Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Honduran Civil Society Leaders Visit Chicago and other US Cities with U.S. based immigrant leaders to advocate for the restoration of the constitutional government and an end to the escalating human rights violations.

In Chicago
Friday, August 7th: 6:30 - 9:30pm
Depaul University
Schmidt Academic Center (2320 N. Kenmore Avenue)
Room 154
(translation will be provided)

Saturday, August 8th: 7:00pm-10pm
Casa Michoacan
1638 South Blue Island Ave (Pilsen)

There will be a press conference on Friday, 10:30-11:30 am at Casa Michoacan.

Biographical information for the delegation follows:
One month after the interruption of constitutional order in Honduras through a military coup d’état 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. U.S. based Latino immigrant leaders will also join this delegation. The tour began 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, on August 7-8, Chicago.

The delegation from Honduras consists of well known leaders from non-governmental, human rights and community organizations.

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 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 or to schedule an event or interview.

Contact: lavozchicago@yahoo.com

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