NCC Marches Against Illegal Lodging in Honduras

( [email protected] ) Jul 15, 2004 04:12 PM EDT

Between June 30 and July 2, the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches USA joined members of the Center for International Policy in calling against “illegal logging and related corruption in Honduras”.

“It’s a good role for the NCC to join with organizations like the Center for International Policy that are working from a secular point of view on justice issues,” said General Secretary Dr. Bob Edgar. “We brought a pastoral word of concern. We spoke alongside actors, politicians and ambassadors, raising the moral issues.”

Edgar, along with Dr. Tony Kireopoulos – associate general secretary for international affairs and peace – met with staff of the ecumenical Christian Commission on Development and other Honduran church leaders to discuss poverty, environment and civic participation.

The highlight of the visit was the “March for Life” rally, where thousands of Hondurans marched from four different points around the nation and converged on the capital city of Tegucigalpa. The main demand of the marchers was for the government to stop illegal logging, a practice that costs $55 and $70 million a year.

According to the NCC, the President of Honduras agreed to meet with the local environmental leader Father Tamayo because of the “international attention that was given to the delegation.”

Other delegation members included American University Chaplain Joseph Eldridge, chair of the Washington Office on Latin America; Allen Andersson, prominent businessman and former Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras; actor and human rights activist Mike Farrell; Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, former lieutenant governor of Maryland, and Ambassador Robert E. White, President of the Center for International Policy, who led the delegation.