The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Natalie Luna (520) 622-6788 office
(520) 904-0375 cell
Ruben Reyes
(520) 940-7752 cell

Grijalva, Members of Congress Call on President Obama to Take Further Measures Against Honduran Coup Regime


Congressman Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ), together with 16 other members of
Congress, recently delivered a letter to President Obama urging him to denounce
human rights violations in Honduras and take further measures against the
Honduran coup regime.

Over a month has
now passed since democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya was deposed and
deported to Costa Rica by the Honduran military and, despite widespread
international condemnation and diplomatic sanctions, the de facto regime
remains firmly in place. As time wears on, the human rights situation in
Honduras grows increasingly worrying, with a growing quantity of reports of
violent repression of anti-coup protests, extrajudicial killings reminiscent of
the death squad era of the early 80s and arbitrary arrests of hundreds of
peaceful demonstrators. These violations have been accompanied by
far-reaching media censorship and the beating, arrest and intimidation of
independent journalists by military and police.

The U.S.
administration has taken important measures against the coup regime, such as
halting military aid and other forms of non-humanitarian assistance to
Honduras, but it is clear that further action is necessary to ensure that
democracy is restored and the civil rights of Honduras' citizens are

The co-signers
of the letter to president Obama believe, therefore, that it is time for the
U.S. administration to send a clear signal that the human rights violations
that are being perpetrated under the coup regime in Honduras are unacceptable
and cannot be allowed to continue. The letter also considers that the
U.S. administration should take measures that directly target those responsible
for the coup.

Revoking the A-1
diplomatic visas of a few key coup officials, as the State Department did on
July 29th, is a step in the right direction, but clearly not
sufficient as this does not prevent those targeted by the decision from
continuing to travel to the U.S. on tourist and other visas. The letter
strongly urges president Obama to deny those involved in the coup entry to the
United States and immediately instruct the Treasury Department to freeze their
U.S.-based assets.