The negotiations between the Unified Peasant Movement of Aguán (MUCA) and the landowners in Bajo Aguán have been carried out against the backdrop of continued aggression against the peasants of that organization.
The media–newspapers, radio and television–with few exceptions, have turned to denigrate the campesinos accusing them of conspiring against the national economy and of establishing armed movements in the region.
Porfirio Lobo himself, even though he promoted a dialogue among the conflicting parties and played the role of mediator in this negotiation, has publicly expressed that the farmers are not interested in land devoted to production but to develop political activities meant to destabilize his government.
The farmers have refused to accept the landowners´ proposals, convinced that they are looking to sell land at arbitrarily high prices, and that the farmers will have to pay the additional price of becoming suppliers of raw materials with no commercial alternatives, instead becoming totally dependent on Miguel Facussé and Rene Morales.
The violence imposed by the landowners´ security guards (with support from the army and police) against farmers, their families and people in solidarity with their movement has taken the lives of six peasants from the MUCA as well as journalists who have reported with objectivity about what really happens in the region.
Last night, we were notified that army troops were mobilized from Olancho to Bajo Aguán and that at the time of this communiqué 12 commando units were mobilized in La Ceiba with the same destination.
Peasant leaders have tried to communicate via telephone with the presidential representative, Samuel Reyes, and the director of the National Agrarian Institute (INA), Cesar Ham, but neither have answered their calls. When they were able to communicate with Minister Jacobo Regalado Weizemblut from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, he told them he was unaware of the mobilization of the army.
As we have repeatedly warned, Lobo Sosa´s regime should lead the armed forces in full recognition of the conflict in Bajo Aguán and prevent violent acts that could have unpredictable results, specially since these state agencies are known for brutal practices often used against Honduran citizens.
Again we call upon the international community and human rights organizations to keep an eye on current events in Bajo Aguán and to take the steps within their power to avoid the deepening of violence in the region.
RELATED: Testimony by Jhony Rivas and Andrés Pavón about the mobilization of troops in Bajo Aguán (Radio Liberada, in Spanish), Wilfredo Reyes: “La gente prefiere morir en la tierra” (Agencia Púlsar), MUCA: Repression in Aguán imminent (MUCA), Honduras: Militares llegan a proteger el Bajo Aguán (La Prensa), Preparan desalojo violento para campesinos por la madrugada del lunes (Defensores en línea)