by Common Frontiers, Common Frontiers, February 13, 2014
Civil society organizations from Canada and Quebec are concerned that the Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement (FTA) currently being debated in the House of Commons will further undermine human rights and democracy in Honduras. The debate began days after the inauguration of Juan Orlando Hernandez following highly contested presidential elections.The elections were fraught with irregularities as well as violence, and deemed fraudulent by most independent international observers. The proposed legislation sends the message that Canada rewards illegitimate governments as long as they serve Canadian economic interests.
The bilateral trade deal was signed on November 5th, 2013, in the lead up to the presidential election, despite wide-spread opposition and mounting evidence to suggest that the deal will exacerbate the social and human rights crisis. Since the 2009 military coup against democratically-elected President Manuel Zelaya, violence and repression have reached an all-time high. Human rights defenders, women’s rights activists, members of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, trans and queer) community, the Garifuna, Indigenous people, union leaders, farmers and journalists are being systematically threatened or killed.