Ahead of the June 13, 2018 Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing for Kimberly Breier to be Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere, Amnesty International USA submitted a statement with questions for the hearing record.
Since 2015 Amnesty International has documented the deepening refugee crisis from the Northern Triangle region of Central America, its push factors and how Mexico and the United States have responded to the regional crisis. In an open letter to all members of the Organization of American States, in which the United States is a member, Amnesty International cautioned that significant social, economic and participatory divides endure in the Western Hemisphere and that difficult challenges remain regarding access to justice, impunity and respect for human rights.
We asked that if confirmed Ms. Breier ensure the following:
- Commit to protecting human rights defenders in the Western Hemisphere
- Encourage the investigation and prosecution in the civilian justice system of government personnel, including military and police personnel, who are credibly alleged to have violated human rights, and ensure that such personnel are cooperating in such cases
- Support foreign assistance that fosters implementation of policies to ensure that local communities, civil society organizations, including indigenous and other marginalized groups, and local governments are consulted in the design, and participate in the implementation and evaluation of programs that affect them