Afro-Indigenous Hondurans in Resistance: U.S. Drug War, Violent Displacement and Migration


Alfredo López

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Activist and writer Alfredo López presented a lecture, "Afro-Indigenous Hondurans in Resistance: U.S. Drug War, Violent Displacement and Migration" as part of the Global Awareness Lecture Series.

His presentation took place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, in room 264, Quadrangle Building on the SJU campus. The event was free and open to the public.

López spoke about his work with the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH), which protects and defends the Garífuna people's right to their culture and their ancestral land on the Caribbean coast. López will discuss his people's struggle against the negative impacts of tourism and other mega-projects, and the roles of state security forces - many of which receive funding from the U.S. - in their displacement. He will also describe how U.S.-backed projects and U.S. aid to the military and police contribute to violence and fuel Honduran migration.

López is the author of six books including "The Case of Carlos Feliciano," "Turn Around Once, Then Keep Running," and "Kings of Crotona Park." He is probably best known for his history of Puerto Rico entitled "Doña Licha's Island." He has taught at numerous colleges and universities over the years, most notably at Columbia University in the Graduate School of Journalism.

According to the organization Witness for Peace, "Since the 2009 military coup, murders and attacks against Honduran human rights defenders have reached alarming levels. Indigenous communities, including the Garífuna, have been among those targeted. The U.S. continues to send tens of millions of dollars in Drug War aid to the Honduran police and military who have been involved in human rights abuses. Additionally, the U.S. backs neoliberal projects that lead to displacement and migration."

The event is part of the Global Awareness Lecture Series, which is a program that brings in guest speakers who present on international relations topics. This program covers and explores multiple regions of the world, and the guest speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, including academics, political activism, journalism and consulting.

Witness for Peace is cosponsoring this event. Its mission is to be a politically independent, nationwide grassroots organization of people committed to nonviolence and led by faith and conscience. Witness for Peace's vocation is to support peace, justice and sustainable economies in the Americas by changing U.S. policies and corporate practices that contribute to poverty and oppression in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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