PBI-Honduras notes CNTC’s opposition to new decree on food production approved during COVID-19 pandemic

Published by Brent Patterson on

On April 13, the Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project posted photos by National Union of Rural Workers (CNTC) Secretary General Franklin Almendars.

PBI-Honduras notes, “[Almendars] denounces that with the decree PCM-030-2020 recently approved by the government, businessmen are empowered to take charge of food production, putting aside small producers and the peasant communities.”

It adds, “Likewise, he warns that with this regulation, peasant and indigenous struggles will intensify and evictions, criminalization, imprisonment and death of social leaders who defend the land, natural goods and food will also increase.”

The National Post in Canada has published a Reuters article that reports more favourably, “Honduras will spur planting of grains, vegetables and fruit on unoccupied land as it intervenes in the agroindustrial sector to ensure the food supply amid the spreading coronavirus pandemic, President Juan Orlando Hernandez said on Tuesday [April 7].”

But German Perez, the former Honduran minister of agriculture, has told La Prensa that, “The decree could be misused to favour friends and strong agro-industrial groups with agricultural and forestry properties.”

Honduran media also notes that this decree follows a measure that grants the Armed Forces 4,000 million lempiras (about CDN $215 million) for agricultural projects.

In November 2019, PBI-Honduras commented, “A measure that, for peasant organizations, is illegal and responds to a strategy to militarize the country.”

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.

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