Central American Studies

Letter denouncing the murder of Radio Progreso worker in Honduras

April 17, 2014

The Central American Research and Policy Institute (CARPI) at California State University, Northridge, and affiliated faculty, intellectuals, academic leaders, and supporters whose signatures appear below, strongly condemn the assassination of Mr. Carlos Hilario Mejía Orellana, marketing and sales director of Radio Progreso, and member of the Reflection, Investigation and Communication Team (ERIC for its initials in Spanish) of the Company of Jesus, the Jesuit order in Honduras. Mr. Mejía Orellana was 35 years old when he was stabbed in the thorax on the night of April 11, 2014 at his home in El Progreso Yoro, Honduras.

The Inter American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) in San José, Costa Rica had identified Mr. Mejía Orellana as a possible target due to threats that he and the entire team of Radio Progreso had received. As a result, the CIDH had demanded precautionary measures on the part of the Honduran State for the protection of the integrity and the life of Mr. Mejía Orellana since 2009. If the honorable government of Honduras had taken proper actions to protect Mr. Mejia Orellana's life, he would be among us today. Regrettably, his life was cut short.

Therefore, we support Radio Progreso's demand for an effective and efficient investigation to promptly clarify the assassination of Mr. Carlos Hilario Mejía Orellana. Finding the intellectual and material authors of this crime will not only strengthen the judicial system in Honduras, but most importantly, it will dignify Mr. Mejía Orellana's life and legacy, and it will send a strong message to the enemies of life in Honduras.

We are very concerned for the life and safety of all the workers of Radio Progreso because most of them have been victims of threats and have precautionary measurements issued by the CIDH on their behalf. Since the June 28, 2009 coup d'état Honduras has experienced increasing levels of violence. Currently, its homicide rates are among the highest in the world according to the United Nations. Journalists, human rights activist, indigenous groups, African descendants, teachers, lawyers, artists and LGBTQ members have been targets of persecution and assassination due to their civil engagement. In the 21st century freedom of information, human rights, and civic participation are imperative for a healthy democracy in Honduras and the world.

Consequently, we urge the honorable government of Honduras to act promptly to apply justice and protect the life of all the workers of Radio Progreso.

