On July 14, 2016, bill HR 5474, the Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act, was introduced to the US House of Representatives by Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), Conyers (MI), Ellison (MN), Kaptur (OH), Serrano (NY), and Schakowsky (IL).
Why is this legislation important?
HR 5474 marks a great advancement toward ending the repression in Honduras that the US has historically financed and backed. The US government has financially and politically supported the Honduran state, military, and police in their human rights abuses, violent persecution, and killing of indigenous peoples, environmentalists, and frontline activists in Honduras. In 2009, the US State Department backed the coupthat ousted the progressive, democratically-elected President Manuel Zelaya, creating the space for the US to influence Honduran politics and leading to the conditions that have resulted in repression and violence against activists, women, grassroots and indigenous movements, and many on the frontlines of protecting their communities, lands, and bodies.