Photo Credit: Trish Motheral
[Episcopal News Service – Salt Lake City] The House of Deputies voted 3 July to concur with the House of Bishops of Resolution D033, “Supporting Refugee Rights in Central America,” which calls on The Episcopal Church to “acknowledge the continued violence against and displacement of citizens in Central America’s Northern Triangle (Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador), perpetrated by armed state and non-state actors.”
The world began paying attention to the crisis of epidemic violence in Central America when in the summer of 2014 Honduran, Guatemalan and El Salvadoran children began arriving at the U.S. border in unprecedented numbers.
Over the last year, the level of violence in the Northern Triangle has continued to rise, its residents continue to flee to the United States, and some women and children are housed in prison-like settings in detention centers.
The resolution further calls upon “the church and regional governments to affirm and support the work of civil society and international organizations as they address the needs of the displaced in their countries of origin; support the efforts of civil society groups and regional bodies, especially the work of our sister Anglican province La Iglesia de la Region Central de America (IARCA), the Diocese of Honduras, and human rights organizations, which seek to address the root causes of violence and engage in advocacy and dialogue with their governments to serve the needs of and create safe spaces for internally displaced persons and refugees.”
It also calls on The Episcopal Church, in solidarity with IARCA, to push for government accountability in Central America; for the church to advocate for the U.S. government to play a positive role, to strengthen legal institutions financially; and to encourage the Central American and Mexican governments to uphold the legal rights of victims.