From: The Honorable Raul M. Grijalva
October 30, 2009
Briefing with Bertha Oliva, General Coordinator of COFADEH,
Committee of Relatives of Missing Prisoners in Honduras
Thursday, November 5, 2009
I hope you and your staff will be able to attend a briefing with a remarkable human rights activist from Honduras, Bertha Oliva.
Bertha Oliva is the General Coordinator of the Committee of Relatives of Missing Prisoners in Honduras (COFADEH). Bertha's husband, professor Thomas Nativí was "disappeared" in 1981, during the period when the death squads were active under Honduras' military dictatorship. She founded COFADEH together with other women who lost their loved ones, in order to keep alive the memory of the hundreds of dissidents that were "disappeared" between 1979 and 1989 and seek justice and compensation for their families. Among other achievements, her organization succeeded in obtaining a condemnation of Honduras by the Inter American Court for Human Rights, the first such ruling against a state in the institution's history.
Bertha has since become an emblematic figure in the Central American human rights movement. In addition to the issue of the disappearances, her organization represents victims of severe rights violations, educates the general public on human rights issues, and investigates and helps prepare legal documentation for cases. COFADEH has been keeping careful track of the massive rights violations that have taken place under the coup regime that took power in Honduras on June 28, 2009 and has just finished a detailed report on the current human rights situation.
Regardless of how the deal announced today to restore a semblance of constitutional order to Honduras actually develops, human rights issues will be important and unavoidable in a post-coup Honduras.
I hope you will be able to attend, and if you have any questions, please contact Daniel Brito of my staff at x. 5.2435 or via email.
Raúl M. Grijalva
Member of Congress