Honduran Jesuit priest Ismael Moreno Coto, known as Padre Melo, who has been threatened with death for his role in demanding improved civil rights in his country, will speak at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 4, at Southern Oregon University.
The talk, titled, "Life and Death in Honduras: Political Violence, the U.S. Drug War and the Roots of Migration," will be in the Meese Room of the Hannon Library.
Coto is director of Radio Progreso, a radio network that covers northern Honduras and the violence that has turned the country into the murder capital of the world. Much of the violence is linked to drugs. Thirty journalists have been among the hundreds assassinated in Honduras since a 2009 coup d'état.
Ashland resident Lucy Edwards also will speak. She has assisted in human rights work in Honduras since 2010 and has accompanied Coto in his work.
Coto worked on civil rights in El Salvador after eight colleagues and friends were murdered in 1989 by Salvadoran soldiers at the Jesuit residence on the campus of the University of Central America in San Salvador.
Edwards is an international human rights volunteer with PROAH, the Honduras Accompaniment Project. She lived in Nicaragua with Witness for Peace from 1985-87, and is on the national board of Witness for Peace. She is a former news director at Jefferson Public Radio.
Coto's visit is sponsored by Ashland Congregational United Church of Christ and co-sponsored by SOU's United Nations Club and the Southern Oregon Chapter of Amnesty International.