March 5, 2019
Day #410: Honduran political prisoner Edwin Espinal
Update by Janet Spring, Edwin Espinal’s mother-in-law, as Canadian gov’t remains cozy to repressive Honduran regime, deemed most corrupt country in the Americas
14 months in maximum-security Honduran military jail for Edwin Espinal, an Elmvale, Ontario family member
Canadian MP Nuttall presents Petition in Parliament in support of Edwin’s immediate release liberation, as Canadian government remains cozy to corrupt Honduran regime for its ‘Lima Group’ support for US & Canadian-backed coup attempt in Venezuela
By Janet Spring, March 4, 2019
On Wednesday February 20, members of the Simcoe County Honduras Rights Monitor (SCHRM) and representatives from Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) attended the House of Commons Question Period for MP Alex Nuttall’s presentation of the SCHRM e-petition. This petition was signed by almost 1000 guarantors, bringing attention to the unjust arrest and incarceration of my son-in-law Edwin Espinal, and the violation of human rights throughout Honduras.
MP Nuttall rose to present the following statement pertaining to the e-petition in the short period allowed. He stated, “Mr. Speaker, it is certainly my honour today to present a petition on behalf of the residents in Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, specifically Elmvale, regarding the status of human rights in Honduras, as well as the treatment of Edwin Espinal, spouse of Karen Spring, of Elmvale, Ontario. The petitioners call on the government to act immediately.”
- The November 26, 2017, election in Honduras has been recognized as having many irregularities;
- The election was condemned by the Organization of American States, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the European Union Electoral Observation Missions, which reported voting irregularities, errors and systemic problems in the electoral process;
- The Juan Orlando Hernandez government responded with a massive crackdown and the abolition of human rights as Hondurans protested the election;
- The Hernandez government has denied all political prisoners due legal process;
- The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reported that Honduran security forces used excessive, lethal force and extra-judicial killings to control and disperse protests;
- Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, has called upon Honduran authorities to reinstate constitutional rights and guarantees, and uphold democratic principles, human rights and rule of law; and
- The United Nations and Amnesty Canada has called upon Honduran government to release and drop all trumped-up charges against Edwin Espinal.
We, the undersigned, Simcoe County Honduras Rights Monitor and citizens of Canada, call upon the House of Commons to:
- Stand by its stated position supporting human rights and rule of law in Honduras;
- Urgently intervene in the case of Edwin Espinal, spouse of Karen Spring of Elmvale, arrested January 19, 2018, on trumped-up charges in the wake of popular protests; and
- Immediately ensure that the Hernandez government release Espinal and four other political prisoners (Raul Alvarez, Jose Godinez, Edy Gonzalo, Gustavo Caceres) still held in inhumane maximum-security military prisons in Honduras, and drop all charges against 22 political prisoners detained (17 released, 5 remain in prison).
Despite repeated meetings with representatives from Global Affairs Canada, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, has not granted SCHRM a meeting to date. Furthermore, Freeland’s staff has assured us that the Minister would be discussing Edwin’s case through her association with the Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs during the Lima Group meetings, yet we have not heard a word.
It is appalling the Government of Canada is working closely with the Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maria Dolores Aguero and others throughout Latin America to organize a coup in Venezuela. Their association with the corrupt government of Juan Orlando Hernandez is proof that the statement made by PM Trudeau before the UN assembly -that “Canada stands for human rights in Canada and abroad”- is FALSE.
Canada is doing business with the Hernandez government that has one of the worst human rights violations and standards in the world, and which suppresses those like Edwin who speak against these human rights violations is unacceptable.
As Canadians, we have the right to call our government to task because this association on a higher level trickles down to affect all the people in Honduras, particularly Edwin in prison for speaking against corruption.
It is time the Canadian government demands Edwin and other political prisoners’ release and dropping of all charges.
To date Edwin Espinal and Raul Alvarez await trial while being held in La Tolva maximum security military prison since January 19, 2018.
On February 18, 2019, their lawyers presented motions to release them and drop all charges, or, at a bare minimum, to grant bail, and to move their case to the proper jurisdiction court. The 3-judge tribunal court ruled that Edwin and Raul’s case was being heard in the wrong court, a fact that we have been stating since their arrest. They ruled the case be sent to a lower court.]
We ask the community to continue to pressure their Members of Parliament, Minister Freeland, Prime Minister Trudeau, Honduran Ambassador to Canada – Sofia Cerrato Rodriguez, and other officials listed below to demand Edwin and Raul’s release and charges dropped.
Canada must END its association with Honduran corruption! It is an election year so please call out!
Please send your emails to:
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, alex.nuttall.A2@parl.gc.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
Tax-Deductible Donations (Canada & U.S.)
To support the work of our partner groups in Honduras, responding to the permanent human rights and repression crisis, including the political prisoners, make check payable 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