Human and Land Rights Violation Against the Garifuna People in Honduras

Letter from the Garifuna Nation to members of the U.S. Congress concerning repression, human and land rights violations and impunity by military-backed government in Honduras

To: Honorable Janice Schakowsky and Members of Congress

The Garifuna Nation which is comprised of about thirty Garifuna organizations from the countries of; “Yurumein” Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Belize, the United States of America and is committed to represent the interest of our people which approximately is about 600,000 worldwide. This includes about 300,000 people who currently reside in the United States and are in the states of; New York, California, Illinois, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Massachusetts, Virginia, Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Connecticut, New Jersey and other states.

We hereby applaud and support the bold stand that is being taken by Congresswoman Janice Schakowsky from the 9th Congressional District in the State of Illinois and her colleagues in Congress, to draft a Resolution highlighting the Human Rights and Land Abuses that is being committed against the Garifuna people and other groups by the President of Honduras Orlando Hernandez and his government. This Resolution will be sent to the US Secretary of State John Kerry to examine the state of affairs in Honduras and to re-examine the current US relations with this country.

Our organization intend to not only support the efforts of Congresswoman Janice Schakowsky and her congressional colleagues but also stand ready, willing and able to provide them with whatever additional evidence and testimonies that they may need to prove this compelling case against the Government of Honduras.

The on-going Human Rights and land infringement cases against the Garifuna people over the years has been documented by several reputable international, regional and local organizations such as; the United Nations, Organization of American States, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and all the Garifuna organizations in the country of Honduras and in the Garifuna diaspora.

We are impressed with the transcript that is being contained in the Congresswoman’s list of Human Rights and land violations that has been occurring against our people in the last six years since the overthrow of the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya in 2009. We also would like to add that Human Rights Abuses against the Garifuna people has been taking place in Honduras since we first arrived in this country on April the 12th, 1797. These abuses have led to the mass migration of our people to the neighboring countries of; Nicaragua, Guatemala, Belize, the United States and elsewhere where they continue to reside up to this day.