Ottawa – Feb.21, 2019. The Americas Policy Group has been highly concerned with the human rights crisis unfolding in Honduras and the incarceration of peaceful demonstrators and civil society activists, following the November 26, 2017, election. Since then, APG members have worked on the terrain and in Canada to make a positive impact and stand in solidarity with the people of Honduras.

On February 20, 2019 APG members CUPE Global Justice Fund (Kelti Cameron) and Public Service Alliance of Canada Social Justice Fund (Louise Casselman), together with APG Officer (Sebastián Vielmas) and Programme Assistant (Laura Ávalos) were present on Parliament Hill to witness the introduction of a petition to the House of Commons calling to  :

  1. Stand by its stated position supporting human rights and rule of law in Honduras;
  2. Urgently intervene in the case of Edwin Espinal, spouse of Karen Spring of Elmvale, arrested January 19, 2018, on trumped-up charges in the wake of popular protests; and
  3. Immediately ensure that the Hernandez government release Espinal and four other political prisoners (Raul Alvarez, Jose Godinez, Edy Gonzalo, Gustavo Cáceres) still held in inhumane maximum-security military prisons in Honduras and drop all charges against 22 political prisoners detained (17 released, 5 remain in prison).

(https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-1868)

The petition was sponsored and presented in parliament by Conservative Member of Parliament for Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, Alexander Nuttell Janet Spring (mother of Karen Spring) and Christine Nugent from the Simcoe County Honduras Rights Monitor initiated this petition and were also in Ottawa to witness the tabling of the petition in the House of Commons.

In 2018, APG member Amnesty Canada published a detailed  report “Protest Prohibited” (only in English), documenting human rights violations following the crackdown after the 2017 election. Amnesty has also prepared a call to action: Keep hope alive for Edwin Espinal and Raul Alvarez, imprisoned unjustly in Honduras.

Honduras is one of the world’s most violent[1] and unequal[2] countries. Violence, alongside hardship and poverty compel, each year, thousands of children, women and men to leave Honduras to make the gruelling trek to the United States in search of a better life[3].

At the same time, the state of affairs for human rights defenders continues to be one of extreme risk due to the constant violence, criminalization, and slander they are exposed to, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights mission of August 2018 (IACHR)[4].

 

  

[1] 56.52 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants according to UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s International Homicide Statistics database, the second-highest score in the world (2016)

[2] Honduras is the sixth most unequal country in the world according to the 2016 GINI estimates of the World Bank.

[3] https://theconversation.com/origins-and-implications-of-the-caravan-of-honduran-migrants-106443

[4] http://www.oas.org/en/iachr/media_center/PReleases/2018/171.asp

 

 

Watch MP Alex Nuttall’s petition on Human Rights in Honduras & Edwin Espinal to Parliament of Canada

 

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Media contact

Sebastián Vielmas
Regional Working Group Officer
Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC)
+1 613 241 7007 Poste/Ext. 321 | svielmas@ccic.ca