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US suspends aid to Honduras over human rights concerns

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• A version of this post ran on the author's blog, The views expressed are the author's own.

On Sunday, I wrote about the temporary halt of some US aid to Honduras. The suspension of aid was brought on by alleged connections between the current national police chief, Juan Carlos Bonilla, and death squads that operated about a decade ago. The US is going to step back and sort things out.

RAJ at Honduras Politics and Culture asks really important questions about where exactly the US is going to be holding back aid. The US said that it is suspending aid to those personnel and units who are not directly supervised by Bonilla.

Direct supervision" is the operative phrase here, since Bonilla, as national police chief, is the commander of all the Honduran police. Does it really matter if there is an interposed subordinate officer between him and the units the US is still funding? Or is the significant difference here that the US will still fund US trained, guided, and advised units which, while technically part of the Honduran police forces, would be expected not to follow orders from the national police chief?


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