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November 5, 2009

Restoring Human Rights and Democracy in Honduras: An evening with Bertha Oliva and Jessica Sanchez at Busboys and Poets

Bertha Oliva and Jessica Sanche discussed the dramatic human rights abuses that have taken place in Honduras under the coup regime, the broad-based movement of resistance to the June 28 coup, and the implications of the tentative settlement reached on October 29.  CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot provided an introduction.

About the speakers:
Bertha Oliva's husband, professor Thomas Nativí was "disappeared" in 1981, during the period when the death squads were active under Honduras' military dictatorship.  She founded the Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH) together with other women who lost their loved ones, in order to seek justice and compensation for the families of the hundreds of dissidents that were "disappeared" between 1979 and 1989.  Bertha has since become an emblematic presence in the Central American human rights movement and today is one of the leading voices of the resistance to the coup that ousted the elected president of Honduras on June 28th.   Bertha will be visiting Washington to give a hearing at the Inter American Commission on Human Rights and to present her and to discuss the human rights situation in Honduras with U.S. administration officials and policy makers.

Jessica Mariela Sanchez
, Honduran women's rights advocate and journalist, is in Washington, DC representing the National Alliance of Honduran Feminists in Resistance. She served as Director of the Gender and Civil Society Unit in the Access to Justice Project of the Honduran Supreme Court for four years, founded the Honduran network Women of Comitzahual, and currently undertakes legal research for UNIFEM, UNDP and the ILO. In August of this year, Ms Sanchez joined an international women's rights fact-finding mission examining the impact of the coup on women's rights, and now participates in the ongoing Feminist Transformation Watch - a joint effort between the Honduran feminists the Mesoamerican Petateras, JASS and Radio Feminista - spotlighting women's perspectives on the crisis.