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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Human Rights in Honduras

Date: 
Friday, July 5, 2013 - 10:30am
Location: 
Room 2255 of the Rayburn House Office Building

Announcement

Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC) for a hearing on human rights in Honduras.

Honduras has long faced significant human rights challenges. However, many observers maintain that the situation deteriorated considerably in the aftermath of the June 2009 coup that ousted then-President Manuel Zelaya. According to the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, the interim government that followed Zelaya committed serious abuses, including grave violations of political rights, arbitrary restrictions on the right to freedom of expression and the arbitrary detention of thousands of people in grossly inadequate conditions. The current government of President Porfirio Lobo has lifted some restrictions on civil liberties, as well as created several initiatives to improve the protection of human rights in Honduras. In particular, a new Secretariat for Justice and Human Rights was established in 2010 to promote, coordinate and evaluate justice and human rights in the country.

Despite such efforts, Honduras’ human rights situation has remained serious, as the general security situation in the country continues to deteriorate. In 2012, Honduras had the highest homicide rate in the world with 86 murders per 100,000 residents. Victims included journalists, union leaders, human rights defenders and leaders of poor farming communities. Meanwhile, certain elements of the Honduran police are alleged to be carrying out extrajudicial killings as part of “social cleansing” operations that target gang members and other perceived criminals. Moreover, the government and courts routinely fail to investigate crimes and try those responsible.

This hearing will review Honduras’ current human rights situation and U.S. policy with a view toward improving US cooperation on security and human rights in Honduras.

If you have any questions, please contact the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission at 202-225-3599 or tlhrc@mail.house.gov.

Hosted by:

James P. McGovern Co-Chair, TLHRC
Frank R. Wolf Co-Chair, TLHRC

Witnesses

Panel I

  • Senator Timothy M. Kaine

Panel II

  • Ms. Lisa Haugaard, Executive Director, Latin America Working Group
  • Dr. Dana Frank, Professor of History, University of California Santa Cruz
  • Ms. Tirza Flores Lanza, Lawyer, Former Magistrate of the Court of Appeals for San Pedro Sula
  • Ms. Viviana Giacaman, Director for Latin America Programs, Freedom House

Senator Tim Kaine: Human Rights in Honduras [PDF] 
Ms. Lisa Haugaard: Human Rights in Honduras [PDF] 
Ms. Tirza Flores Lanza (Español): Human Rights in Honduras [PDF] 
Ms. Tirza Flores Lanza (English): Human Rights in Honduras [PDF] 
Dr. Dana Frank: Human Rights in Honduras [PDF] 
Ms. Viviana Giacaman: Human Rights in Honduras [PDF] 

Transcript

Transcript [PDF] 

Video

113th Congress