BY ISN STAFF | March 23, 2015
La Voz Del Pueblo, an 18-minute documentary exploring violence and injustice in Honduras through the perspective of journalists at a Jesuit-run radio station, will be released on Tuesday, March 24, 2015. The release will coincide with the thirty-fifth anniversary of Archbishop Oscar Romero’s murder in neighboring El Salvador. Directed by Jeremy Zipple, S.J., executive editor of America Films, the release is a collaborative effort of America Media, Ignatian Solidarity Network, and the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States.
The La Voz Del Pueblo documentary, as well as an educational resource guide will be released at 12:00 PM ET on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at: https://www.ignatiansolidarity.net/
The documentary features the staff of Radio Progreso, including Rev. Ismael Moreno Coto, S.J., popularly known as Padre Melo, a Jesuit priest and human rights activist in his native Honduras who directs Radio Progreso and Equipo de Reflexión, Investigación y Comunicación (ERIC), whose work includes: grassroots radio programming; training on human rights, urging greater government transparency and accountability, community organizing and empowerment, combatting violence against women; the formation of leadership committed to social change; and assisting returned migrants.
The timing of the release to coincide with the anniversary of Archbishop Romero’s murder was intentional said Christopher Kerr, executive director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network. “In light of Archbishop Romero’s legacy as a prophetic voice for human rights, the 35th anniversary of his murder creates a unique opportunity to call attention to the present-day reality of violence and impunity in El Salvador’s Central American neighbor, Honduras,” noted Kerr.
Romero, initially seen as a conservative who would maintain the status quo when named bishop of the Archdiocese of San Salvador in 1977, became one of the most well-recognized critics of government-sponsored oppression during El Salvador’s 12-year civil war. Known for reading the names of innocent civilians killed during his weekly homilies, Romero was murdered by the members of the US-funded Salvadoran military while celebrating mass in 1980. Recently the Vatican verified his status as a martyr of the Church and announced his impending beatification, which will take place on May 23 in San Salvador.
Honduras, just a 2.5 hour flight from Houston, Texas, has the highest homicide rate in world. From 2005 to 2012, murders of women and girls increased 346%. Murders of men and boys increased by 292% over the same time period. In addition to violence Honduras is plagued by crippling poverty and inequality. Thirty percent of Hondurans are living on less than $2 a day, and in rural areas 6 out of 10 households live in extreme poverty.