Posts Tagged ‘Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ( IACHR’

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.

Below is an English translation of the communiqué read at the press conference convened by the Agrarian Platform today, May 27, 2014, at Cooperativa Elga, where they denounced the illegal and violent evictions against peasant families of the Authentic Peasant Reclamation Movement of the Aguán (MARCA ) last May 21.

Evictions and Violations of Human Rights of Peasant Families in the Bajo Aguán Continue

Given the violent events that occurred on May 21 in peasant cooperatives in the Bajo Aguan the Agrarian Platform communicates to the Honduran people , the international community and national and international media the following communication :

1. We strongly condemn the violent and illegal evictions executed by members of Operation Xatruch under Colonel René Jovel Martínez, the National Interagency Force ( Fusina ) under the orders of Germán Alfaro Escalante and the security guards of René Morales against peasant families organized in the cooperatives El Dispertar and La Trinidad of the Authentic Peasant Reclamation Movement of the Aguan ( MARCA) .

2. That, on June 29, 2012, Attorney Jose Antonio Trejo improved the position of the peasant families in the cooperatives San Isidro, La Trinidad, and El Despertar, after a final judgment issued by the Supreme Court in favor of the peasants, but on September 22 of the same year he was killed in a sector of Tegucigalpa. In September 2013 the farmers of Cooperativa San Isidro were evicted. 20 months later the repressive forces of the State and the private guards of René Morales stripped the cooperative members of El Despertar and La Trinidad. These acts only reflect the manipulation of weak Honduran justice and the impunity enjoyed by landowners Miguel Facusse , René Morales, and Reinaldo Canales.

3. That, on May 2st, during the violent and illegal eviction, 15 people were arrested including children, pregnant women, and the elderly, and peasant leaders who had been granted precautionary measures by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ( IACHR) last May 8 were severely beaten by security forces.

4. That, 24 hours after the violent eviction was executed in the cooperatives LA Despertar and La Trinidad where the heavily armed security guards of the company Oleopalma participated, Dinant corporation representative Roger Pineda said in international media, that they had disarmed the security guards of Dinant , but that they would support the construction of a military base (on their farms) for security.

5. We demand respect for the possession of the lands of the families of the Gregory Chavez Peasant Re-foundation Movement who have been in the process of recuperating the Paso Aguan farm since 5 May.

6. Urgently request the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to demand that the government of Honduras respect and comply with the precautionary measures granted to 123 men and women peasant leaders of the Bajo Aguan , as well as resolve the source of human rights violations of the peasants.

7. That, the agricultural and food crisis in our country is a result of the LAW OF MODERNIZATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR (of 1992) approved by President Rafael Leonardo Callejas, as pure politics against organized peasant sectors, which has been expressed through violent evictions and the lack of support for the development of national agriculture.

8. We demand solidarity from domestic and international human rights defenders to remain vigilant and demand respect for the universal rights of peasants struggling for access to land in the Bajo Aguán.

Given in the city of Tegucigalpa 27th day of the month of May, 2014 by the Agrarian Platform, It was attended by 22 media outlets:

1- Radio Cadena Hondureña de Noticias
2- Radio Nacional
3- Radio Globo
4- Radio Progreso
5- CB24 Costa Rica
6- Tele Sur
7- Contra Censura Independiente
8- La Tribuna
9- El Heraldo
10- Canal 50
11- Canal 9
12- Canal 6
13- Canal 11
14- Canal MVC-75
15- Maya TV
16- CCI News
17- Tras La Verdad
18- Hoy Mismo Canal 3
19- TN5
20- Noticiero Mi Nación
21- Globo TV
22- Hondudiario