May 10, 2017
U.S. ambassador to Honduras James Nealon has worked closely alongside AJS for years, as he oversees U.S. efforts to strengthen Honduran rule of law, while fighting violence, gang activity, and drug trafficking in the country. In a recent video he recorded for AJS’s Celebration of Justice event, he congratulates supporters of what he calls, “the most important civil society organization in Honduras.” Watch the video, or read the transcript below.
“As you know very well, ASJ is probably the most important civil society organization currently operating here [in Honduras]. It’s an organization that we in the United States embassy and the United States government partner with in many very important ways.
“I know you’re very aware the work that ASJ does here in Honduras, but let me just talk about a couple of elements that are of particular importance to us and to me.
“You know, we’re working together right now very closely on the reform of the Honduran National Police. I think we can all agree that democratic countries need to have functioning civilian police forces that are at the service of the people. That’s been a historic challenge here in Honduras. But through the leadership of many people, many Hondurans, and many members of civil society as well, including ASJ, that’s now changing.
“ASJ and Carlos Hernández, Omar Rivera, Kurt Ver Beek and others have been right at the very forefront of that process of changing the culture of the Honduran National Police so that it does serve the interest of the citizenry. That has been a challenging and difficult process. It’s not going to happen overnight. It takes long-term commitment. It takes big brainpower. It takes creative ideas and it also takes a lot of personal courage.
It’s not going to happen overnight. It takes long-term commitment. It takes big brainpower. It takes creative ideas and it also takes a lot of personal courage.
“You may have heard the stories of the direct threats that have been made against the lives of the Police Purge Commission including against Carlos and Omar. But I can tell you from personal experience that they’ve never wavered. Their commitment to this process and their commitment to this country is unwavering. I’m just very privileged to have the opportunity to work with them and to be able to support them as they lead this very important process.”
Their commitment to this process and their commitment to this country is unwavering.