Berta Caceres was a very popular leader of her Lenca indigenous people and of the Honduran Resistance since the 2009 coup. Her assassination shocked the world. Since then the botched investigation by Honduran authorities who let evidence mysteriously “disappear” who arrested the low level perpetrators and stopped looking for the intellectual authors despite deep suspicions that they went to the top of the company whose damn she and her organization were opposing and to the government. As a result human rights defenders in the U.S. and Honduras have sponsored the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act - HR 1299, and CBN has worked to get our local Congress members to sign on as sponsors. We thank Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver for meeting with us and our Honduran family and becoming a cosponsor. Unfortunately Rep. Kevin Yoder did not meet with us and while his staff showed some concern for the family, Yoder was unwilling to sign on to HR 1299.
CBN reaches out to partner groups and hosts events in the community. In 2017 we brought Honduran writer Melissa Cardoza and singer Karla Lara to Kansas City to perform their work about courageous Honduran women in resistance. We also partnered with Witness for Peace to host Gaspar Sanchez, diversity coordinator from COPINH, to speak in November. CBN presented research about in Honduran maquila workers at the annual meeting of the United Association for Labor Education. We organized a program about what is really going on in Venezuela and hosted a showing of Juan Gonzalez’s Harvest of Empire about the role of US imperialism in the uprooting and immigration of people in Latin America.
The Cross Border Network develops ties with workers’ organizations to build international solidarity campaigns pressuring employers to respect workers’ rights. As members of Missouri Jobs with Justice we support its campaigns for working people, like opposing Right to Work, supporting the Fight for $15 and a Union, and raising the minimum wage. In 2016 we helped organize a campaign for Lexmark workers in Ciudad Juarez fired for trying to organize an independent union. Our letter from several dozen U.S., Mexican, Canadian and international unions and organizations pushed Lexmark to negotiate a settlement with the workers. In 2017 answered the call of CODEMUH - the Honduran Women’s Collective - for a letter writing campaign on behalf of fired workers at Delta Apparel, a Georgia based company, operating a maquila in Villa Nueva Honduras. Delta fired thirty workers suffering from repetitive strain injuries caused by excessively high production standards. We continue to work with CODEMUH in developing strategies
The November 29 election in Honduras was stolen by incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez. Popular movements all view it as part two of the 2009 coup. Hernandez fired dissidents on the Supreme Court and packed it with cronies to give him permission to run again even though the Constitution bars a President from succeeding himself. Then when he apparently lost the election he shut down the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), which is controlled by his party, and rigged the vote to show he won even though a TSE members said that after the first night’s tally which showed him losing by 5% it was statistically impossible for Hernandez to win. The U.S. State Department, at the same time, certified the Honduras had made progress in human rights and fighting corruption. CBN is a member of the Honduras Solidarity Network which coordinates efforts in Washington DC and with members of Congress.