Success of the 1st National Meeting of the Afro-Honduran Lawyers' Network

EDWIN ALVAREZ | BRONX NY | 12 MAY 2024 – 17:00 ET

Éxito del 1er Encuentro Nacional de la Red de Abogados/as Afrohondureños

La Ceiba, Honduras - On May 10 and 11, 2024, the Hotel Versalles hosted the successful 1st National Meeting of the Network of Afro-Honduran Lawyers. Organized by the Central American Black Organization (ONECA), this event brought together prominent legal professionals, human rights defenders and community leaders to discuss access to justice and the defense of the rights of Afro-descendant and indigenous communities in Honduras.

Day 1: May 10

The event began with the registration of participants and welcoming remarks from Dr. Mirtha Colon, President of ONECA, who emphasized the importance of strengthening the network of lawyers and promoting racial justice. Highlights of the first day included:

- Access to Justice for Indigenous and Afro-descendant Communities*- Lawyer. Fany Isela Bennett Calderón. - Functions of the Rapporteurship on the Rights of People of African Descent and against Racial Discrimination - Laura Morelos. - Gender-based Human Rights Violations against People of African Descent - Lawyer. Nedelka Lacayo. The day concluded with a welcoming dinner, which encouraged networking and the strengthening of ties among the participants.

Day 2: May 11

The second day began with a presentation by Elvia Duque on the Challenges and Opportunities of CIRDI for the Fight against Racial Non-Discrimination in Honduras. Other relevant topics were:

- Project "Closing the Gap: Strengthening the Capacity of Afrodescendant Organizations in LAC to Pursue Racial Justice by Focusing on Police Brutality". - Effective Access to Justice from the Afro-Honduran Perspective - Magistrate Walter Sabio (Magistrate of the Supreme Court of Justice). - Consulta Previa a Pueblos Indígenas y Negros- HD Tomas Ramírez (Vice President of the National Congress). After a coffee break, the following topics were discussed:

- Access to Justice and Criminal Policy - Dayana Blanco Acendra. - Psychosocial Accompaniment for Victims of Racial Violence - Licda. Tesla Quevedo. - Creating Opportunities and Reducing Vulnerabilities to Change in Afrodescendant Populations - Lawyer. Julio Guity. Afro-Honduran social communicators/ Culture of denunciation - Lic. Pablo Guity Zapata

The event concluded with a panel on Afro-Honduran Social Communicators and the Culture of Denunciation, followed by conclusions and recommendations. Dr. Mirtha Colon closed the meeting with an inspiring speech, stressing the importance of continued collaboration to advance racial justice and equality.

Impact and Future

This first meeting was a milestone in the defense of the rights of Afro-descendant and indigenous communities in Honduras. The participation of professionals from various regions, including Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and Roatán, highlighted the relevance of this initiative. ONECA is committed to following up on the issues discussed and working in collaboration with the organizations and leaders present to implement the recommendations that emerged during the meeting. This event lays the groundwork for future actions and collaborations that seek to strengthen racial justice and equality in Honduras and beyond.

Together we build a path to a more secure and unified future!