May 12: New York Times opinion by Rev. Deborah Lee on Honduras

To the Editor:

‘Either They Kill Us or We Kill Them’” (front page, May 5) tells the micro story of gangs and violence in a Honduran neighborhood.

I just returned from Honduras with 75 religious leaders, looking at the systemic economic and state violence that enables the gangs to thrive. The corruption and collusion between state actors and organized crime are stunning.

Tony Hernandez, a former Honduran congressman and brother of the president of Honduras, stands trial for large-scale drug trafficking and weapons charges in New York after being arrested by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The latest report from the High Commissioner for Human Rights says organized crime has infiltrated Honduran government agencies and the broader political arena. This is why 53 members of the United States Congress are co-sponsors of H.R. 1945, the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act.

It would suspend United States security assistance to Honduras until human rights violations by Honduran security forces cease and their perpetrators are brought to justice.

(Rev.) Deborah Lee
Oakland, Calif.
The writer is executive director of the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity.

Read the letter on the New York Times website.