PBI-Honduras accompanies CNTC at media conference on transfer of 4 billion lempiras in agricultural funding to the military
On November 19, the Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project posted, “On November 6 we were present at a press conference in which different farmers’ organizations, including the National Union of Rural Workers (CNTC), an organization accompanied by PBI, expressed its pronouncements on the decision of President Juan Orlando Hernandez of the Armed Forces manage more than four billion of lempiras to intervene in the agricultural sector.”
Four billion lempiras translates into about $215 million Canadian dollars.
To read more about this media conference, please see Dina Meza’s article Via Campesina: The militarization of the agricultural sector will create food crisis.
On November 13, Via Campesina went before the Supreme Court of Justice calling the direction of these funds to the Honduran Armed Forces (FFAA) unconstitutional.
Criterio reports the legal rationale for their assertion of unconstitutionality highlights 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.”
That article also notes, “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.”
In an article about the militarization of Honduras after the coup in 2009, the Council on Hemispheric Affairs has commented, “Honduran military officers have also been implicated in the murders of land rights and environmental activists since the coup and have systematically ignored the pleas of environmental activists while prioritizing the privatization of land without regard for the environmental and health consequences.”
That article also states, “The Honduran military has also been accused of waging an all-out war against peasant communities who live in Bajo Aguán, a rich agricultural region. Many of these campesinos have been murdered or forced to flee their land to make room for large corporate palm oil plantations.”
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.