  1. Freya Rojo, Director, Central American Research and Policy Institute (CARPI), California State University, Northridge
  2. Douglas Carranza Mena, Director and Professor, Central American Studies Program, California State University, Northridge, and member, Board of Directors, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles
  3. Beatriz Cortez, Professor, Central American Studies, California State University, Northridge, and member, Board of Directors, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles
  4. David Pedersen, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of California, San Diego
  5. Uriel Quesada, Director, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Loyola University, New Orleans
  6. Jeffrey Browitt, Professor, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
  7. Evelyn Galindo-Doucette, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  8. José Aníbal Meza, S.J., Externado de San José, San Salvador
  9. Timothy Wadkins, Canisius College, Buffalo, New York
  10. Axel Montepeque, California State University, Northridge
  11. Kency Cornejo, Duke University
  12. Brinton Lykes, Associate Director, Center for Human Rights and Internationa lJustice, Boston College
  13. David Hollenbach, S.J., Director, Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Boston College
  14. Richard L. Wood, University of New Mexico
  15. Celia Simonds, California State University, Northridge
  16. Van Gosse, Department of History, Franklin & Marshall College
  17. Nelson Portillo, State University of New York (SUNY), Brockport, New York
  18. Yansi Y. Pérez, Carleton College, Minnesota
  19. Martín Álvarez Alberto, Instituto Mora, Ciudad de México
  20. Fundación de Estudios para la Aplicación del Derecho (FESPAD)
  21. Equipo Regional de Monitoreo y Análisis de Derechos Humanos en Centroamérica
  22. Kevin A. Ferreira, Boston College
  23. Fernando Soto Tock, Colectivo No'j, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
  24. Adrienne Pine, Department of Anthropology, American University
  25. Beth Baker-Cristales, Professor, Department of Anthropology, California State Univeristy, Los Angeles
  26. Gloria Melara, California State University, Northridge
  27. Leisy J. Abrego, Assistant Professor, Chicana and Chicano Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
  28. Carlos Castellanos, México
  29. Leonardo Lorca, Nuestra Voz, KRFK 90.7fm, Los Ángeles
  30. Ruben Tapia, Enfoque Latino, KPFK 90.7fm, Los Ángeles
  31. Felix Aguilar, MD, Physicians for Social Responsibility
  32. Benedicte Bull, Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM), University of Oslo
  33. Cecilia Gosso, Università degli Studi di Torino, Italia
  34. Hannes Warnecke, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Universität Leipzig, Germany
  35. Ralph Sprenkels, Utrecht University
  36. Jenny Pearce, Professor of Latin American Politics and Director, International Centre for Participation Studies (ICPS), Peace Studies, University of Bradford, UK
  37. Mark Anner, Center for Global Workers' Rights, Penn State University
  38. Carlos Morfín Otero, S.J., México
  39. Susan Fitzpatrick-Behrens, California State University, Northridge
  40. Alexandra Ortiz Wallner, Instituto de Estudios Latinoamericanos, Universidad Libre de Berlín, Alemania
  41. José Miguel Cruz, Florida International University
  42. Rosemary Robleto Flores, colaboradora laica de la Compañía de Jesús, Chiriquí, Panamá
  43. Miranda Cady Hallett, Otterbein University, Ohio
  44. Juan José Ramírez Valladares, Universidad Internacional para el Desarrollo Sostenible, UNIDES, Managua, Nicaragua
  45. Héctor Lindo, Fordham University
  46. Heider Tun, University of Minnesota
  47. Kalina Brabeck, Associate Professor & Chair, Department of Counseling, Educational Leadership & School Psychology, Rhode Island College
  48. David Gandolfo, Furman University
  49. Elizabeth Alvarez, Northwood Neighbourhood Services, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  50. Molly Todd, Montana State University
  51. Robin Maria DeLugan, University of California, Merced
  52. Ellen Moodie, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  53. Jorge E. Cuéllar, Yale University
  54. William Stanley, University of New Mexico
  55. Ricardo Roque Baldovinos, Universidad Centroamericana "José Simeón Cañas", San Salvador
  56. Elana Zilberg, University of California, San Diego
  57. Dana Frank, Professor of History, University of California, Santa Cruz
  58. Elizabeth Pérez Márquez, Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS) sede Occidente, Guadajalara, México
  59. Carlos Vaquerano, Executive Director, Salvadoran American Leadership and Education Fund (SALEF), Los Angeles
  60. José Artiga, Director Ejecutivo, SHARE Foundation
  61. Manuela Camus Bergareche, Profesora investigadora en el Centro de Estudios de Género, Universidad de Guadalajara
  62. Santiago Bastos, CIESAS Occidente, México
  63. Thomas Ward, Department of Anthropology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
  64. Kimberly Gauderman, Associate Professor, History, University of New Mexico
