PBI-Honduras meets with National Union of Rural Workers (CNTC) on the agrarian conflict in Bajo Aguán
On September 12, PBI-Honduras tweeted:
“We met with the CNTC [National Union of Rural Workers] in the community of Guadalupe Carney, highly affected by the agrarian conflict of #BajoAguán. According to the CNTC, the proposal to grant the land seized by the OABI [the Office for Confiscated Property] to the peasantry can promote a more equal distribution of the land in #Honduras.”
On Facebook, PBI-Honduras adds:
“At the moment, several farmworkers groups have agreements with the OABI to be able to work these seized lands, which usually belong to people involved in corruption and drug trafficking cases. In March of this year, however, Congressman [Jari] Dixon [of the governing Libre party] presented a proposal to grant these lands to farmworkers groups through the National Agricultural Institute (INA) and for the benefit of Agricultural Reform.”
The Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project began accompanying the National Union of Rural Workers (CNTC) in May 2018.
In July, La Tribuna reported:
“More than a hundred peasants from Bajo Aguán (northern part of the country) asked the government to put an end to the historic land conflict and criminal persecution by the landowners of the sector, during their first day of peaceful protests in the capital.
Jaime Cabrera, one of the spokesmen of the movement, explained that they are still waiting for the government to give them their property titles and put an end to the judicial and physical persecution they frequently suffer from agricultural entrepreneurs in the sector.
They are also calling for a review of the liquidation process of peasant cooperatives over the past 30 years and whose land ended up in the hands of landowners.
Cabrera complained that the current agricultural authorities (INA) have not been able to resolve their demands, so they prefer to continue the dialogue with President Castro.”
In December 2021, Reuters also explained:
“Nearly 150 murders and disappearances in connection with the land conflict have convulsed the Aguán Valley since 2008, when violence first intensified here.
Convictions have been reached in just 25 of those killings, according to a government summary of the cases reviewed by Reuters.
Disputes still rage over some of the land now growing with palm. The Honduran government hasn’t verified many of the contested titles or resolved allegations by local residents, human rights groups and others that farms were acquired by force and at unfair prices.
At times, the perpetrators have allegedly included private security guards working on behalf of large palm growers, small farmers ostensibly defending their plots, would-be landowners seeking to muscle in amid the chaos, and armed gangs increasingly moving cocaine through Central America.”
We will continue to follow this situation.
Photo: Franklin Almendares, General Secretary, National Union of Rural Workers (CNTC)