Below is a translation from an article written by Marvin Palacios that originally was posted to COFADEH’s defensoresenlinea.com/

Alert of a possible violent eviction at Finca Paso Aguán

The Gregorio Chavez Campesino Movement alerts the national authorities as well as organizations defending human rights and the international community about a possible eviction that they could suffer in the coming days. There are about 300 families living on the Paso Aguán farm, near the Panama community, municipality of Trujillo, in the north of the country.

The announcement was made by Jaime Cabrera coordinator of the Agrarian Platform which brings together men and women leaders of the 18 peasant movements fighting for the right to cultivate the land in the Lower Aguán, department of Colón.

“We are announcing an eviction in the coming days, we only ask the Government to do their part and not allow bloodshed in this community, on this farm,” alerted Cabrera.

The leader said that they sent a number of documents to the government in which they denounce the human rights violations committed in the Panama community since 2010, including the number of murders that have occurred, the disappearance of peasants, rape of women by security guards, and allegations of environmental damage caused by the Dinant Corporation owned by the landowner Miguel Facussé.

“There’s been tremendous violations and we told the government, review the document that we sent to the minister, if the minister does see it because sometimes these documents they carry them and then put it in the dresser, but never deliver them. Review that document Mr. President and sit with us even for just 10 minutes so we can dialogue, we are not criminals and murderers so don’t be afraid of us. If Tegucigalpa calls us, we will go because we want freedom for our community and recovery of our land,” said Cabrera.

Meanwhile Glenda Chavez, daughter of Gregorio Chavez who was murdered by security guards of Corporación Dinant on July 12, 2012 said that if the eviction of some 300 families living on the Paso Aguán farm occurs, “we will not give up, we will continue struggling to regain the land.” Chavez demanded that the authorities intervene to avoid more bloodshed.

Chavez continued, “I told Colonel Joel Martínez (Commander of the Xatruch III Task Force) make no mistake, think through your plans well, because we from the Human Rights Observatory will be in front of the fight, documenting everything you do to our compañeros, and now, this eviction that they say is supposedly coming to this community of Panama, we are on the lookout,” Chavez is also a member of the International Human Rights Observatory of the Aguán.

Government wants to divide the Agrarian Platform

Meanwhile, Jaime Cabrera also reported that the Government of Juan Orlando Hernandez is trying to cause division in the Agrarian Platform in order to hinder the plans of rural communities to obtain a plot of land to support their families.

“Our biggest concerns are that the government is attempting to see to it that the peasant groups are not united, not implementing an Agrarian Platform, because here we had a visit from the minister this May where he said that no one had to support another movement, because now you are on your land, you must be working on your land.

“But no one is giving into the desire of the minister or the government, because we remain united, whatever the case our situation is not that. We are prepared that if the peasant movement needs the support of the Agrarian Platform, we will be there waiting, at the lead of the struggle with each of them, “maintained the peasant leader.

Despite having precautionary protective measures granted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Jaime Cabrera was subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by police and military personnel, when on May 21st of this year, hundreds of families of the Authentic Campesino Reclamation Movement of the Aguán (MARCA) were brutally evicted from the lands of La Trinidad and El Despertar by contingents of the police and military, land which the lawyer Antonio Trejo had managed to legalize for this movement, but that the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) reversed last year.

Cabrera was arrested by police and military during the violent eviction. One of the men in green, placed the barrel of a gun in his left ear and threatened to kill him. Also, as he was led into the back of the police pickup and while handcuffed, he was kicked and suffered beatings with sticks.

The brutal eviction produced 15 arrests, including children, the elderly and men (and women), several of whom were seriously injured with fractures as a result of the brutality with which the police and military forces acted in the area.

Lawyer and human rights defender Antonio Trejo, who also had been awarded measures of protection, was killed by gunmen in the capital of the Republic on June 29, 2012. Trejo had achieved it that hundreds of families of MARCA could remain in possession of the land in the cooperatives San Isidro, Trinidad and Despertar.

It’s not only the police and military, integrated into the Xatruch Task Force which operates in this sector, who violate human rights in the Aguán, but also security guards working for Corporación Dinant owned by Miguiel Facussé, they have been identified as perpetrators of brutal crimes and disappearances against peasants.

Judicial officers do not escape the accusations, it was observed that the judge who executed the eviction order which were staged in the Despertar and Trinidad cooperatives (in this case a public prosecutor from Trujillo) stated that the victims of repression did not present visible lesions on their bodies.

A team of human rights defenders of the Committee of the Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH) who visited the area recently, collected testimonies from farmers who were brutally beaten by the Xatruch military operation.

A soldier placed a tear gas bomb inside his shirt of one of the victims burning his skin, another, a minor, was kicked and beaten with clubs until he fainted. Men and women have reported this type of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment after being captured by the police. This happened in the eviction last May 21.

The Gregorio Chavez Campesino Movement demands an end to the repression, thr violence, the violent evictions and persecution of their leaders. They request the state to release of the Paso Aguán farm that is close to the Panama community and say they do not want anything handed to them, they are willing to negotiate and purchase the farm land.

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