In Honduras, U.S. Aid Contributes to the Violence
To the Editor:
Re “No Longer the Most Violent Place on Earth” (Sunday Review, Aug. 14):
Sonia Nazario’s article paints a rosy picture of American aid transforming Honduras and poses a rhetorical question: “Who says American power is dead?” For the people of Honduras, however, American power is deadly.
Our faith partners in Honduras tell us of the negative effects of American project funding: fanning divisions in communities and undermining local initiatives by creating rival groups. Most important, focusing on small projects diverts attention from what’s really needed to transform the country: major change in American policy.
The article is silent on how American political and economic support serves to strengthen the rampant corruption, impunity and militarization underway. Death squads thrive; activists are targeted for repression; and millions have been siphoned from the public health system to the party of President Juan Orlando Hernández. My eyes were opened when I visited Honduras.
If we ignore the big picture there, American policy will keep contributing to the violence consuming the country. The best violence prevention program is the Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act, H.R. 5474, calling for the suspension of American security aid.
DEBORAH L. KERN
The writer, a Catholic nun, is a member of the South Central Community leadership team of Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.