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Honduras is one of Central America’s most problematic places in terms of conflicts over land, even more so after the coup d’état that ousted its constitutional President, Jose Manuel Zelaya, in 2009.
For this reason, the 1st Continental Assembly of the Latin American Coordination of Countryside Organizations (CLOC-Via Campesina) focused on Honduras.
Real World Radio is present at the Assembly, where it had the chance to capture the voices of the Honduran peasants in Managua.
The valley of river Aguan in Ceiba department, Honduras, has an extension of over 600,000 hectares of land, 35,000 of which are planted with palm oil. Miguel Facusse is the largest palm oil businessman in the area, but not the only one. The local peasants have demanded 7,000 hectares of this land for over 18 years.
After the military coup staged in 2009, repression and persecution of the social movement has worsened in Honduras. There are hundreds of people disappeared and nearly 60 murdered for political reasons, according to information provided by the Committee of Families of the Disappeared in Honduras.
In this scenario, there is a conflict over land ownership in Bajo Aguan. Real World Radio interviewed Vitalino Alvarez, spokesperson of the Unified Peasant Movement of Aguan (MUCA).
Alvarez believes that solidarity should materialize in being more present. “We need to radicalize solidarity in the continent, have more presence in the territories and communities that suffer attacks to make these human rights violations more visible”.
MUCA’s spokesperson pointed out that “CLOC-VC faces the challenge of reclaiming rights, like the right to land because we cannot talk about food sovereignty unless there is right to land”.
“Este triunfo de Uruguay debe ser un llamado urgente a analizar, revisar, renegociar o anular cuando corresponda todos los tratados bilaterales de comercio y de protección de inversiones que ha suscrito el país, antes de exponernos a nuevas demandas en las que podemos correr con distinta suerte que en la recién finalizada”.
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