CRLN has worked with other organizations on a workshop for Ecumenical Advocacy Days called Crisis and Hope: Activists Organizing for Rights in Guatemala and Honduras for Wednesday April 27 from 10:00 – 10:45 am CDT
In Guatemala, brave activists, judges, and prosecutors confront a
rapidly-closing space to defend rights and the rule of law. They are being jailed, threatened, and
forced into exile by corrupt actors in government, security forces, and the private sector. In
Honduras, after a dozen years in which corrupt and abusive governments committed grave abuses and
restricted space for civil society to organize, a newly-elected government working with social
movements offers hope. Corruption and human rights abuses are major factors driving massive
migration from these countries.
This workshop will teach the audience about the immediate human rights
situation in Guatemala and Honduras, featuring leading activists from each country. It will also
answer the question, What is the U.S. role and how can you encourage our government to support,
rather than undermine, the activists working for positive change?
Speakers: Claudia Samayoa from the Guatemalan human rights group UDEFEGUA (confirmed) and Miriam
Miranda or other Afro/indigenous leader from Honduran Garifuna organization OFRANEH (to be
confirmed); Lisa Haugaard, Latin America Working Group (confirmed);
Moderator, Giovana Oaxaca, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (confirmed).
Time: Wednesday, April 27 10:00-10:45 CDT
Sponsored by: Latin America Working Group, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Chicago
Religious Leadership Network on Latin America, Mennonite Central Committee U.S.
Interpreter: Kathy Ogle (confirmed). Language: Spanish to English, English to Spanish for
Monitor: Yadira Sánchez-Esparza (confirmed)
Claudia Virginia Samayoa is human rights defender and a lay leader committed to justice in
Guatemala. She is the founder and president of the Unidad de Protección a Defensoras y Defensores
de Derechos Humanos – Guatemala (UDEFEGUA, the Unit for the Protection for Human Rights Defenders –
Guatemala) and Vice President of the Executive Committee of the World Organization against Torture
(OMCT). She is widely considered as an expert on human rights in Guatemala and the Central American
region, having received various international awards for her work. She spends most of her time
researching and supporting human rights defenders and organizations in Latin American by
strengthening their skills for self-protection. She is an active member of the Archdiocesan Commission of The Social Ministry of the Archdiocese of Santiago de Guatemala. She has completed postgraduate work in public policy and theology, as well as authored several books.