March 31, 2014
(Toronto) Prominent Honduran human rights activist Bertha Oliva, general coordinator of the Committee of Relatives of the Disappeared and Detained in Honduras (COFADEH), will be speaking in Toronto, Six Nations, Ottawa and Montreal the week of April 7 to 11, 2014.
COFADEH is a leading Honduran human rights organization. It seeks justice for current human rights abuses and for “disappearances” by state security forces in the 1980s, and trains local human rights activists. Bertha Oliva has become an emblematic presence in Central American human rights movement and is one of the leading voices of resistance to state repression.
Bertha will share first-hand accounts of deteriorating human rights in Honduras, militarization of the Central American country and its political crisis since the controversial November 2013 elections. She will report on the aggressive privatization and extraction of natural resources, and how that contributes to social conflict.
Violence and corruption in Honduras have reached an all-time high: 32 journalists have been murdered since 2009. According to “Honduras: Journalism in the Shadow of Impunity,” a recent report by PEN Canada, PEN International, and the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law, much of this violence is carried out by the state itself and its corrupt police force. Transparency International cites Honduras as the most corrupt country in Central America and one of the most corrupt in the world.