Military and police detain campesinos illegaly for almost an hour

Posted on April 13, 2010

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Military forces in Aguan

Military forces in Aguan

With lists in hand, armed forces began searches late Monday night and captured at least nine campesinos from the Guadalupe Carney community, who were detained for about 40 minutes and then freed, in Silin, Department of Colon.

From the early morning hours, military forces besieged the community, laid a siege on the periphery of the Pan American highway and gradually came closer to the Guadalupe Carney community until they proceeded to enter it, lists in hand and a computer to check the names of those who were being captured to detain the peasant leaders illegally. About 600 families live in the area.

According to reports provided to Defensoresenlinea.com, among those captured and released were: Elías Díaz, Isidoro Hernandez, and eight others. There are fears of overnight house raids.

“As the night progresses the situation could worsen, specially if the military and police decide to enter people’s homes,” said a peasant leader.

Shortly before 11 am, it was reported that Jesus Hernandez was captured from the United Families Cooperative II, who was transporting African palm to June 22 Cooperative, near Corocito, Colon.

The contingent consists of repressive military and police Cobras. It was reported that behind this operation could be the hands of landowner Henry Osorto, who also seeks to take the land where the community is grounded and has attempted several times to evict the families from state-owned property.

The leaders in the region denounced that what the state armed forces are doing is very dangerous and could easily degenerate into bloodshed.

Persecution against COPA

The members of the Coordinating Committee of Popular Organizations of Aguan, COPA, a network that brings together several organizations, are also victims of persecution and surveillance.

They denounced that on Sunday, April 11, at about 2:00 pm, Jose Serrano, Haydee Saravia and Esly Banegas, all of them from the COPA directive, were driving a vehicle of the INA from the center of Tocoa. When they got off the car, half a block from Esly’s home, a taxi owned by the company’s Brisas del Aguán parked with an individual inside who was carrying a radio transmitter and stayed in the same place for about 15 minutes, staring at the house.

Again on Monday, April 12, also at about 2:00 PM, the same group of COPA directors were chased for about three blocks by a 4×4 red Toyota vehicle without license plates and tinted windows, that parked for a while on the same place as the Taxi the previous Sunday, then moved along and disappeared.

Although both Banegas and Saravia are under precautionary measures granted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, IACHR, since last year, the Honduran State is doing nothing to protect their lives.

All of this is happening hand-in-hand with the statements of presidential appointee María Antonieta Bográn–accompanied by Defense Minister Marlon Pascua and Security Deputy Minister Roberto Romero Luna–saying that the human rights of the peasants of Aguán will be respected.

At the press conference, deputy director of the National Police, René Maradiaga Panchamé, said that the military and police presence is following “specific orders from President Porfirio Lobo Sosa and Minister of Security Oscar Alvarez, as well as the Commissioner of Police, José Luis Muñoz Licona, to maintain order and preserve the rule of law, providing security to all people in the area. ”

However, the repressive actions initiated Saturday night are part of a psychological operation meant to destabilize the peasant movement, and meant to generate terror within the population of unarmed civilians.

In this climate of terror, the campaign of disinformation by the media continues on behalf of the landowners, saying that there is an armed movement in Aguán, with the intention of justifying the actions mentioned above which violate human rights standards.

SOURCE: Defensores en linea

RELATED: Violent eviction being prepared for peasants in Aguan (Honduras Resiste), Hostigamiento militar, testimonios y análisis (Red Nacional de Radios Comunitarias)