Thursday, May 19, 2011

War Declared Against the Peasantry of the Lower Aguán



War Declared Against the Peasantry of the Lower Aguán

The Wave of Killings, Tortures, and Disappearances Continues

Cross-posted from Giorgio Trucchi – Rel-UITA

By Giorgio Trucchi – Rel-UITA; translated by Jeff Conant, GJEP


While North American diplomacy increases the pressure to normalize the situation in Honduras at the international level, and to reinsert the nation into the Organization of American States (OAS), the organized peasantry of the lower Aguán continues falling beneath the bullets of paramilitary groups that enjoy total impunity and the complicit silence of the authorities of a failed state.

This morning, May 18, Sixto Ramos, a member of business Nueva Suyapa of the Campesino Movement of the Aguán (MCA), was killed. Sixto was 45 years old. According to a reconstruction of the events, Ramos was driving to work when he was intercepted by unknown assailants in another vehicle who fired on him until he was killed.

"The repression in the Bajo Aguán continues against those of us who are supporting the struggle for access to land," said José Santos Cruz, a member of the MCA who formed a part of the International Mission in March, 2011 that investigated the human rights situation in Bajo Aguán.

"Sixto Ramos was a compañero and member of the business Nueva Suyapa, and has always supported the struggle of the MCA. We believe that this new killing is directly linked to our conflict with the land-owners and [African] palm producers of the zone," said Cruz.

Notice of War

Last week, peasant farmers José Paulino Lemus Cruz and Henry Roney Díaz, members of the MCA and of the Movimiento Auténtico Reivindicador de Campesinos del Aguán (MARCA), were both brutally killed.

On May 10, Alejandro Gómez, a member of the farm La Trinidad, which belongs to MARCA, was kidnapped by the private security guards of local landowners, interrogated, and savagely tortured for three days before being released. He is currently in hiding for fear of being killed.

On May 15, the peasant farmer Francisco Pascual López, 38 years old, was disappeared. According to the available information, the people who last saw him heard gunfire prior to his disappearance. When they arrived at his house, he was gone.

With the violent death of Sixto Ramos, the number of deaths suffered by the peasant organizations in the lower Aguán has risen to 28 in the past 15 months. Regardless, international pressure continues to build to demand that Honduras be restored its seat in the OAS.

"They haven't been able to defeat us with the massive militarization of the Army and the Police, and now they are attacking us selectively. They want to decimate us, killing us one by one. As the MCA we are going to unite to take the necessary steps, because we can't continue simply denouncing these crimes," said Cruz.

"The regime offers a false image of Honduras. This country is not at peace, and people continue being killed. It would be lamentable to ignore so many cadavers and so many human rights violations. The conditions do not exist under which Honduras should return to the OAS," Cruz concluded.

http://climate-connections.org/2011/05/18/war-declared-against-the-peasantry-of-the-lower-aguan/

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