UC Santa Cruz history professor and alumna Dana Frank (American Studies, ’78) will speak on May 8, at the Stevenson College Fireside Lounge, as part of the college’s Distinguished Alumni Lecture Series.

Frank will speak on the topic A Human Rights Disaster in Honduras: Why is the U.S. Supporting a Repressive Regime?

The talk begins at 4 p.m., admission is free, and the public is welcome.

A dinner reception will immediately follow the lecture at the Stevenson Provost House.

Frank noted that since the 2009 military coup that ousted democratically-elected Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, the United States has continued to support an illegitimate regime. 

“The government is laced through with drug traffickers and organized crime at the topmost levels, and admits that its police and military are killing their own citizens,” said Frank.

“Over 10,000 human rights violations have been committed by state security forces, and Honduras now boasts the highest murder rate in the world, as well as the most dangerous city in the world--San Pedro Sula—which surpasses even Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.”

“Why is the U.S. pouring funding into this corrupt government and rapidly increasing U.S. militarization of the region in the name of a drug war--despite forceful criticisms from the U.S. Congress?” she added.

Frank’s talk will examine the roots of the ongoing crisis in Honduras, and analyze both U.S. policy, and the challenges to it, by Hondurans, American activists, and Congress.

Frank will also be testifying about human rights violations via teleconference the following day before the Canadian Parliament’s Sub Committee on International Human Rights of the government’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development.

“I will be speaking specifically about human rights abuses by the Honduran police and military, the failure of ‘cleanup’ activities by the Honduran government, and U.S. policy in Honduras--including support for the ongoing corrupt government of President Porfirio Lobo, and opposition to U.S. policy by members of the U.S. Congress,” Frank noted.