In Vancouver: Human rights advocate to report back from Honduras

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Vancouver BC, November 26, 2012–A regional director for Central America of Rights Action will speak to a public forum in Vancouver on November 28 about the human rights situation in Honduras.

Karen Spring co-directed several human rights observation delegations that were in Honduras from November 12 to 22, 2012. They were there to help achieve a day of peaceful voting on November 18 when the LIBRE political party held primary elections to select its candidates for President and National Assembly of Honduras in a national election to take place in November 2013.

LIBRE is the party founded by the National Front for Popular Resistance (FNRP), the organization uniting labour, teacher, student, campesino (peasant), Afro-Honduran, and indigenous groups. The party’s ranks also include artists, LGBT people and former Liberal Party members who opposed the June 28, 2009 coup d’etat that overthrew the elected president, Manuel Zelaya.

Two LIBRE pre-candidates have been assassinated. They are victims of the violations of human rights under the government of President Porfirio Lobo that have seen Honduras become the country with the world’s highest rate of criminal and social violence. Assassinations of peasant and trade union leaders as well as journalists in the past three years have stained Honduras’ human rights record. Twenty journalists have been assassinated since June 2009.

Several members of the recent delegations were threatened with arrest by two U.S. soldiers on Nov. 13 when they stopped outside of the Soto Canal Air Base. The U.S. claims to have no military base on Honduran soil.

Canada was one of the first countries of the world to recognize the regime of Porfirio Lobo following the coup of 2009. Two leaders of the BC Teachers Federation traveled to Honduras in November 2009 and reported on the restrictive election that month following the coup.

Karen Spring is a human rights researcher and graduate student in public health at Simon Fraser University. She lived in Honduras from July 2009 to August 2011. She will speak on November 28 at 7 pm at the YWCA hotel, 733 Beatty St., in a public forum titled, “Haiti and Honduras: The struggle for human rights and dignity.” She will share the speaking platform with Justin Podur, author of the just-published “Haiti’s New Dictatorship: The Coup, the Earthquake and the UN Occupation.”

* For more information: Roger Annis, 778 858 5179
* Event notice: http://canadahaitiaction.ca/content/vancouver-haiti-and-honduras-struggle-human-rights-and-dignity-justin-podur-and-karen-spring