The worsening of violent events in Bajo Aguán must be prevented

Posted on March 24, 2010

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Joint communique by CDM-CIPRODEH-CODEH-COFADEH-CPTRT-FIAN, March 24, 2010

MUCA en Bajo Aguán

MUCA families in Bajo Aguán

The Platform for Human Rights went on a delegation to find about the conditions of violence in the Aguán Valley and of those living in rural community households of the Unified Peasant Movement of Aguán (MUCA). The delegation visited the Concepción, Aurora, Confianza and Camarones cooperatives located on the right bank of the Aguan River, and Guanchías cooperative on the left bank.

From this visit we summarize our findings as follows:

  • The known facts refute the media campaign that tried to criminalize MUCA activities, linking them to foreign guerrillas that are supposedly operating in the area;
  • In the seized land, we confirm the presence of families including children (infants), pregnant women, the elderly, handicapped and disabled people living in deplorable conditions;
  • The Platform for Human Rights has documented complaints that reflect a condition of general sadness, helplessness and anxiety caused by the presence of armed groups with sophisticated military equipment (weapons with lasers and night vision) that harass the local people with violent evictions and constant death threats towards members of different cooperatives
  • The testimonials highlight that due to the violent evictions and actions of intimidation, there have been several injuries, illegal detentions and a number of [legal] anomalies such as: arrest and detention of minors (children between 5 and 8 years); confinement in unlawful places of detention (such as the imprisonment of detainees at a local military unit), the lack of identification by supposed authorities at the time of capture, and a refusal to read the detainees their rights and charges.
  • We denounce the precarious living situation of those families that are demanding their right to land in Lower Aguan. Among our findings we found that there is little food in these human settlements, severe malnutrition, unsanitary huts made of palm branches and/or plastic where entire families live, all this coupled with the lack of prompt medical attention which can cause problems in the development of children. The Platform for Human Rights is also concerned for a lack of income earnings and work while the crisis remains.
  • In the case of the Guanchías cooperative, families occupying this farm are living in warehouses with toxic waste perilous to their health. Added to this, we have identified 10 people suffering from rabies as a result of bat bites.
  • That is, beyond the violation of the physical and mental integrity of these people, their rights to education, health, and nutrition are also being violated.

The Platform for Human Rights declares itself to be in constant vigil of the Bajo Aguán Valley crisis, given that as a human rights issue it demands prioritized attention.

We demand the human rights prosecutor to pay special attention to the conflict that has arisen in this region and encourages the national and international community and international human rights bodies to take action in relation to the observations made in this release.

SOURCE: FIAN Honduras

RELATED: Preocupa a Organizaciones de DDHH, eventuales desalojos violentos de prolongarse negociaciones (Defensores en línea), and Momentos de Represión en Bajo Aguán (ALER Satelital)