Posts Tagged ‘Bajo Aguan’

Honduras: One more campesino killed in Bajo Aguán, for a total of 99

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Campesinos claim soldiers and police favor the landowners

[Translation of an Agence France Presse article as published in Diario Tiempo of San Pedro Sula for May 13, 2013. See original here an related articles here, here and here.]

A campesino leader was assassinated by armed men in the troubled valley of Aguán, 600 kilometers northeast of the Honduran capital, bringing to 99 the number killed in the region, the scene of a conflict between farmers and landowners, a leader of the agrarian movement reported on Sunday.

“Three heavily armed men assassinated José Omar Pérez, 37, president of the Los Laureles operation, in the La Concepción settlement, which belongs to the Movimiento Unificado Campesino del Aguán (MUCA), around 9:30pm Saturday night,” the spokesman for the organization, Vitalino Álvarez, told AFP.

The attack occurred 100 meters from Pérez’s home as he and his wife were returning from his mother-in-law’s house in the city of Tocoa.

“The assassination of comrade Pérez makes 99 campesinos killed by the deadly bullets of the landowners’ security guards and the paramilitary groups who operate in the region,” stated a MUCA communiqué.

The conflict began in the Aguán in January, 2010, a month after more than 5,000 campesinos occupied 7,000 hectares of land claimed by the landowners.

The campesinos hold that these lands have belonged to them since they were granted to them as part of an agrarian reform in the 1980s.

In 1992, a law allowed the parcels of land to be sold and some leaders of the farmers, behind the backs of their base, sold them to the landowners at low cost.

In August, the government ordered a military deployment, reinforced by the police, to carry out a “general disarmament” but deaths continue and the campesinos hold that the soldiers and the police are backing the landowners.

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Honduras: Campesinos doubt that prosecutor will charge those responsible for assassinations in Aguán

Sunday, April 29th, 2012


((Revistazo photo))

[Translation of an article from Revistazo of Tegucigalpa for April 20. See original here  and related articles here, here and here.]

Tegucigalpa – The Ministry of the Interior has announced the issuing of warrants for police, military and civilians involved in human rights violations and the assassinations of more than 50 people in the Bajo Aguán region. The campesino leadership considers it necessary to punish those responsible but has no confidence in any actions the prosecutor may take.

Although he did not disclose the names of those involved, Special Prosecutor for Human Rights Germán Enamorado told the press that the prosecutor’s office has succeeded in gathering the evidence needed to initiate prosecutions, which in the case of public employees will involve charges for abuse of authority, dereliction of duty, personal injury and attempted homicide. (more…)

Honduran human rights defender Alexander Salgado on the current situation

Sunday, December 18th, 2011


((ContraPunto photo by Luis Velásquez))

“The president of Honduras is Micheletti”

[Translation of an article from ContraPunto of San Salvador for December 14. See original here and related articles here.]

by Fernando de Dios

San Salvador – Being a defender of human rights in Honduras these days is a job that carries with it the risk of imminent death.

As a member of the Comité de Defensa de los Derechos Humanos de Honduras (CODEH – Committee in Defense of Human Rights in Honduras) who has been denouncing abuses by state security forces in the Bajo Aguán area, where 47 campesinos have been assassinated in the past two years, Alexander Salgado knows this first hand.

Salgado tells how he and others were attacked by soldiers who lay in ambush for them and fired at them with combat rifles in that rural area of the department of Colón, in northern Honduras. (more…)

Honduras: Group charges landowners are financing death squad in Bajo Aguán

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for August 21. See original here and related article here.]

Tegucigalpa – The Comité Hondureño de los Derechos Humanos (CODEH – Honduran Human Rights Committee) today denounced the presence of a death squad in the Bajo Aguán region, where thousands of campesinos are in conflict with landowners over land ownership.

Secundino Ruiz Vallecillos, a member of the Movimiento Auténtico de Campesinos del Aguán (MARCA), was killed yesterday by two assassins riding a motorcycle while he was on his way to the San Isidro cooperative, in the department of Colón on the country’s Atlantic coast.

Eliseo Pavón, another campesino leader who was with him, was also injured.

