The paramilitary assassinations, death threats and human rights abuses against peasant and indigenous organizers who defend their land from land-grabbing “agro-oligarchs” in Honduras is worsening Last week two more peasants were murdered. Please endorse and circulate this letter denouncing these crimes. Email info (at) usfoodsovereigntyalliance (dot) org to sign your organization on.
THE U.S. FOOD SOVEREIGNTY ALLIANCE CONDEMNS THE KILLINGS OF PEASANTS BY HONDURAN PARAMILITARY FORCES AND DEMANDS A MORATORIUM ON U.S. SUPPORT FOR THE HONDURAN REGIME
On February 2, 2012 in the Aguán Valley of Honduras Juán Peres and Willian Alvarado, members of the Peasant Movement for the Recovery of Aguan (MOCRA), were assassinated by paramilitary forces. That same day paramilitaries surrounded the house of Rodolfo Cruz, also of MOCRA, threatening him and his family. These murders were committed by heavily-armed paramilitary units at the service of large landowners. On the 3 of February, with no provocation, a police checkpoint assassinated Naúm Dicua and wounded a companion. On the same day, hundreds of villagers protested in front of the County courthouse in Sabá, Colón and called upon the Mayor and county president to impart justice. Police fired shots and tear gas, repelling the crowd.
Close to 60 peasants and indigenous leaders have been assassinated since president Porfirio Lobo assumed power in fraudulent elections following the 2009 coup d’etat that deposed president-elect Manuel Zelaya. Most of these killings have taken place in areas that are subject to large “land grabs” that have been systematically displacing the Honduran peasantry.
Women have also been threatened, as a form of intimidation of other peasant women and their families. On October 23, 2012, Carla Yadira Zelaya, spokesperson of the Unified Peasant Movement of Aguan (MUCA) was kidnapped at 6:30am in a bus stop in the area of El Carrizal. Carla was blindfolded while her captors interrogated her for three hours about whereabouts of MUCA’s leadership, online casino, before she was thrown out of the car.
We call upon the Department of State and the White House to communicate to the Honduran government the seriousness of the systematic violations of human rights of Honduran leaders and members of organizations involved in land disputes.
We urge you to implement the recommendation in the letter sent by Representative Hank Johnson (GA) and 57 other Congresspersons to the Department of State and the Department of Justice on January 25, calling for a credible investigation into the DEA-instigated killings of civilians in Ahuas, including a youth and two pregnant women.
In addition, the leader of Afro-Indigenous communities also mentioned in that letter, Miriam Miranda, is, we have just learned, under death threat. The Honduran government must be informed that these threats are intolerable to the U.S. government, and that Honduran officials need to take measures to protect them.
We call upon the U.S. to initiate a moratorium on continued military and security cooperation with the Honduran government until the scandalous violations of human rights can be diminished in that country that now has the highest murder rate in the world, and is considered by many to be a “failed state”. The blood of innocent Hondurans is staining the hands of the U.S. government and the US people.
The US Food Sovereignty Alliance
Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance
Community Alliance for Global Justice