Police and Army Shooting Against Campesinos in Aguan

Posted on January 27, 2010


Today, January 27, at 8:00 am, members of the Unified Movement of Peasants of Aguan in the municipality of Trujillo, were attacked by elements of the Tocoa Police, members of the Fifteenth Army Battalion located in Rio Claro, Trujillo and private security guard of businessmen René Morales and Gustavo Canales. As a result of the confrontation four farmers were injured, two of them wounded by bullets. In the case of Antonio Estrada, 24 approximately, he was hit with a bullet on his face in his left eye. Rosendo Rodriguez, 22, was hit with a bullet on his left leg .

Due to the severity of the injuries, both went to the hospital in La Ceiba Atlantida in a Red Cross ambulance from Tocoa but were detained unreasonably and abused at the police post in the Sonaguera municipality by a group of not less than 15 preventative police and cobras involved in the shooting. At the same time another ambulance with private hospital, with two policemen injured, was given right of way immediately, while the Red Cross ambulance was ordered to go “slowly” with a clear intention to delay the trip and cause death of the campesino who was seriously injured. They were then pursued by a police patrol from Tocoa taking four cobras, two policemen and a member of the Criminal Investigation General Directorship (DNIC). Upon arriving at La Ceiba Atlantida Hospital, 30 more policemen were waiting for them.

Rosendo Reyes was then transferred to Tocoa under the custody of the police, while Antonio Estrada remained in critical condition at the Hospital de Ceiba with serious injuries in his left eye and skull. Accompanying him were two investigating officers and at least three policemen who insisted asking questions, took pictures and even checked his wounds. So far we are waiting for a family member to accompany the wounded to the San Pedro de Sula Hospital where he has been referred to because of the seriousness of his health. Also unaccounted for is a child of around 14 years old, named Samuel Fuentes, who accompanied the injured campesinos in the ambulance. There is a belief that the police is holding him in unknown location.

There are serious fears that the injured campesinos and young Samuel could be the subject of abuse and attempted murder. We make the following people responsible: Colonel Peraza, commander of the Fifteenth Infantry Battalion, Elias Antonio Melgar, sub-commander in the same battalion and hired by the landowners for the management of their private security. For this, they have also employed army reservists, the commander of the Colon Police Department, the Head of th Posta de Planes and regional courts who operate in clear complicity with the landowners.

After the confrontation, the peasants continue to stand ready to defend their land. “For the earth by the earth, we are ready to fight.”