PBI-Honduras visits Colón, hears about land evictions that have benefitted agro-extractive companies

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On February 3, PBI-Honduras tweeted: “We visited the Department of Colón, where several communities expressed their concerns about the evictions in December. ‘We will continue in the fight as long as there are families who do not have anything to put in their mouths,’ says Jaime Cabrera from the Agrarian Platform.”

On Facebook, PBI-Honduras further noted that the communities “shared that the judges abused their authority to benefit agro-extractive companies.”

On January 25, Real World Radio reported: “Last year, between December 16 and December 21, various social and peasant organizations denounced the violent evictions that thousands of peasants were suffering in Aguán, Honduras.”

That article adds: “The situation was repeated a week later against members of the Cooperativa Remolino cooperative, who were evicted by private security guards and the COBRA squad who shot them with firearms, leaving at least 7 people injured, two of them minors.”

Yoni Rivas of Plataforma Agraria told RWR that on December 27 some 200 families that are part of Cooperativa Remolino “entered to recover lands from the Agrarian Reform”; lands that “the corporations have been usurping for more than 27 years. Although several of the attackers carrying R15 weapons were arrested, they were released hours later.”

Rivas adds: “The evictions take place because we believe that there are judges and prosecutors who abuse their authority and issue eviction orders. This situation enables the police and security groups to obey these judges who are protecting the interests of landholding corporations of the Facusse, Morales and Canales families, who have monopolized almost 70% of the land in the Aguán Valley.”

He further noted: “This situation leaves the defenders of Aguán vulnerable, failing to comply with the 126 precautionary measures that the IACHR issued to protect them. …We hope that with the arrival of Xiomara Castro to power we will be finally heard.”

The Agrarian Platform

The Land Portal has explained: “The Agrarian Platform is a national network of more than 30 organizations, whose objective is to fulfill the mandate of the Constitution of the Republic that establishes an agrarian reform, and to achieve changes in public policies in favor of peasants and peasants through the Comprehensive Agrarian Transformation Law -TAI- presented to the Honduran National Congress in 2011.”

It adds: “The 2009 coup d’état created a new situation of impunity, motivating demands for justice followed by massive land repossessions, especially in the Bajo Aguán area.”

The Land Portal article then comments: “The response of the Honduran State strengthened the armed security of agricultural exporters and encouraged the distorted use of legal resources, the press and television, to turn the fair demands of the peasants into crimes. This ended up turning the courts, the police and the national army into accomplices of an obsolete land tenure system that can only be maintained through force.”

Land ownership in Honduras in deeply unequal.

Just 5% of large-scale farmers control almost two thirds of all cultivable land, while 71% of small-scale farmers have access to just 5% of it.

A January 27, 2022 statement from the Plataforma Agraria on this situation can be read here.


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