Invitation to Join an Emergency Faith Delegation to Honduras
January 24-30, 2018
“Your people shall be my people” (Ruth 1:16)
We are writing to you on behalf of Father Melo (Rev. Ismael Moreno, SJ), the Jesuit who has accompanied the Honduran people for more than 20 years. He is appealing to the international community for immediate help: "We need you to organize delegations that come to accompany us, to witness what is happening here and to share it with the world."
This delegation of ecumenical faith leaders will do exactly that.
(*UFMJ Note: Read, "Canadian Mining and Popular Resistance in Honduras," to get an idea of how the Canadian mining sector, notably Goldcorp Inc., has played a destabilizing role in Honduras contributing to violence and repression of civilians.)
Honduras is in an extreme crisis following a flawed presidential election on November 26th. Social movements have been pouring into the streets for weeks protesting electoral fraud, and have been repressed by Honduran security forces.
Over 30 people have been killed and hundreds wounded and detained. The government imposed martial law, and days before Christmas, prematurely called the election in favor of the current president. The US government quickly recognized that call, despite OAS and others warning that the election did not meet standards, and despite their call for new elections. The Honduran military and police have received over $100 million from the U.S. since the 2009 coup d’etat.
The Jesuit station, Radio Progreso, one of the last independent media in the country, was sabotaged in mid-December, its transmission tower destroyed. Over this past New Year’s weekend, new death threats were issued against Father Melo and other social justice activists. See NCR and America articles (UFMJ note: See articles by Canadian journalists and activists Sandra Cuffe here, Karen Spring here and Heather Gies here as well as a statement by Development and Peace here and an online petition for Canadians here).
(*UFMJ note: since the 2009 coup d'etat, supported by the Canadian government,
To accompany the Honduran human rights defenders and social movements as they mobilize and demand respect for the true results of the November presidential elections; and to lend support to the faith communities accompanying those who are most vulnerable.
Accompanying them to the capital of Tegucigalpa for the national demonstration at the inauguration, set for January 27th;
Collecting testimonies and witnessing the repression against those involved in the peaceful demonstrations; and
Return to the U.S. (and Canada) to share the findings, carry forth the "cry of the people" of Honduras for justice, and advocate for a just resolution to the crisis.
Dates: January 24-30, 2018. We will be traveling into San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
Cost: Airfare approximately $500 - $600 (+ from Canada); plus $400 USD in country for room and board.
Jose Artiga at 415.558.8634, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Rev. Deborah Lee at 415.297.8222, email@example.com;
Jean Stokan at firstname.lastname@example.org; or
Jenny Atlee at email@example.com.
In hopes for the light of a new day for our sisters and brothers in Honduras,
Jose Artiga, Executive Director, SHARE Foundation.
Jenny Atlee, Friendship Office/Honduras Accompaniment Project
Rev. Deborah Lee, Executive Director Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity
Jean Stokan, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas’ Justice Team
If you are involved with United for Mining Justice (or would like to be!) and interested in participating in this delegation, contact Jackie at unitedforminingjustice (at) gmail.com.