U.S. Delegation of Migrant Leaders to Honduras: Xiomara Castro Administration an Opportunity for a Reset

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 22, 2022CONTACT: 
Elyssa Pachico  | +1 503 347 23 29 | [email protected] 
Myneilles Negro |+1 703 585 6727 | |[email protected] 

 

 

A delegation of leaders of migrant-led organizations called for a reset in U.S.-Honduras relations, as President-elect Xiomara Castro is set to assume power in Honduras on January 27.  The delegation represents a coalition of some 55 migrant-led organizations across the United States.

 

The delegation is visiting Honduras this week, in order to meet with administration officials and civil society leaders, and call attention to the need to prioritize establishing a productive partnership with the Biden White House, in order to advance joint efforts to address the root causes of migration.

 

As seen with the turmoil with Honduras’s Congress over the weekend, collaborating with Congress will be hugely challenging for the Castro administration, and will pose significant obstacles. Additionally, the Castro administration will face budgetary challenges, including a growing fiscal deficit. Still, there will be many viable reforms that the Castro administration can pursue via executive action and through foreign policy. 

 

“The Honduran diaspora in the U.S. has a message for the Xiomara Castro administration: we know firsthand the painful cost of being forced to migrate, because of intolerable conditions back home,” said Mirtha Colón, a Garifuna leader originally from Honduras, who currently serves as president of the Alianza Americas Board of Directors.  “This new political era in Honduras is an opportunity for a reset, in order to center policies that create a more equitable Honduras where everyone can live with dignity and in peace.” 

 

“This new government introduces a ray of hope for Hondurans at home and abroad,” said Oscar Chacón, director of Alianza Americas. “Vice President Kamala Harris’s visit to Honduras this week is indicative of how the Biden White House sees new opportunities for productive engagement with President Castro’s administration. The relationship with the Biden administration should be leveraged in favor of a rigorous addressing of corruption, poverty and violence, and climate change impacts that are driving migration. By doing so, President Xiomara Castro’s administration can make headway in addressing migration’s root causes.” 

 

“It’s time for Honduras to close the chapter on the appalling authoritarian and corrupt regime of the Juan Orlando Hernández years,” said Patricia Montes, executive director of Centro Presente. “For a new dawn in Honduras, the Castro administration must do everything within its power to work with international partners in re-establishing an international anti-corruption commission in Honduras.” 

 

“For too long, Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and Garifuna communities in Honduras have faced marginalization and exclusion in Honduras,” said José Daniel Hernández of CARECEN San Francisco. “The Castro administration must prioritize including and elevating these voices.”

 

The delegation includes

Mirtha Colón

Mirtha Colón is originally from Honduras and has lived in New York for almost 40 years. She currently serves as president of the Alianza Americas Board of Directors; she also heads Hondurans Against AIDS in New York. She also serves as president of the Black Central American Organization (Organización Negra Centroamericana, ONECA), which fights for human rights and social justice for Central Americans of African descent.

Oscar Chacón

Oscar Chacón is co-founder and executive director of Alianza Americas. He has been an advocate for the economic, social, political, and cultural rights of all people for more than three decades, with an emphasis on migrants. Oscar has been a pioneer in promoting advocacy strategies conceived from a transnational perspective.

Patricia Montes

Patricia Montes is the executive director of Centro Presente, one of the longest standing immigrant-led, immigrant rights organizations in Massachusetts. Patricia earned her degree in journalism from the National Autonomous University in Honduras and is a recognized immigrant rights leader and a tireless advocate for just economic and social policies, including a just U.S. immigration policy.

José Daniel Hernández

José Hernández is the director of the Second Chance Youth Program for the Central American Resource Center of Northern California (CARECEN San Francisco). He was born in Los Angeles and was raised in the Bay Area by Honduran parents. José received his B.A. in Latin American Studies from UCLA in 2010, and received his Master’s of Public Health in Community Education from SFSU in 2019. While at SFSU, José dedicated his studies to critically analyzing the criminalization and incarceration of young people through a public health lens.

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Alianza Americas is the premier transnational advocacy network of Latin American migrant-led organizations working in the United States, across the Americas, and globally to create an inclusive, equitable and sustainable way of life for communities across North, Central, and South America.

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