Advocating for Human Rights in a Global Context
On the subject of advocacy and communication, I am co-leading an educational delegation to Honduras in March 2013 to draw awareness to the Canadian and U.S. role in the small, Central American country. Dr. Corbett asked me to post the details of the trip.
Photo caption: A human rights delegation protests with the Honduran social movement outside of largest U.S. military base “Palmerola” in Central America denouncing North American intervention in Honduras and militarization. June 28, 2011, Comayagua, Honduras.
EDUCATIONAL DELEGATION TO HONDURAS: March 16-23
DESCRIPTION: Since the June 28, 2009 military coup against the government of President Zelaya, Rights Action – along with other North American organizations – has been working hard to support the courageous Honduran people’s pro-democracy movement.
Despite serious, on-going repression being committed by the regime, the Honduran people – men and women, young and old, teachers, indigenous people, LGBT people, campesino (small farmers), business owners, students – continue to organize and work peacefully for human rights and justice, for a return to democracy and the rule of law, and for a just and fair society and country.
One impediment to the return of democracy is that the governments of Canada and the United States along with North American investors and companies (mining, tourism, bananas, maquiladora sweat-shops, African palm and sugar cane, etc.) are doing business with, empowering and ‘legitimizing’ the illegitimate regime.
During this educational delegation, participants will learn about: Honduran and Central American history; the context that led to the 2009 military coup; the role of Canadian and American governments and companies in legitimizing and benefiting from the military coup; and about the courage and spirit of Honduras’ peaceful pro-democracy movement.
THE PLAN: Fly into the Toncontin airport in the city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras on Saturday, March 16. Delegates will depart from Tegucigalpa on Saturday, March 23. Participants will be met at the airport.
Over the course of 6 full days in Honduras, participants will meet with Hondurans and some North Americans involved in the pro-democracy struggle and working for human rights and the environment. The group will travel (by rented van) to and spend nights in rural communities seeking justice for environmental and health harms caused by North American mining companies; to the north coast and visit indigenous Garifuna communities resisting forced eviction from their ancestral lands to make way for global tourism businesses and the production of African palm and sugar cane ‘for export’; meet with people working for the rights of sweat-shop (maquiladora) workers; and more. Closer to the actual dates, Rights Action will set out a detailed 6-day itinerary.
TYPE OF PARTICIPANT: This trip is for people from all walks of life (students, professors and educators, media, foundations, etc.) who are concerned about: global exploitation and poverty; military interventions and repression; the global “development” model and environmental destruction; and, about courageous people and their courageous work and struggles for community-controlled development, protection of the environment, human rights and justice, and for democracy.
Grahame Russell: is a non-practising lawyer, adjunct professor at the University of Northern British Colombia, author, and, since 1995, co-director of Rights Action. Rights Action funds community-controlled development, environmental defense and human rights projects in Guatemala and Honduras, as well as Chiapas, El Salvador and Oaxaca; and carries out education and activism work in the USA and Canada related to global human rights, environmental and development issues.
Karen Spring: A Canadian human rights and anti-mining activist that has worked in Honduras since 2008. She moved to Tegucigalpa to live and work with Rights Action shortly after the military coup from July 2009 to August 2011. Before Honduras, Karen lived in Guatemala for 1.5 years doing human rights accompaniment and working with grassroots struggles that Rights Action continues to support. Karen now travels back and forth between Honduras-Vancouver while she complete a Masters in Public Health at Simon Fraser University.
COST: $750 – This covers: 7 nights of hotel; 3 meals a day for 6 days (on some days, there will only be 2 meals covered); transportation in-country; trip organization, guiding, translation; honorariums for some people and communities we meet with, etc. Participants pay for their own travel to and from Honduras.
RISK: Grahame and Karen will have discussions with interested persons about the possible risks involved with this delegation before people decide to join or not. Since 1995, with Rights Action, Grahame has planned and led over 50 such delegations to Honduras, Guatemala, Chiapas and Oaxaca, and never had any serious problems.
For more information, contact Grahame Russell, firstname.lastname@example.org