“CODEH believes that a death squad has been established in Aguán, financed by the landowners of the area and led by former military who were linked in the ‘80s with the repression that was seen in the country,” according to a communiqué distributed by the humanitarian organization.

The 3-16 was a death squad that operated in Honduras during the ‘80s and, together with the armed forces, kidnapped and disappeared around 184 popular leaders, according to charges made by CODEH.

As a result, Honduras was ordered by the International Human Rights Court, with headquarters in Costa Rica, to compensate the families of several of the disappeared of the time, among them that of Ángel Manfredo Velásquez.

CODEH reports that the death squad’s method is to disguise their crimes by making them appear to be common delinquency, taking any money the victims were carrying.

Aguán is a valley that has been militarized since last October, a situation that is dangerous for the population, especially for the campesinos, who have lost the freedom of movement because of the siege to which they are subjected.

Honduras: What now, Zelaya?

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Back in his country, the former president talks about the challenges of building unity on the left and about the disputes within his base

[Translation of an interview from Brasil de Fato of São Paulo, Brazil, for June 24. See original here and related articles here.]

by Sílvia Álvarez

Tegucigalpa — At 59 years of age, Manuel “Mel” Zelaya is a man in search of his identity. “I still feel like a stranger; it is not easy to live outside your country, you lose your origins,” he declares when we ask how he has spent his first days back in Honduras after 17 months in exile in the Dominican Republic. The former president is back in his home, from which he was taken, still in his pyjamas, on the morning of June 28, 2009, in a civilian-military coup d’état. The gate is better guarded now, but the house has the same rustic furniture as before, together with framed photographs of his family. (more…)

Honduras: Business and blood

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

“Open for business” — El Heraldo photo

[Translation of an article from the website Nicaragua y Más for May 7, 2011. See original here.]

by Giorgio Trucchi

Yesterday, May 6, marked the end of the business event “Honduras Is Open for Business,” in which some 1,500 businessmen from 55 countries met in the northern city of San Pedro Sula to examine 147 projects proposed by the Honduan regime. An investment surpassing 14 billion dollars is foreseen, too appetizing a dish to be distracted by the blood running in the streets and the plantations of the country.

During the two days of the entrepeneurial mega-event, which returned Honduras to the eyes of the world, the country experienced schizophrenia.

On one side, thousands of domestic and international entrepeneurs enclosed in an invisible bubble, working eagerly to divide up the country, listening attentively to the discourses of skilled communicators, and on the other, the people in resistance. (more…)

Honduras: Thirty-five campesinos killed in Aguán

Monday, December 6th, 2010

[Translation of an article from Diario Tiempo of San Pedro Sula for December 2.  See original article here and related article here.]

San Pedro Sula – Campesino leaders in Bajo Aguán charged yesterday that an army of Colombian mercenaries has been organized to assassinate citizens who defend the lands granted to them by the Instituto Nacional Agragio (INA – National Agrarian Institute).

Vitalino Álvarez, Yoselyn Avilez and Adolfo Cruz, members of the Movimiento Unificado Campesino de Aguán (MUCA – United Campesino Movement of Aguán), and José Mario López, general secretary of the Sindicato de Trabajadores del INA del Bajo Aguán (Union of INA Workers of Bajo Aguán), traveled to San Pedro Sula to hold a press conference on Tercera Avenida in the Guamiliti neighborhood, to “denounce the repression and to refute the media campaign” being waged by some newspapers. (more…)

Honduras: Lobo government labels campesinos as “guerrillas”

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

La Prensa photo

[Translations of articles from of Tegucigalpa for November 23 and Diario Tiempo of San Pedro Sula for November 24. See original articles here and here and related article here.]

Military and police raid National Agrarian Institute in Aguán

by Germán Reyes

The facilities of the Instituto Nacional Agrario (INA – National Agrarian Institute) in the community of Sinaloa, in the Tocoa jurisdiction of Colón, were the scene in the early morning of a raid by a contingent of more than a hundred members of the police and national army. The military raid resulted from a claim that firearms intended for the destabilization of the government were being stored in the offices. (more…)