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Activists protest World Bank on Honduras paramilitary funding

Headline by Ben King - Free Speech Radio News

Listen to the June 28th, 2013 story here:

http://fsrn.org/audio/headlines-friday-june-28-2013/12204

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Activists protest World Bank on Honduras paramilitary funding

Human rights advocates from the social justice groups School of the America's Watch and Witness for Peace staged a rally today outside the World Bank in Washington, DC. They used the 4th anniversary of the 2009 military coup in Honduras to criticize US policy and the Bank’s role in enabling violence against farmers in the Central American country.  FSRN's Ben King reports.

Four years after the ouster and exile of left-leaning Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, landowners, in complicity with the government, continue to target small scale farmers and their supporters.  More than 40 campesinos in the Bajo Aguan region have been killed in land disputes, and military police frequently threaten farmers, indigenous groups, gang members, and journalists. Despite documentation of these abuses, the US continues to send military aid to Honduras under the auspices of the War on Drugs.  What's more, activist groups criticize $30 million dollars in World Bank loans to the Dinant Corporation, whose paramilitary private security forces play a central role in the violence That's why protesters, like Arturro Viscara, gathered at the World Bank today.

"I think there needs to be a complete re-examination of our policy toward Latin America, Central America, and Mexico, in particular...  I am an immigration attorney and I have clients from Honduras and when you ask them why they leave, it's because of a lack of economic opportunity, and because they've been threatened, or their family members have been threatened or killed."

On June 18th, a group of US Senators sent a letter to the State Department requesting that Secretary John Kerry reevaluate sending taxpayer dollars to fund the Honduran military.  Ben King, FSRN, Washington, DC.

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