Honduran Jesuit to Speak at Holy Cross on Human Rights Abuses

September 27th, 2013 by Danielle Kane

Rev. Ismael Moreno Coto, S.J., a human rights activist in Honduras, will give a lecture titled “The Price of Truth in Honduras: Human Rights Since the Coup” on Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Rehm Library, Smith Hall at the College of the Holy Cross. The event is free and open to the public.

Since 2009, when Honduras’ President Manuel Zelaya was removed from his position and exiled in a coup d’etat, Hondurans have suffered increased violence and human rights abuses. Fr. Moreno, a Jesuit priest popularly known as Padre Melo, has been an outspoken critic of the coup and defender of human rights. His talk at Holy Cross will address the human rights abuses occurring throughout Honduran society and will offer an in-depth analysis of the continuing violence, impunity, and injustices there, and illuminate the various impacts of the drug war.

Padre Melo is director of Radio Progreso, a Christian-based radio station that is a national leader in investigative reporting, and a director of the Center for Reflection, Research, and Communication, a think tank that conducts research and reports on societal trends and public opinion in Honduras. Radio Progreso, along with many Honduran media organizations, was shut down by the new government at the time of the coup, and has been subject to military occupations since. In efforts to restrict the free flow of information, at least 16 journalists have been killed in Honduras since January 2010, and many others — including Padre Melo — have been victims of death threats or violence. Honduras maintains the title of ‘Murder Capital of the World.’

The lecture is co-sponsored by the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture, the Department of Religious Studies, and Latin American and Latino Studies at Holy Cross. Learn more and watch lectures online at www.holycross.edu/mcfarlandcenter.

About the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture:

Established in 2001 and housed in Smith Hall, the McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture provides resources for faculty and course development, sponsors conferences and college-wide teaching events, hosts visiting fellows, and coordinates a number of campus lecture series. Rooted in the College’s commitment to invite conversation about basic human questions, the Center welcomes persons of all faiths and seeks to foster dialogue that acknowledges and respects differences, providing a forum for intellectual exchange that is interreligious, interdisciplinary, intercultural, and international in scope.  The Center also brings members of the Holy Cross community into conversation with the Greater Worcester community, the academic community, and the wider world to examine the role of faith and inquiry in higher education and in the larger culture.

For additional information, please contact Bridget Cass at 508-793-2419.

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