Karen Spring is a human rights defender, researcher and currently, the Honduras-based Coordinator for the Honduras Solidarity Network (HSN).
Karen's work involves educating North Americans about the impacts of U.S. and Canadian foreign policy in Honduras and the region. Based in Honduras, Karen supports community-based organizations defending their natural resources and territory against mining, hydroelectric dams, tourism, and other large-scale "development" projects. A large emphasis on her work is also the impacts of privatization on public sector services and the role of militarization and foreign security policies on human rights.
Karen has written several articles and reports about human rights issues including Mining in impunity: Coerced negotiations and forced displacement by Aura Minerals in Western Honduras. Karen has testified before Canadian Parliamentary committees about human rights in Honduras and blogs at aquiabajo.com. She has been published in the Huffington Post and together with Sandra Cuffe, co-authored articles for Alternet, Truthout and Upside Down World
Karen has been living in Honduras since July 2009, visiting previously in 2008 from Guatemala where she lived for 16 months. Karen has an BSc in international relations and human biology from the University of Toronto, a BSW from Lakehead University and a Masters of Public Heath from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada. Her thesis work titled, Understanding the Limitations of employer prevention programs in transnational settings: A case study of women workers in Canadian-owned maquiladoras in Honduras, focuses on the health problems Honduran women suffer as they work on the assembly lines in Canadian-owned sweatshops.
The Honduras Solidarity Network (HSN) is a decentralized network of approximately 30 organizations from across Canada and the United States that are committed to demonstrating and advocating for solidarity with the Honduran social movement.
All HSN members believe strongly that Canada and the United States play a fundamental role in the social, economic, and political context in Honduras. Together with the Honduran social movement, HSN members are committed to denouncing and opposing US and Canadian imperialism, neoliberalism, and the role of the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) in generating poverty, inequality, insecurity, and violence in Honduras. As US and Canadian citizens, it is our responsible to oppose and educate our communities in North America about what the decisions of ourgovernment and their impacts, in relation to Honduras and the Central American region.
Various HSN members have long-term trusting relationships and projects with grassroots organizations and movements in Honduras, and believe that uniting our efforts under the HSN, will strength our outreach work in North America.
The HSN was formed after the June 28, 2009 military coup against President Manuel Zelaya as the Honduran social movement or the National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP) denounced the murders, disappearances, threatens, and human rights violations of the Honduran post-coup regime, supported and financed by the US and Canadian governments. Over 5 years after the coup, the struggle of the Honduran social movement continues as further militarization and neoliberalism create on-going crises in the country.
The HSN has a public list-serve (Presente) for groups and individual activists who want updates on important news from Honduras and Honduran solidarity work and who want to participate in serious discussion on those topics.
Visit our website:
Honduras-based Coordinator, HSN
Based in Tegucigalpa, Honduras