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

The rabble podcast network offers an alternative take on politics, entertainment, society, stories, community and life in general. All opinions belong to the podcaster; however, podcasters are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new podcasters -- contact us for details.

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support today for as little as $1 per month!

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

When 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

Help make rabble sustainable. Please consider supporting our work with a monthly donation. Support today for as little as $1 per month!

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable. has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.