State Department Faces Questioning over U.S. Military Aid to Honduras

HeadlineJun 23, 2016

In news on Honduras, questions are mounting about the legality of U.S. military funding to Honduras, following allegations by a former Honduran soldier that murdered environmentalist Berta Cáceres appeared on a hit list distributed to U.S.-trained special forces before her assassination. First Sergeant Rodrigo Cruz told The Guardian he is “100% certain that Berta Cáceres was killed by the army.” State Department Press Secretary John Kirby responded to questions Wednesday about the new reports.

John Kirby: “We’ve seen media reports alleging the existence of a Honduran activist hit list, as you’ve described it.”

Reporter: “Sure.”

John Kirby: “The U.S. government has not previously heard any credible allegation of hit lists, of deaths ordered by the military, and we do not have any information which would substantiate this report.”

Reporter: “You have not? You have not heard of these kill lists?”

John Kirby: “I think that’s what I just said. We don’t have—”

Reporter: “OK.”

John Kirby: “We haven’t heard of any credible allegation of hit lists, of deaths.”

Reporter: “I mean, since—”

John Kirby: “And we do not have any information that would substantiate this report.”

Reporter: “One human rights professor called this 'smoking-gun evidence.' If this isn’t credible, what is credible evidence on the level you’re talking about?”

John Kirby: “We haven’t seen, in our view, credible evidence to back up these allegations. If we do, we’ll take it seriously.”

Georgia Representative Hank Johnson has introduced a bill to stop all U.S. military funding to Honduras.

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