As killings and attempted killings continue in Honduras, State Department decides to give passing grade.

From: “U.S. Department of State” Daily Press Briefing – October 14,

QUESTION: Uh, yeah. Yes. And then the second one is on Honduras.

MR TONER: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Have you guys certified that they have met their human rights obligations? I think I asked about this a couple weeks ago and then it slipped my —

MR TONER: Sure. So we – yes. We certified that Honduras is taking effective steps to meet the criteria specified in the Fiscal Year 2016 appropriations – appropriation legislation. So that’s not to say that all is well and good. Obviously, corruption, crime, impunity are real problems, continue to be real problems in Honduras. But we have seen, I think, a demonstration of political will by the Honduran Government that has taken on and made progress against some of the country’s security and developmental challenges. So we want to see that progress continue.

QUESTION: When was that certification done?

MR TONER: My understanding is it was – oh, September 30th, 2016.

QUESTION: Any reason why it’s taken so long to —

MR TONER: Publicly announce it?

QUESTION: Yes.

MR TONER: I don’t know. Honestly, I mean, I don’t —

QUESTION: I mean —

MR TONER: I don’t know how we generally make —

QUESTION: Was it published in the Federal Register?

MR TONER: I don’t know. I’ll ask.

QUESTION: All right. And then can you be more specific about what effective steps they have taken? Because as you are aware, there have been numerous reports over the course of – well, over a while, but certainly this – over the course of the last couple months about new abuses and about new —

MR TONER: Right.

QUESTION: — committed by the police and by the – by security forces there.

MR TONER: I mean, I can speak a little bit about what our assistance programs do in Honduras, but I don’t have specific —

QUESTION: No, no, no. I want to know what —

MR TONER: Yeah, I don’t have a specific – I’ll get that for you.

QUESTION: So when you made the certification, there wasn’t any attempt to define what it was that you think they’re doing —

MR TONER: I’m sure there was. I just don’t have it in front of me. And I’m not following as closely as I probably should —

QUESTION: All right. What’s the —

MR TONER: — Honduran human rights situation.

QUESTION: What’s the total assistance that this frees up?

MR TONER: I will get that for you as well. I don’t have it in front of me. I apologize.

QUESTION: All right. I – and please, if you could get the actual – the —

MR TONER: Yeah. So what I propose, we’ll do —

QUESTION: — because these reports have been —

MR TONER: — we’ll do this as a formally – we’ll do this as a formal taken question. Okay?

QUESTION: Okay. I mean, because there have been persistent —

MR TONER: You have my pledge.

QUESTION: — reports of violations.

MR TONER: I understand that. No, I understand that, Matt. And I understand – again, I’m not trying to create the appearance that all is well, that —

QUESTION: Well, I know. But if all is not well and all is not good, why did they get certified?

MR TONER: Well, again, I think we look for progress. And we’ve seen significant enough progress in their efforts – and I should have more detail to provide to you —

QUESTION: Okay.

MR TONER: — on that; I apologize for it – but to give them a passing grade.

That it, guys? Thank so much.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR TONER: Yep.

(The briefing was concluded at 2:21 p.m.)

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