Support from surprising places – a small town rural community bands together to free Honduran political prisoner

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A small rural town works together to free Edwin Espinal, a Honduran political prisoner

When rabble.ca podcast producer Victoria Fenner was driving out in the farmlands outside Barrie, Ontario where she lives, she noticed a billboard that wasn’t the usual ad to buy real estate, furniture or other consumer commodities. On the side of the road, next to a stand of forest, the billboard said 'Free Political Prisoners in Honduras. Free Elmvale’s Edwin Espinal'.

She'd heard of Edwin Espinal because Ben Powless wrote an article for rabble just this past May 29 called The fight to get Karen Spring into Honduran Prison. Karen Spring is Edwin Espinal’s partner who grew up in the town of Elmvale, not far from Barrie. Her parents still live in that small rural town. Ben Powless went down to Honduras in the spring with a delegation to try to get into the prison to see Edwin. And especially, to help get Karen in to see him.  

Janet Spring is one of the leaders of the campaign to secure his release.  She's Edwin's mother-in-law and has been tirelessly working to advocate for the release of Edwin. It’s been four months since that delegation went down to Honduras and Edwin is still not free.The campaign to release Edwin is being waged internationally, nationally and even at the local level in their own rural community. In this podcast, Janet talks about that day last spring outside the Honduran jail, the support from their small town, and what's happened with the campaign since their journey to Honduras in the spring. 

You can find out more about the local campaign by going to Simcoe County Honduras Rights Monitor.   You can also find out about issues surrounding political prisoners and the climate of repression by going to the website of the Honduras Solidarity Network.  Karen Spring, Edwin’s partner, is the Honduras coordinator of that organization.

Image: Billboard to Free Edwin Espinal - Elmvale, Ontario. Photo: Janet Spring

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