Jesuits Denounce Government Abuses in Honduras

July 1, 2019 — The Jesuits in Honduras are denouncing the Honduran government’s repression of protests over the past two months. The protests have been triggered by the government’s privatization initiatives. Honduran security forces have killed and wounded teachers, students, health care workers and other Honduran citizens demonstrating to protect the health and education systems.

A woman at an April 30, 2019, protest in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. (CNS photo/Jorge Cabrera, Reuters)

“We deplore the social and political crisis experienced by the Honduran population as a result of the historic violation of fundamental rights and the deterioration of the rule of law, which are a result of the erratic and corrupt practices of politicians and decision-makers in the public administration,”  the Jesuits wrote in a statement on behalf of all their apostolic works in the country.

Tear gas and bullets have been used against protestors, resulting in multiple injuries and several deaths, including that of 17-year-old Eblin Noel Corea Maradiaga who was killed by a bullet during a June 19 protest.

The Canadian ambassador to Honduras has lodged a protest regarding the Honduran military’s misuse of vehicles donated by the Canadian government to improve health services to instead transport soldiers.  

The Jesuits state that they stand in solidarity with victims of repression by the security forces and denounce smear campaigns and other attempts by the government to criminalize journalists and human rights advocates, such as Fr. Ismael Moreno, SJ, (known as Padre Melo).

The efforts to disparage Fr. Moreno are not new. In December 2017, a flyer circulated on Honduran social media, falsely accusing him and eight other regional leaders of inciting violence and involvement in narcotics trafficking. Earlier that year, Fr. Moreno was falsely accused by a Honduran university president of promoting anarchy and generating violence among the school’s students. In both cases, the Jesuits and other church and human rights leaders defended Fr. Moreno’s work and that of the two ministries he directs, the Equipo de Reflexion, Investigación y Comunicación de la Compañía de Jesús en Honduras (ERIC) and Radio Progreso.

Fr. Ismael Moreno, SJ (CNS photo/Rhina Guidos)

The Jesuits in Canada and the United States are standing with their brothers in Honduras. Fr. Erik Oland, SJ, provincial of the Jesuits of Canada, said, "The very foundations of what it means to be Catholic in support of the poorest of the poor and the work of those who would seek to minister to them is in jeopardy.”

The Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States’ Office of Justice and Ecology signed onto a statement with other non-governmental organizations calling on the Honduran government to order security forces to “end immediately excessive use of force against protesters” and “withdraw military and military police from responding to any protest,” as well as ensure that government officials stop threats against human rights defenders and journalists.

The Jesuits of Honduras have adopted the call of the Honduran bishops to work “in accordance with the dignity of the human person and seeking the common good.” Their statement concluded that “change for the better is possible” and calls for a commitment to “achieve it in solidarity.” [Sources: ISNTiempo]

Read the full statement from the Jesuits in Honduras. (original statement in Spanish)

Read the full statement that the Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology signed on to.





Recent News

May 11, 2020 — What was Fr. Nicolás' impact on Canadian Jesuits and the Jesuit Province of Canada? What contributions did he offer to Jesuits around the world? We present here the testimonies of four Jesuits from Canada and an international one.

May 25, 2020 – In two of the more memorable and elegantly simple ceremonies in recent history, Terrence Prendergast, SJ, Archbishop of Ottawa-Cornwall, ordained 5 deacons and Kevin Kelly, SJ (CAN), to the priesthood.

Father Mike Murray died on 18 May, 2020 at the Ajax Pickering Hospital. He was in his 83rd year and had been a Jesuit for 63 years. He served as the first director of Anishinabe Spiritual Centre. In 2010, was appointed as President of Loyola High School in Montreal.

Father Charlie Sitter died peacefully on May 9 at René Goupil House in Pickering, ON. He was in his 94th years and was a Jesuit for 75 years. He had a passion for books and art and thus, he would serve his various communities as house librarian and artistic decorator.

FX Johnson died on 3 May at René Goupil House, Pickering. He was 93 years old and in his 68th year as a Jesuit. In 1969, he began his long career as a parish priest, hospital chaplain, and pastoral worker and spent a lot of his Jesuit life on the move from one pastoral assignment to another.

Fr. Norm Dodge died peacefully in the Lord, surrounded by fellow Jesuits, on May 2 at Rene Goupil House, Pickering. He was 92 years old and was a Jesuit for 67 years. He was well suited to pastoral care ministry, always with a cheerful disposition, patient and a good listener.

May 11, 2020 — The Jesuits of Canada have made the decision to temporarily close René Goupil House, the Jesuit infirmary community in Ontario, and to transfer most residents to two facilities with specialized COVID-19 care wings.

view all news

Search news

Publications

CJI Mission News

CJI Mission News (Winter 2020)

Canadian Jesuits



Loyola House / Ignatius Jesuit Centre
Built in 1964, Loyola House in Guelph, ON has welcomed over 60,000 people of all faiths to deepen ...