WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
15 Nov 2012 | News

Human Rights Organizations Ask Congress to Maintain Conditions on Security Assistance to Latin America

Today, WOLA joined other human rights organizations (Amnesty International, the Center for International Policy, and the Latin America Working Group) in urging the U.S. Congress to retain the human rights conditions pertaining to security assistance for Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras.

Human rights conditions placed on security assistance are an invaluable tool to ensure that partner governments and security forces respect and uphold international human rights standards, accountability efforts, and the rule of law

As the organizations note:

Experience has shown that the conditions have not been a hindrance to the U.S. government, but rather have helped ensure that foreign assistance is utilized for its explicitly intended goals. Further, conditions attached to U.S. assistance provide an invaluable instrument for Congress to conduct essential oversight of executive branch programs and policies. Finally, the conditions are essential for the administration to ensure it receives necessary information to wield the necessary leverage to ensure that U.S. assistance does not contribute to the commission of human rights violations.

Although the human rights conditions on security assistance for Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras were included in the Senate Appropriations Committee’s version of the FY13 Foreign Operations bill, the House of Representatives’ version of this bill did not contain the conditions. As Congress prepares to consider an omnibus appropriations bill that will need to reconcile the two versions of the FY13 Foreign Operations bill, WOLA and its partners strongly urge leaders of the House of Representatives Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs to include the human rights conditions in the FY13 omnibus appropriations bill.

Click here to read the full letter.