous Peoples in Honduras barely a week after she was threatened once again.
“The safety of activists throughout Central America remains a serious concern,” said the members of Congress in the letter, “despite recent efforts” of the U.S. administration.
They demanded a series of measures aimed at holding the Honduran government more accountable if it failed to provide endangered activists with effective protection, whether they are “labor, campesino, Indigenous and Afro-Indigenous activists, LGBTI and other human rights defenders.”
While the state often fails to offer police protection to activists who have received threats, the “widely documented” corruption of police officers in Honduras discard police protection as a viable option, they highlight.
Activists even reject police protection themselves in some cases, like Nelson Geovanni Nuñez Chavez, of the Federation of Agro-Industrial Workers. Congress members suggested the U.S. embassy provide funding for private protection for Nuñez, as well as Tomas Membreño, a fellow activist at FESTAGRO.