PBI-Honduras accompanies CNTC at appeal against Armed Forces receiving funds for agricultural projects
On November 14, the Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project posted, “Yesterday we accompanied the National Union of Rural Workers (CNTC) in the presentation of an appeal of unconstitutionality in the Supreme Court of Justice to the decree granting the Armed Forces 4,000 million lempiras for agricultural projects. A measure that, for peasant organizations, is illegal and responds to a strategy to militarize the country.”
4,000 million lempiras translates into about $215 million Canadian dollars.
La Tribuna reports, “Representatives of the Via Campesina presented an appeal for unconstitutionality before the Supreme Court of Justice, so that the Executive Power does not delegate to the Honduran Armed Forces (FFAA) the task of ‘directing’ the new Agricultural Development Plan.”
Criterio notes, “The peasants shouted impatiently against the government and expressed their discomfort because when they arrived at the building that houses the Judiciary, there was a wide police line that prevented them from entering the Constitutional Chamber where their legal representatives handed over the appeal of unconstitutionality.”
That article adds, “As part of its legal rationale used in the unconstitutionality appeal presented by different peasant organizations affiliated with the Via Campesina, it is pointed out that Executive Decree PCM-052-2019 clearly usurps the functions of the institutions of the agricultural public sector and puts under the command of the Armed Forces, the direction, administration and execution of agricultural policies, functions that have neither a constitutional mandate nor secondary laws.”
It also notes, “While the peasants were surrounded by police, the legal representative of the Via Campesina, Juan Carlos Zelaya, argued that there is illegality in the Executive decree because it violates general principles of public administration, because theoretically and constitutionally the Armed Forces are limited to work related to war.”
And Once Noticias adds, “Zelaya emphasizes that this decree violates the constitution since [the armed forces] are designated tasks that do not belong to them. ‘The Armed Forces is entrusted to defend sovereignty and everything related to the sciences of war. They have nothing to do with promoting productivity in the country,’ he says.”
PBI-Honduras has previously noted, “The CNTC, created in 1985, is a small-scale farming and trade union organisation, which fights for the distribution of land. It is affiliated to the Unitary Confederation of Honduran Workers (Confederación Unitaria de Trabajadores de Honduras – CUTH) and is part of the Vía Campesina.”
“Its aim is to support affiliated small-scale farming families so that they have access to land and resources and can carry out productive agricultural, fishing, forestry and agro-industrial activities, contributing to their social and economic development.”
PBI-Honduras has accompanied the CNTC since May 2018.