Public Statement MUCA-MI
Source: ResistenciaHonduras.net, 17 August 2011.
Translation by FOA
The Unified Campesino Movement of the Aguan - Left Bank (MUCA-MI), in our struggle for a real and true application of integral agrarian reform, DECLARES to Honduran Society, the International Community, and National and International Human Rights Organizations that:
1. Sunday, August 14, 2011 between five o'clock and eight o'clock in the morning (5:00 AM and 8:00 AM), private guards from agroindustrialist Migue Facusse Barjum's deadly palm plantation brutally attacked our campesino colleagues from the community of Panamá (who are not members of the Unified Campesino Movement of the Aguan - Left Bank MUCA-MI), and according to police reports, six security guards (hired criminals) and an underage campesino, Wilmer Javier Melgar, were killed.
2. Maliciously, certain communication media (radios and newspapers) linked to the interests of agroindustrialists have indicated to government institutions that our colleages Jackeline Liseth Fúnez Bueso, Marco Tulio Paredes Molina, Gerardo Alonso Argueta, Cesar Murillo and Dennis Javier Ramos, who are leaders of various cooperatives associated with the Unified Campesino Movement of the Aguan - Left Bank (MUCA-MI), are responsible for these condemnable acts of violence.
3. We categorically reject these defamatory and slanderous accusations against our colleagues being carried out by the oligarchic press with the intention of criminalizing our struggle and discrediting the leadership of the the Unified Campesino Movement of the Aguan - Left Bank (MUCA-MI). The are trying to represent us nationally and internationally as a bloodthirsty organization with criminal intentions in order to justify the presence of more police and military, fierce repression, and the killing of our leardership in the Lower Aguán Valley.
4. It is no secret to anyone that the activities we carry out as an organization are part of a just struggle for official recognition for land, and as part of a genuine process of integral agrarian reform they are peaceful and public actions. Since we have nothing to hide, we have always declared ourselves and our actions via traditional and alternative media .
5. The violence that has been practiced against our struggle--and especially against our leadership, which has been the victim of assasinations, constant death threats, and a fierce campaign of defamation and slander--does not erase from the national stage our just struggle for land; it does not keep us from using dialogue as an instrument which can help us find a real solution that will end this agrarian conflict. For this reason we reiterate our willingness to participate in a frank and sincere dialogue with the government of Mr. Porfirio Lobo Sosa.
Lower Aguán Valle, August 16, 2011
For a real integral agrarian reform with the just distribution of land, for effective public health, housing and education policies that prioritize men and women, for a full democracy including national coexistence and the full exercise of human rights, there must be social justice for peace in the countryside.
Unified Campesino Movement of the Aguan - Left Bank (MUCA-MI)
In Bajo Aguán the Movimiento Campesino de Rigores sufferes continued repression
Translated by the FNRPs Translators group from Spanish Version
Source: ResistenciaHonduras.net, 17 August 2011.
The Movimiento Campesino de Rigores (Campesino Movement of Rigores) in the Aguán Valley was violently evicted by military and police forces on the 24th of June of this year, leaving behind a scene reminiscent of Port au Prince, Haiti or some areas of the Palestinian occupied territories. Houses, churches, and agricultural buildings belonging to more than 120 families were razed. Eleven years of effort and struggle without any support from the State were lost in one sad and demoralizing day for the MCR.
The eviction of the MCR families occurred on the 24th of June of this year and lasted from 6 am until nightfall. It is estimated that 20 million Lempiras (roughly 1 million dollars) in damages were caused including the destruction of a 6-grade school, evangelical and catholic churches, wells and fields. As a result, 14 campesinos were detained and currently find themselves processed. This harassment by repressive forces has increased in recent months and is a clear signal to the campesino movements that seek to fight for the land and a better life for their families.
In addition to the last week’s eviction, the campesinas and campesinos who are in the process of reclaiming La Consentida farm located near the MCR area were attacked by three police patrols. Upon its return, the police attacked an MCR campesino who was working on rebuilding his house. He was hospitalized with serious injuries.
The MCR is comprised of 8 campesino joint enterprises that live and work in a 600-hectare area (roughly 1,500 acres). Despite the proximity of great expanses of African palm, the MCR has pursued a comprehensive agricultural model working with basic grains, vegetables, livestock and small animals to produce their own food and some income. This model seeks to distance itself from the African palm oil market largely controlled by the area’s large landowners.
“We have the rest of our lives to keep working” commented a MCR campesina in reference to the eviction and the 3 martyred compañeros of the Movement. “We go out to work and plant to meet our needs, what most worries us now are housing conditions and the lack of clear information about legal matters.” “Besides, we only have one classroom left for 6 grades and 6 teachers.”
The uncertain situation the MCR finds itself in is the same in many places throughout the country, including, among others, the Movimiento 10 de Junio San Juan Pueblo and Zacate Grande. Because of the National Congress’s November 2010 repeal of decree 18-2008, several campesino movements are about to lose a long process of legalization and recuperation of lands. Article 17 of the degree, approved during President Mel Zelaya’s administration, allows campesino communities or businesses who have spent 10 years or more reclaiming land to request the title to it from the Instituto Nacional Agrario, or National Agrarian Institute (INA).
Currently the decree is “frozen” given that it has not been published in the The Gazette. However, the latest news indicates that only a month remains before the decree is to be published. The situation of campesino groups and movements is even more complicated given the Secretary of Finance refuses to pay out money as part of the title transfer process and considers the decree null.
For the campesino families the decree’s repeal is only the beginning of a new attack on their survival. The Honduran oligarchy and transnational capital already have several projects underway: Special Development Regions (model cities), a new mining law, river concessions and the promotion of genetically modified seeds. These projects aim to eradicate small-scale agriculture and supplant it with an agro-industrial model and the exploitation of the country’s natural resources.
Despite the terrible conditions in which the families currently find themselves, the MCR struggle continues. The vast majority are living in destroyed houses with plastic tarps to protect them from the elements. Threats of eviction exist and there is no guarantee from the INA that issue of land ownership will be resolved in favor of the movement.
Los Necios Political Organization
August 7, 2011