WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Peter Welch (D-VT) today released the following statement on the future of the United States-Honduras relationship, and the ongoing work to reform Honduras’ justice system to strengthen democracy:
“The United States and Honduras have long been partners, but that partnership frayed due to the rampant corruption, violence, impunity, and poverty that has forced so many Hondurans to abandon their homes in search of safety and a better life in the United States. Today we are building a stronger partnership with the government of President Xiomara Castro based on shared values and goals to address these ongoing threats to democracy and development.
“I am encouraged—as are many of my colleagues—that for the first time in years Honduran officials are working to improve the lives of the people, rather than enriching themselves and subverting the Constitution to hold onto power. There is a long road ahead, including an urgent need to reform Honduras’ dysfunctional justice system and fulfill President Castro’s promise to establish a fully independent commission against corruption and impunity.
“Democracy cannot survive without a fully independent judiciary to uphold the rule of law and provide access to justice for all citizens, and poverty cannot be overcome without access to education and equal opportunity. By working together, President Castro and partners like the United States can honor the demands of the Honduran people by renouncing the abuses and inequities of the past and build a new foundation for sustainable, transparent, just, and accountable governance.”