Honduran Priest to Speak in Eugene

Visiting Honduran Jesuit priest Father Ismael Moreno Coto, known as Padre Melo, will speak about the violence and corruption in Honduras and Latin America at 7 pm Tuesday, April 2, at the Friends Meeting House, 2274 Onyx St. in Eugene.

The crisis in Honduras is rooted in the Central American wars of the 1980s, according to Lucy Edwards of Ashland, who will be accompanying Padre Melo. “During the Reagan administration, Honduras, under the influence of the CIA, became the primary base for Contras waging war against Nicaragua under its democratic Sandinista regime,” she says. “The U.S. also actively supported violent authoritarian regimes in neighboring El Salvador and Guatemala. A coup in 2009 brought on a new rash of violence.”

Padre Melo has been on the receiving end of death threats and intimidation as director of Radio Progreso serving northern Honduras. He also directs a social research and action center in the region (eric-rp.org/content). Edwards is an international human rights volunteer with the Honduras Accompaniment Project. She lived in Nicaragua with Witness for Peace for two years and is former news director for Jefferson Public Radio. Edwards can be contacted by email at westerndesk@yahoo.com

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