Congressional Briefing on Nov 5. with Bertha Oliva of Honduras

Honduras: Briefing with COFADEH leader Bertha Oliva, General Coordinator of COFADEH, Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras and  Jessica Mariela Sanchez of Honduran Feminists in Resistance
Thursday, November 5, 2009  11 AM  Cannon 210

Dear Colleague:

We hope you and your staff will be able to attend a briefing with a remarkable human rights activist from Honduras, Bertha Oliva.

Bertha Oliva is the General Coordinator of the Committee of Realtives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH). Bertha’s husband, professor Thomas Nativí was "disappeared" in 1981, during the period when the death squads were active under Honduras’ military dictatorship. She founded COFADEH together with other women who lost their loved ones, in order to keep alive the memory of the hundreds of dissidents that were "disappeared" between 1979 and 1989 and seek justice and compensation for their families. Among other achievements, her organization succeeded in obtaining a condemnation of Honduras by the Inter American Court for Human Rights, the first such ruling against a state in the institution’s history.

COFADEH has been keeping careful track of the massive rights violations that have taken place under the coup regime that took power in Honduras on June 28, 2009 and has just finished a detailed report on the current human rights situation.

Also joining Bertha will be Jessica Mariela Sanchez, Honduran women’s rights advocate and journalist, representing the national alliance of Honduran Feminists in Resistance. She served as Director of the Gender and Civil Society Unit in the Access to Justice Project of the Honduran Supreme Court for four years, founded the Honduran network Women of Comitzahual, and currently undertakes legal research for UNIFEM, UNDP and the ILO. In August of this year, Ms Sanchez joined an international women’s rights fact-finding mission examining the impact of the coup on women’s rights.

Regardless of how the deal announced to restore a semblance of constitutional order to Honduras actually develops, human rights issues will be important and unavoidable in a post-coup Honduras.

We hope you will be able to attend, and if you have any questions, please contact Daniel Brito at x. 5.2435 or via email.


Raúl M. Grijalva
Member of Congress