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Clinton in Honduras; Schakowsky and Moreno here

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky is among nine members of Congress calling on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to press human rights issues in her meeting with the new president of Honduras today.

Meanwhile Father Ismael Moreno, a Jesuit priest and social justice advocate in Honduras, will be visiting Chicago this weekend; a press conference is planned for tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. at Casa Michoacan, 1638 S. Blue Island.

Clinton announced Wednesday that U.S. aid to Honduras, which was suspended after last June’s coup, is being restored.  She is meeting today with the new president of Honduras, Porfirio Lobo, and calling on other Latin American nations to recognize the post-coup government.

“The Honduras crisis has been managed to a successful conclusion,” and “it was done without violence,” Clinton said the other day.

“It’s an outrageous thing to say,” writes longtime observer Mark Weisbrot at CEPR, “given the political killings, beatings, mass arrests, and torture that the coup government used in order to maintain power and repress the pro-democracy movement. The worst part is that they are still committing these crimes.”

The letter (pdf) signed by Schakowsky, Rep. John Conyers, and others, calls on Clinton to press for a halt to “ongoing violations of human rights” and an “escalating pattern of violations.”

It cites the killing of a number of trade union and opposition activists in recent weeks and expresses alarm over a blanket amnesty for crimes committed in the coup issued by Lobo, who was elected in November in an election held under martial law.

Moreno is director of the Jesuit Social Analysis Center in El Progresso, Honduras.  He is also director of Radio Progreso, a fifty-year-old radio station that is part of the Catholic Network, which is noted for its independent journalism.  Moreno has received numerous death threats since the coup, and the station was raided by the military and shut down termporarily.

Moreno’s Saturday morning press conference is sponsored by La Voz de los de Abajo, a local Honduran solidarity group, and the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities.

He will speak on the human rights situation and the opposition movement in Honduras later on Saturday, March 6, at 7 p.m. at Decima Musa, 1901 S. Loomis.

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Category: human rights, international


One Response

  1. […] and here. Several members of Congress, including Jan Schakowsky (who I greatly admire) have sent a third letter to Secretary Clinton asking her to speak to the government of President Lobo and urge him to stop the government and […]

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