Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Representing Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, Maryknoll Sisters, and Maryknoll Lay Missioners
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Honduras: Human rights defenders held captive

The following alert is circulated by the Friendship Office of the Americas.

July 29 -- Please take URGENT ACTION in response to the July 25 kidnapping of international human rights defenders with the Honduras Accompaniment Project (PROAH) in Nueva Esperanza, Honduras. They were taken at gunpoint by armed men who guard the mining operations of Minerales Victoria who have been terrorizing villagers and threatening those who refuse to sell their land to the mining company.

Thanks to pressure exerted by the community, COFADEH (Committee of the Detained and Disappeared of Honduras), PROAH and other human rights groups demanding immediate intervention by national authorities and members of the diplomatic corps, the human rights defenders were released after a three hour ordeal.

On July 26, 250 people marched to Nueva Esperanza to express support for the community's peaceful opposition to the mine and the role of international human rights accompaniers.

The abduction of international human rights defenders comes in the context of human rights violations and impunity which batter the country with no end in sight. In the last several weeks we have witnessed the brutal murders of a journalist, judge, lawyer, and a member of COPINH; the forced exile of a union leader and intensified threats against human rights defenders.

The kidnapping of PROAH's human rights accompaniers comes just weeks after 21 U.S. senators sent a letter to Secretary of State Kerry stating deep concerns about Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Honduras. 

Your support is critical at this time. Please call your members of Congress and share this URGENT ACTION with the foreign policy aide.

The Congressional switchboard number is (202) 224- 3121. To identify your rep, go to this website and type your zip code in the upper right corner): Ask to speak with the aide who handles foreign policy.