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An Honduran priest explains the exodus of migrants from his country

Mark Coplan
Ismael Moreno, affectionately known as Padre Melo is a human rights activist and the director of Radio Progreso in Honduras

Visiting the Bay Area from Honduras, human rights activist Ismael Moreno stopped by the KALW studio to speak about root causes beneath the exodus that is pushing a growing number of Hondurans out of their home country.

He says there are many reasons why Hondurans are leaving. The country is poor. A fifth of its people live on less than $2 a day. Homicide rates are among the highest in the world. And the government in power has grown more authoritarian and corrupt since President Juan Orlando Hernandez took power after a coup d’etat in 2009.


Moreno, known affectionately in Honduras as “Padre Melo,” was hosted by supporters in Berkeley at a rally decrying the threat of political violence in his home country.


Moreno came into the KALW studios to speak with reporter Judy Silber about his mission; she began the conversation by asking about his work as director of Radio Progreso, which is one of the country’s only independent sources of media.


Padre Melo’s answers were translated by Francisco Herrera who joined him in the studio.



"The Honduran immigration phenomena is intimately linked with the conditions of economics, violence, drug trafficking and corruption within Honduras."