  65. Werner Mackenbach, Cátedra Wilhelm y Alexander von Humboldt en Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de Costa Rica
  66. Ana Patricia Rodríguez, University of Maryland, College Park
  67. Mary Addis, Associate Professor of Spanish, and Chair, Program in Comparative Literature, The College of Wooster
  68. Valeria Grinberg Pla, Associate Professor of Latin American Literature and Cultural Studies, Department of Romance and Classical Studies, Bowling Green State University
  69. Cynthia McClintock, George Washington University
  70. Elisabeth Jean Wood, Yale University
  71. Ricardo Moreno, Asociación Simón Bolívar, Los Ángeles
  72. Erik Ching, Professor, History Department, Furman University
  73. José Luis Benavides, Journalism Department, California State University, Northridge
  74. Yajaira M. Padilla, The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
  75. Cecilia Menjívar, Arizona State University
  76. Mónica Toussaint, Instituto Mora, México
  77. Jeffrey L. Gould, Rudy Professor of History, Indiana University
  78. Richard J. File-Muriel, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of New Mexico
  79. Rose Spalding, DePaul University
  80. Karina Zelaya, Writing Coordinator, Central American Studies Program, California State University, Northridge
  81. Leonel Delgado Aburto, Profesor Asistente, Centro de Estudios Culturales Latinoamericanos, Universidad de Chile
  82. John McDargh, Associate Professor, Department of Theology, Boston College
  83. Jenny Donaire, California State University, Northridge
  84. Nancy Pérez, Arizona State University
  85. Jeannette Aguilar, Instituto Universitario de Opinión Pública, Universidad Centroamericana "José Simeón Cañas", El Salvador
  86. René Olate, The Ohio State University
  87. Leigh Binford, College of Staten Island and Graduate Center, City University of New York
  88. Ana Patricia Fumero Vargas, Profesora e investigadora, Cátedra de Historia de la Cultura, Escuela de Estudios Generales, Centro de Investigación en Identidad y Cultura Latinoamericana (CIICLA), Universidad de Costa Rica
  89. Paul Mitchell, School of Theology and Ministry, Boston College
  90. Odilia Dolores Marroquín Cornejo, Ministerio de Hacienda, El Salvador
  91. Susan Whittaker Mullins, Mediator, Facilitator, Conflict Coach, Los Angeles
  92. Fernando de Necochea, member, Board of Directors, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles
  93. Linda J. Craft, North Park University, Chicago, Illinois
  94. Miguel Ángel Herrera C., Universidad de Costa Rica
  95. Martha Arévalo, Executive Director, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles
  96. Angela Sanbrano, president, Board of Directors, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles
  97. Periodistas de a pie, México
  98. Kristina Pirker, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
  99. Jody Williams, Nobel Prize Laureate, Chair, Nobel Women's Initiative
  100. Henrik Rønsbo, Director of Operations, Prevention of Urban Violence, Danish Institute Against Torture, DIGNITY, Denmark
  101. Eileen Truax, periodista freelance, directora de medios en español de la Asociación Nacional de Periodistas Hispanos, Los Ángeles (NAHJ-LA)
  102. Diego Sedano, documentalista, Malaespina Producciones
  103. Alejandro Maciel, Editor, Hoy Los Ángeles, Los Ángeles, California
  104. Carmen Elena Villacorta, Candidata a Doctora en Estudios Latinoamericanos, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
  105. Eileen McDargh, CEO, The Resiliency Group, California
  106. Gabriel Lerner, HispanicLA, Los Angeles Cultural Survival
  107. Ava Berinstein
  108. Geoff Thale, Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)
  109. Hugo Lucero, Consultor de "Cultural Competency" en el Área de la Bahía, California
  110. Raúl E. Godínez, Law Office of Raúl E. Godínez
  111. Víctor Narro, UCLA Labor Center, and member, Board of Directors, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles
  112. Jonathan B. Martínez, California State University, Northridge
  113. Linton Joaquin, member, Board of Directors, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles
  114. Jon Horne Carter, Department of Anthropology, Criminology, and Sociology, Le Moyne College, Syracuse, New York
  115. Brandt Peterson, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Michigan State University
  116. Omar Corletto, Confederación Centroamericana "COFECA," and member, Board of Directors, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles
  117. Agustín Durán, editor de noticias locales, Hoy, Los Ángeles
  118. Marjorie Bray, Latin American Studies, California State University, Los Angeles
  119. Donald Bray, Political Sciences, California State University, Los Angeles
  120. Diane M. Nelson, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
  121. Linda Álvarez, Central American Studies Program, California State University, Northridge
  122. Daniel Sharp, Legal Director, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles
  123. Jorge Rivera, member, Board of Directors, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles

Spanish version [PDF]