“My heart has a memory / of who the terrorists are. / They are not Muslims, Jews, / Christians, Hindus nor Buddhists. / They are the weapons vendors, / they are the fundamentalists of war, / they are those who sow torture and violence / and imprison the joy of planet earth.”
– Juan Almendares, from the poem ‘El amor sera la fuerza’
HONDURAN CIVIL SOCIETY AND IMMIGRANT LEADERS TO VISIT WASHINGTON DC, NEW YORK, BOSTON, CHICAGO
One month after the interruption of constitutional order in Honduras through a military coup d’etat and in the wake of widespread reports of human rights violations harkening back to events of the 1980s, the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC) is bringing a delegation of civil society representatives from that country to the U.S. to participate in a speaking tour and to advocate for the restoration of constitutional order and respect for human rights.
The tour will start in Washington D.C. with visits to Congressional offices and will be followed by press and speaking events in various U.S. cities, including New York, Boston, and Chicago.
Wednesday to Friday, July 29-31: Washington D.C.
Saturday to Tuesday, Aug.1-4: New York City, NY
Wednesday and Thursday, August 5-6: Boston, MA
Friday and Saturday, August 7-8: Chicago, IL
MEMBERS OF DELEGATION:
Dr. Juan Almendares is an internationally known Honduran medical doctor, human rights activist, environmental leader and alternative medicine practitioner. He has received recognition for his outstanding and courageous work with victims of torture in Honduras. He is the internationally chosen recipient of the 2001 Barbara Chester Award for his groundbreaking efforts with prisoners, victims of torture, the poor, and indigenous populations. A torture survivor himself, Dr. Almendares has been targeted by death squads on several occasions.
Abencio Fernández Pineda is the coordinator of the non-governmental organization Center for the Investigation and Defense of Human Rights in Honduras (CIPRODEH, by its Spanish initials) for the western region of Honduras. Mr. Pineda was previously an attorney for the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights (CODEH) and the Committee of the Relatives of Disappeared Detainees of Honduras (COFADEH).
Maria Luisa Jimenez, a former police officer in Honduras, denounced the widespread corruption in the police force and is now an activist for transparency in government and women’s rights. She is currently a candidate for Honduran Congress with the Democratic Union party (UD).
Dr. Luther Castillo. Dr. Castillo is a young Garifuna medical doctor and community organizer who directs the Luaga Hatuadi Waduheñu Foundation (“For the Health of our People” in Garifuna), dedicated to bringing vital health services to isolated indigenous coastal communities. After his 2005 graduation from the Latin American Medical School in Havana, Dr. Castillo returned to the Honduran coast, where he led the Foundation’s construction of Honduras’ first Garifuna Rural Hospital, now serving some 20,000 in the surrounding communities. The hospital opened in December 2007, a few months after Dr. Castillo was named “Honduran Doctor of the Year” by Rotary International’s Tegucigalpa chapter.
Gerardo Torres is an independent journalist in Honduras who is also an active member of Los Necios, a grass-roots organization that seeks to change the dominant socio-economic dynamics of Honduras.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Oscar Chacon- Director NALACC- (773) 991-9760
Patricia Montes- Centro Presente, Boston, MA- (617) 959- 3108
Mirtha Colon- New York- (781) 991- 2233
Isabel Vinent- Florida Immigrant Coalition- (786) 210-8287