Dear All – I am including below an action alert from the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America. It describes the situation in Honduras and a simple action to take to support the people of Honduras to ensure the democratic process is up held.
The situation in Honduras is very fragile and will require active engagement from the international community to ensure that this coup does not stand. The United States bears a special responsibility because we trained the General that led the coup at the School of the Americas/WHINSEC. A military training “school” that has been behind some of the worst dictators and human rights violations in Latin American history.
While we stand with the people of Honduras we can ask our own government how a school that claims a “human rights” curriculum continues to graduate dictators. Much Peace Liz
CRLN Action Alert
Early Sunday morning democratically-elected Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya was ousted from the Presidential palace in a military coup orchestrated by Honduran General and SOA graduate Romeo Vasquez. The coup took place after several weeks of tension within the country between President Zelaya and other branches of government over a referendum planned for Sunday. Yesterday at 5 a.m. the Honduran military, under General Vasquez’s direction, stormed the Presidential Palace and forced President Zelaya onto a plane which landed in Costa Rica. CRLN received reports that the military has set up curfews and roadblocks throughout the country, cut off public television and community radio, and limited electricity supply to the capital Tegucigalpa.
Later on Sunday, the right-wing Honduran Congress voted the head of Congress, Roberto Michelleti into the presidency. Meanwhile, the Organization of American States (OAS) has stated that: “no government arising from this unconstitutional interruption will be recognized.” The OAS, the European Union (EU), several Latin American governments and U.S. State Department have all publicly condemned the coup. For statements from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the OAS and U.S. human rights organizations, click here: http://www.lawg.org/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=447
Call the State Department & the White House! CRLN urges the U.S. government to take immediate action and make their condemnation of the coup loud and clear. When you call, say that you are deeply concerned about the recent military coup in Honduras and that you want the U.S. government to take the following three positions:
- Refuse to recognize the new, unconstitutional government;
- Call for the immediate re-instatement of Honduran President Zelaya to office; and
- End all U.S. military aid as a result of the Honduran military’s serious violation of the country’s democratic order.
State Department: 202-647-4000 or 1-800-877-8339
White House: Comments: 202-456-1111, Switchboard: 202-456-1414
For decades, the Honduran military has been a heavy recipient of U.S. aid. Since 1998 Honduras has been the fourth largest feeder of students to the School of the Americas/WHINSEC. Just days before Sunday’s coup, our U.S. Representatives voted yes on an amendment to release the names of graduates and instructors of the SOA/WHINSEC. Thank your representative if they voted for this important amendment! The fact that General Vasquez, the leader of Honduras’ military coup was an SOA graduate is yet one more reason why transparency in U.S. government institutions, as well as the closure of the SOA/WHINSEC, is critical. For the full results of the vote, click here http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/roll454.xml