A top-level delegation of international Christian leaders, representing the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches USA, has visited Washington DC to advocate for the cessation of widespread human rights violations in Honduras.
The country has been racked with unrest and conflict following the coup d’état on 28 June 2009.
The six-person delegation, including American, European, Honduran, and Argentinean leaders, met with the General Secretary of the Organization of American States and State Department officials to urge firmer and more decisive action for the restoration of democracy and to ensure full compliance with rule of law and respect for fundamental human rights in Honduras.
They say that the suffering and insecurity of the people has reached crisis proportion and long delays in resolving the situation following the June 2009 coup are unacceptable.
The delegation’s high-level meetings in the US capital follow two other delegations to Honduras this summer: the World Council of Churches 'Living Letters' group met with church and civil society groups in early August and the Latin American Council of Churches led a pastoral visit in late September.
Both visits strongly urged the return of President Manuel Zelaya in order to hold free and legal elections within the country’s constitutional framework.
Noemi Madrid de Espinoza, a member of the delegation who also participated in the 'Living Letters' visit to Honduras, reiterated the call for the end of “repression, arrests, forced disappearances and violence directed against the population and especially against women.”
The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches has also previously written to the General Secretary of the Organization of American States on behalf of the Churches to advocate for the re-establishment of constitutional order and an end to human rights abuses in Honduras.
WCC Representative to the UN, Chris Ferguson, notes that “churches in Honduras feel called to accompany the people in creating dialogue and promoting a message of healing and reconciliation. The repression and violations of human rights must stop and new bridges must be built to create a society which is based on justice and respect for all."