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14 months of imprisonment for Edwin Espinal, Elmvale family member

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In Council Watch
Mar 7th, 2019
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Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in friendly discussion with Honduras Foreign Affairs Minister Maria Dolores Agüero.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in friendly discussion with Honduras Foreign Affairs Minister Maria Dolores Agüero, at the Lima Group meeting they hosted in Ottawa.

Canadian government cozies up to corrupt Honduran regime through Lima Group

 By Janet Spring Springwater News

On Wednesday February 20, members of the Simcoe County Honduras Rights Monitor and representatives from CCIC (Canadian Council for International Cooperation) attended the Parliamentary House of Commons Question Period and afterwards, MP Alex Nuttall’s presentation of the SCHRM e-petition. This petition was signed by almost 1000 guarantors, bringing attention to the unjust arrest and incarceration of my son-in-law Edwin Espinal, and the violation of human rights throughout the country.

MP Nuttall rose to present the following statement pertaining to the e-petition in the short period allowed. He stated, “Mr. Speaker, it is certainly my honour today to present a petition on behalf of the residents in Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, specifically Elmvale, regarding the status of human rights in Honduras, as well as the treatment of Edwin Espinal, spouse of Karen Spring, of Elmvale, Ontario. The petitioners call on the government to act immediately.”

Text of petition

Despite repeated meetings with representatives from Global Affairs Canada, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, has not granted SCHRM a meeting to date. Furthermore, Freeland’s staff has assured us that the Minister would be discussing Edwin’s case through her association with the Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs during the Lima Group meetings, yet we have not heard a word.

It is appalling the Government of Canada is working closely with the Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maria Dolores Aguero and others throughout Latin America to support a US attempt to organize a coup in Venezuela. Their association with this representative from the corrupt government of Juan Orlando Hernandez is proof that the statement made by PM Trudeau before the UN assembly that “Canada stands for human rights in Canada and abroad” is FALSE.

Canada doing business with the Hernandez government that has one of the worst human rights violations and standards in the world, and which suppresses those like Edwin who speak against these human rights violations is unacceptable. As Canadians, we have the right to call this government to task because this association on a higher level trickles down to affect all the people in Honduras, particularly Edwin in prison for speaking against corruption. It is time the Canadian government demands Edwin and other political prisoners’ release and dropping of all charges.

To date Edwin Espinal and Raul Alvarez await trial while being held in La Tolva Prison for almost 14 months. On February 18, 2019, their lawyers presented motions to release them and drop all charges, bare minimum to grant bail, and to move their case to the proper jurisdiction court. The 3-judge tribunal court ruled that Edwin and Raul’s case was indeed in the wrong jurisdiction court, a fact that we have been stating since their arrest. They ruled the case be sent to a lower court. Our community, Canadians elsewhere, and international support have contributed to this small victory. The Honduran government is responding to ours and other pressure, forcing them to appear to be following due process.

We ask the community to continue to pressure their Members of Parliament, Minister Freeland, Prime Minister Trudeau, Honduran Ambassador to Canada –  Sofia Cerrato Rodriguez, and other officials listed below to demand Edwin and Raul’s release and charges dropped. Canada must STOP this association with corruption! It is an election year so please call out!

For further information, visit simcoecountyhondurasrightsmonitor.wordpress.com.

Please send emails to:

pm@pm.gc.ca,chrystia.freeland@international.gc.ca,  james.hill@international.gc.ca,

ambassador@emabassyhonduras.hn,  scheer@parl.gc.ca,   alex.nuttall.A2@parl.gc.ca,

bruce.stanton@parl.gc.ca

 See also

Springwater calls on federal government to act on Espinal

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