PBI-Honduras accompanies Indigenous Lenca community defending ancestral territory from a 10,000 unit housing development
On November 11, PBI-Honduras tweeted:
“PBI accompanies to the Tierras del Padre Lenca Indigenous Community to file an amparo appeal to stop the eviction order filed. The community requests that ILO Convention 169, which establishes their property rights over ancestral lands, be respected.”
On Facebook they also noted:
“This week we accompanied the Lenca Tierras del Padre Indigenous Community to the presentation of an amparo appeal in the Supreme Court of Justice for the detention of the eviction order scheduled for next November 23.
The community requests that ILO Convention No. 169, ratified in 1995 by Honduras, be respected. This establishes the right of indigenous peoples to property and possession of the lands they traditionally occupy, and the duty of governments to guarantee the protection of these rights.
We highlight the work of Honduran indigenous peoples in defending their territories, worldview and rights. We express concern about the threats they face.”
On November 8, Criterio.hn quoted Kenya Oliva, lawyer at the Justice for the Peoples Law Firm, who says: “The Lenca indigenous people of Tierras del Padre [have been] cited for an illegal eviction.”
Earlier this year, El Heraldo explained: “Tierras del Padre is part of the Central District and its inhabitants have declared themselves owners of these properties, because they argue that they have ancestral titles that make them owners of the land, in addition to belonging to the Lenca ethnic group. But there is a court order in favor of the company Inmobiliaria Siglo XXI that also claims to own the land, after buying it more than 12 years ago.”
In February, Agence France-Presse reported: “Accompanied at dawn by a judge with an eviction order, many riot police stationed themselves at the entrance of a plot located 10 km south of the capital Tegucigalpa.”
That article adds: “According to the court decision, the families occupy this land called ‘Tierras del Padre’ of about 200 hectares, owned by a businessman carrying a real estate project to build 10,000 homes. But community representatives say they have a deed of ownership registered in the national archives dating back to 1739.”
Conexihon has also reported: “For some years, the families that inhabit the place, approximately 200, have been living in anxiety since Mario Facusse, a businessman, landowner known in the country, through his legal representatives threatens to evict them claiming to be the owner of the land on which they live.”
Facusse says that Siglo XXI Real Estate bought the 322 manzana (1 manzana = 1.7 acres) from the Real Estate Investment Corporation and that his company plans to develop a housing project there.
IM-Defensoras notes: “The Facussé family has been linked to business activities that violate the rights and common and public goods of the Honduran population, highlighting among them that derived from extractivist activity and illegal contracts with state institutions for more than 40 years.”
They add: “Lenir Pérez, owner of Inversiones Los Pinares (ILP), a company that formally accuses the defenders of Guapinol [for their resistance to his iron oxide mine], is the husband of the daughter of Miguel Facusse [who passed away in 2015], a businessman and landowner known in the area as ‘the palm tree of death’ for the introduction of African Palm on a large scale and its links in the peasant conflicts that have caused death and destruction in the area.”
We continue to follow this situation with concern.