Jesuits issue letter to defend Honduran priest

Father Moreno at a protest in 2016. (Photo: America and Radio Progreso)

JANUARY 2, 2018: The Jesuit provincials in Latin America and the Caribbean have issued an open letter denouncing threats against Father Ismael Moreno, S.J. Father Moreno, or “Padre Melo” as he is popularly known, is a Honduran Jesuit who is the director of Radio Progreso, a national radio station with an audience of 1.5 million listeners. He also oversees the Reflection, Investigation and Communication Team – “a Jesuit social action and analysis center.”

On November 26, 2017, Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernández was reelected in a contentious vote that resulted in protests and at least 30 fatalities. Padre Melo’s radio station has been critical of the election and of the protests. A recent flyer circulating on social media accuses him and eight other regional leaders of connections to criminals, drug cartels, and violence. While no explicit threat was made, Jesuit officials worry about the implied threats against the priest. The Society of Jesus vowed to hold the government “responsible for the safety and physical and moral well-being” of Father Moreno.

For the America article, click here.