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A joint operation by police, special military and security guards of a corporation carried out Sunday at La Aurora estate, in Valle del Aguan, Honduras, ended with the death of a 17 year-old peasant and the arrest of another five. The rural workers had been settled there by the National Agrarian Institute.
The Unified Peasant Movement of Aguan (MUCA) condemned the constant repression in the area and recalled that La Aurora is one of the properties that the Profirio Lobo administration delivered to the peasants in an agreement signed in April.
Members of the Cobra batallion, of the preemptive police and security guards of the company Orion, entered La Aurora on Sunday to evict the families settled there. During the operation they killed Oscar Geovanny Ramírez. The five captured peasants were accused of unlawful association and of carrying illegal weapons. MUCA claims the accusations are false.
Prensa Latina reports that the agreement signed between the Honduran government and the MUCA peasants provides the delivery of 3,000 hectares of land harvested with palm oil and 3,000 hectares of uncultivated land. Profirio Lobo’s administration also promised to give 5,000 hectares of land in a year, under the condition that “they cannot be used as a security, or sold under no circumstances”.
The Honduran section of Food First Information and Action Network assures in a press release published on Sunday, that the 24 MUCA member organizations left their respective plots of land to comply with the agreement. They gathered in the remaining five plots of land (La Lempira, La Confianza, La Aurora, La Concepción and Camarones) until the 11,000 hectares of land they were promised, are delivered.
The peasants warn that they are in an area granted by the government as part of an agreement and that the security forces should not go inside their lands, let alone firing their guns.
“When the 24 member organizations of MUCA signed the agreement they understood that this would end the police and security guards’ aggressions, but the current incidents show the contrary”, say the peasants in a press release issued on Monday.
Tens of families have been evicted in the recent months by Army and police officers despite the agreement. Military and police officers were backed by private guards of ranchers René Morales and Miguel Facussé.
The latter is pointed by MUCA as the responsible for Sunday’s murder, together with Lobo and his Minister of Security, Óscar Álvarez. Facussé, a palm oil producer, has rejected and tried to delegitimize the agreement signed between the peasants and the government.
The young man who was killed yesterday is the seventh deadly victim of MUCA since the process of land recovery began in December of 2007.
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