September 13, 2021
Honduran democracy & human rights defenders on trial
On September 13 and 14, Edwin Espinal and Raúl Álvarez will stand trial on trumped up charges stemming from protests against the 2017 elections that were violently and fraudulently stolen by the U.S. and Canadian-backed regime of President Juan Orlando Hernandez.
If found guilty (by the corrupted Honduran legal system, dominated by the Honduran regime and economic elites), Edwin and Raul may be sentenced to between 15 and 30 years in jail.
Edwin and Raúl are two of over 180 Hondurans who have been criminalized (ie, facing trumped up charges for protesting the violently stolen 2017 elections). During this same time period, many other Hondurans have been killed for political reasons by police, military and/or hired killers in service of the regime and economic elites.
Edwin and Raul already spent 19 months in jail, between January 2018 and August 2019, as political prisoners – after being illegally detained and jailed for their participation (along with hundreds of thousands of Hondurans) in protests against the stolen elections.
While in the “La Tolva” maximum-security prison, 2 hours from the capital city of Tegucigalpa, Raul and Edwin faced death threats, malnutrition and improper medical attention. Following their release, after 19 months of intense campaigning by led by Edwin’s wife, Karen Spring, by Karen’s mother Janet (and the Simcoe County Honduras Rights Monitor Committee), and by support groups and activists in the U.S. and Canada, both have been obliged to present themselves before a court every week. Their trial has been postponed several times.
Systematic repression, impunity and corruption
Since the U.S. and Canadian-backed military coup of June 28, 2009, ousted Honduras’ last democratically elected government, the Honduran government and State have been characterized by corruption, impunity and a complete lack of democratic oversight.
This includes the legal system and administration of justice, for the most part.
Without considerable international attention and pressure, there is little chance that Raul and Edwin can get a “fair trial”, facing charges that are manipulated and fraudulent to begin with!
Please follow Karen’s information feeds below.
Please write your politicians and media in the U.S. and Canada (the two countries that most have supported and empowered the illegitimate regime in power in Honduras) and demand:
- Drop the charges and prosecution of Edwin Espinal and Raúl Álvarez and all Hondurans who were criminalized in the context of the protests following the 2017 electoral crisis;
- At a bare minimum, act to ensure the trial starting on September 13 is fair, transparent, and made available to the public either through allowing international observers and the public into the courtroom or by live streaming the proceedings on the Judiciary’s Facebook and/or Twitter;
Tax-Deductible Donations (Canada & U.S.)
To support land and environmental defender groups and human rights and justice struggles in Honduras and Guatemala, and to provide emergency (COVID, hurricanes, political repression, etc.) relief funds, make check to "Rights Action" and mail to:
- U.S.: Box 50887, Washington DC, 20091-0887
- Canada: (Box 552) 351 Queen St. E, Toronto ON, M5A-1T8