FIAN: Urgent agricultural reform is needed

Posted on March 20, 2010


The inadequate agricultural policy launched after 1992 led to the enactment of the Modernization and Development of the Agricultural Sector Law, which is the cause of a deepening poverty in the rural sector and the violent conflicts that are increasingly taking lives.

Yesterday, March 17, Jose Antonio Cardoza and Jose Carias, directors of the cooperative COHDEFOR Brisas in Carbonal, Bonito Oriental, were killed. That bloody act is the result of a four-year farmer dispute around the ownership of 60 hectares of land.

According to the preliminary investigation of FIAN, this land dispute had no indication of being resolved. The leaders of the campesino cooperative had pressured the National Agrarian Institute (INA) to find a solution to the problem and reported to this institution and the Public Minister of having received death threats.

It is now clearer than ever that public policies based on neoliberal ideology do not contribute to the equitable development of the Honduran population. On the contrary, they have accelerated a concentration of the power of the state and the ownership of basic means of production into small groups of power that leave no options for the vast majority of the rural population. Here is where largely the cause of rural violence can be found.

FIAN Honduras, as an organization that promotes and defends human rights, and condemns violence in its various expressions. We understand that the violation of the right to a dignified life as a norm brings with it physical aggression against people, against life.

We call on the international community and domestic public opinion to not see these condenmnations of the killings as mere statistics, which many people are beginning to get used to. We urge the prosecution to take steps towards investigating these crimes against the physical integrity of persons.

FIAN reiterates that without radical changes in agricultural policy in Honduras, the concentration of land and water will continue, as the concentration of wealth in a few hands. As might be expected, this will deepen poverty and extreme poverty in the rural sector, which will come with more fatalities in the future.


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