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Take action: Help Protect a Threatened Honduran Physician

by on July 9, 2009

The Honduran army has been ordered to capture Luther Castillo, MD, and shoot him if he resists arrest, the Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba (MEDICC) reports. Dr. Castillo, an indigenous Graifuna physician,? is an advocate for the health of rural Hondurans and has spoken out against the recent coup.After attending medical school in Cuba, Dr. Castillo returned to his native M?skito Coast, a poor and rural area of Honduras, to bring the first medical care to the region. He helped found the Luaga Hatuadi Waduhe?u project ("for the health of our people" in the Graifuna language). As part of the project, he is working to build the Ciriboya Community Hospital and recently toured the United States to raise money for its construction. The project? now serves 80,000 people.In 2007, Dr. Castillo was named "Honduran Doctor of the Year" by Rotary International's Tegucigalpa chapter.? He was recently appointed Director of International Cooperation in the Honduran Foreign Ministry.The OAS Inter-American Commission on Human Rights deemed Dr. Castillo "at risk" in a July 3?communiqu_.PHR's Washington Director, John Bradshaw, sent letters to Secretary of State Clinton, the Assistant Secretary of Western Hemisphere Affairs and the Assistant Secretary of the Office of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, urging them to ensure Dr. Castillo's safety.

Take action:

Dr. Castillo needs your help! Please call the State Department ask Secretary Clinton to urge the Honduran government to protect Dr. Castillo, his colleagues and everyone protesting the coup.During your call, identify yourself as a medical professional and emphasize the importance of Dr. Castillo's medical work.State Department phone number: 202-647-4000Sample call script:
  • Introduce yourself with your name and state of residence.
I am a health professional, and I am calling to urge the Secretary of State to press the Honduran government to protect Dr. Luther Castillo, his colleagues, and everyone protesting the coup. The Honduran army has orders to arrest Dr. Castillo and, if he resists, to shoot him. Dr. Castillo is an indigenous doctor who has worked tirelessly to bring healthcare to the rural poor of Honduras. Please work to protect this vital health advocate.

Places: Honduras

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