Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Today: International Day of Action in Solidarity with Honduras

By Brooke Denmark, Christine Goffredo and Riahl O'Malley
International Team - Nicaragua
Witness for Peace

In Tegucigalpa teachers, students, parents and concerned citizens are protesting a proposed law that would pave the way for the privatization of education. Honduran military and police have responded to the peaceful protests with a brutal crackdown. Many protesters have been injured and one teacher has been killed.

On Sunday two teachers, María Auxiliadora Espinoza and Wendy Méndez, were detained at a gas station after the protest had concluded. And yesterday authorities arrested Miriam Miranda, the Garifuna leader of the Fraternal Black Organization of Honduras. Miranda was subsequently released, but in the meantime President Porfirio Lobo has threatened to suspend teachers continuing to protest for up to a year.

As concerns mount, Witness for Peace and other advocacy organizations have declared today an International Day of Action in Solidarity with Honduras. You can take action by writing to your congressional representatives to demand the U.S. stop funding the military and police violence against peaceful protesters.

Currently, the Honduras military receives funding from the United States through the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), which has a budget of more than $200 million. In February, the United States government granted $1.75 million to Honduras. Tell your congressional representatives that U.S. taxpayer money must not go to a military violently repressing its citizens and abusing human rights!

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