Action Alert: Keep Human Rights Tied to US Military Aid
November 5th, 2013
Thanks to the Latin America Working Group (LAWG) for the information in this Action Alert.
Some members of Congress who oversee foreign aid want to eliminate human rights conditions tied to military and police assistance for Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, and Guatemala. These conditions are an important means to try to ensure the United States does not do business with human rights violators.
Unfortunately, rape, extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detentions, forced disappearances, torture, and other grave human rights violations continue to be committed by members of the armed forces of Colombia, Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala.
- Colombia: Of the over 3,000 extrajudicial executions allegedly committed by members of the security forces, the vast majority remains unpunished.
- Honduras: 149 civilians have been killed by the police in the past two years alone. As violence has soared, so has impunity. Crimes committed by both police and military personnel have not been investigated.
- Mexico: Since 2006, when former President Calderón deployed tens of thousands of soldiers across Mexico to take on public security matters in an effort to combat organized crime, Mexico has seen a significant increase in the number of reports of human rights violations committed by Mexican armed forces. Between 2003 and 2006, Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) received 691 complaints of human rights violations committed by the armed forces. This figure surged to 4,803 reports of human rights violations between 2010 and 2012.
- Guatemala: The military is increasingly used for law enforcement, leading to abuses. In October 2012 soldiers fired on and killed 6 indigenous protestors and wounded 34. The military continues to fail to fully cooperate with investigations into human rights violations committed by members of the armed forces during the civil war.