Aguán: Another murder, 5 more arrests on Facusse’s orders

Posted on June 20, 2010


The campesino (land worker) Oscar Geovanny Ramirez (16) was assassinated and five others arrested in a violent operation undertaken by the police and army, in the Cooperativa La Aurora, of the Movimiento Unificado Campesino del Agua, MUCA, this Sunday June 20 between 9 :30 am and 10:00 am.

The Aurora Cooperative is one of 24 of the MUCA with which the regime of Porfirio Lobo signed an agreement on April17 of this year to solve the land problem, which is the state owned (the land) but has been illegally reclaimed by landowners Miguel Facussé, René Morales and Reinaldo Canales. However, despite this agreement, the militarization of the Lower Aguán has continued, with the denouncements of the use of police and military within a few farms, all documented with photographs.

According to information provided by Esly Banegas, coordinator of the Coordinadora de Organizaciones Populares Aguan, COPA and the Frente Nacional de Resistencia regional of the Aguán, those affected informed that the military and police arrived in two patrol cars, one of which was number 51 of the National Preventive Police and from the moment they got out of the cars began firing at close range against the campesinos.

Until an hour ago, the body of the young Oscar Geovanny Ramirez, remained in the land where the Cooperativa La Aurora is located, about eight miles from Tocoa, Colón. At this moment the authorities have not arrived.
Meanwhile at the police station of Tocoa, Ruben Murillo Jairo Gutierrez (21), Miguel Angel Ramirez Reyes (28), José María García, Jaime Ramos Noel Ramirez (16) are detained. They have been captured and accused with illegal possession of weapons and conspiracy.

Police officers and soldiers were shooting to kill, besides Ramirez they may have killed Jairo Ruben Murillo, who was with his pregnant wife, but he escaped from the bullets by jumping to the ground.

Since December 2009, the cooperatives affiliated to MUCA decided to recover their land, but the repression of the landowners supported by the armed forces of the State of Honduras has killed eight campesinos with numerous persecuted and threatened with death.

By signing the agreement with the regime it was believed that the repression was going to stop and the militarization would cease, but things have not been easy for more than three thousand families who believed in the agreement.

During the middle of this week, the MUCA reported in a press conference, that the greed of the businessman and landowner Miguel Facussé who seeks to recover for each hectare of land three times its value, that is 250 000 lempiras ($12,500), but in reality the market value is 90 000 lempiras ($4500).

The campesinos also believed that armed incursions would also be an issue of the past, however with this new act of violence, there are several questions that the regime of Porfirio Lobo have respond to.

Alongside all of this, the corporate media at the service of the landowners have undertaken a campaigning to make it appear that upon completion the agreement other families would be affected, for which it was announced that Miguel Facussé would make redundant 500 workers who are on the grounds claimed by the MUCA.

The organization FIAN International- Honduras Section made a declaration and condemned the events, “We face the never ending story. The murders, persecution and various physical and psychological aggressions continue. When the 24 campesino organizations affiliated to the MUCA signed the agreement with the regime of Porfirio Lobo Sosa they understood that the aggression by the police and armed individuals would end, but the actual facts disprove this belief.”

We wish to restate that these 24 organizations of the MUCA, complying with the agreement, withdrew from the same number of farms and concentrated themselves in five (La Lempira, La Confianza, La Aurora, La Concepción and Shrimp) while the remaining 11 thousand hectares are to be given to them as stated in the agreement. Thus there is no doubt that the incompletion is the responsibility of the Lobo Sosa regime, said the statement released this Sunday.

The question that arises to anyone who cares about the violence in the process of the agrarian conflict in that region is: Whom to contact?: The police? The attorney general of the Republic? … All efforts are in vain, without results that go beyond the pretext and bureaucratic discourse.”

We live in a state of lawlessness and, within this, those who suffer the most are always the in-defenseless, the disadvantaged in a system distinguished by inequality and injustice. We are only left with denouncing in the hope of reaching the consciousness of the Hondurans and that it is considered by the organized international opinion and this promotes pressure on a regime whose agenda goes beyond seeking recognition of the world’s nations and International Finance agencies.

SOURCE: Defensores en línea