The FNRP-Colon denounces to the Honduran people and the International community, that on Friday October 14, 2011 after an armed attack on the campesinos of the National Recuperation Movement of Rigores, ,compañero Segundo Mendoza of the settlement of La Consentida was disappeared – the private guards of the big landowners and the police from Operation Xatruch abandoned the plantation in the afternoon leaving the body of Segundo and another body of an unknown person hidden.
This was confirmed on October 15 when the guards returned to the plantation and found a Group of campesinos who they fired on, wounding the campesino Santiago Ivan Gonzales and campesino Deby Mancia – they observed that in the back of the pick-up truck of the guards they had two big bags tied up , like body bags. According to the version of the police in Tocoa, Colon there were some delincuents stealing African palm the day before (this is how they criminalize the campesinos who are struggling for land on the left bank of the Aguan). The police said they didn’t known who had killed the person even though the police themselves were part of the eviction operation in which Segundo was assassinated by the private guards of the big landowners.
Compañero Segundo Mendoza, an activist in the campesino movement of Rigores was found in the morgue of the City of La Ceiba in the Department of Atlantida, 60 kilometers from his settlement. His body shows various bullet wounds from the heavy caliber weapon that ended his life; one more crime that fills the mother earth of Aguan with blood as she receives the lives of her best men who want their children to have food to eat and a place to sleep and somewhere to produce in order to live better.
The zone in which the campesinos are in action continues to be militarized; there is not another militarized region and there are not other armed interventions except for these campesinos. The accomplices of the Agrarian Minister, Cesar Ham, facilitator of the militarization in Aguan; the accomplices of the big landowners; the accomplices of the assassins who murder campesinos continue to be silent, at times giving false information about the conflict; but they are also recognized.
There are compañeros and compañeras with a price on their heads, compañeros and compañeras who dare to leave their settlements are kidnapped and murdered, the settlements are fired upon at dawn; the military of the Xatruch Commandos carry out practice maneuvers for how to do massive invasions by encircling all four sides (of the settlements) for 12 hours at a time. Today, October 17th, the State sent eight new commands of military troops to the zone preparing for an action of final extermination, to act in a joint operation with advisors from the North American army, the Colombian army – expert on state terrorism and Mexican paramilitary who are also already in Honduras together with the Honduran Army – because the zone of Lower Aguan is so extensive, with so much river and alternative routes.
Perhaps this is what they are thinking, to exterminate at all political and social costs. For this government of Pepe Lobo, THE HUMAN LIFE OF THOSE OF AGUAN HAS NO VALUE. Their commitment (the government) is to the big land owners who initiated and sustained the coup d’état in Honduras, WHO EXTERMINATE this martyred people of Aguan who are a valiant example for Latin America and the world. They can take our lives but thousands continue to struggle with the hope of refounding our country so that the land will not belong to just a few but to all. We call for the strengthening of an international observatory for human rights in Aguan showing militant solidarity with our brothers and sisters who struggle for the land.
Those who maintain silence in the face of so much atrocity are accomplices of those who assassinated our people. If up to today you have been silent, raise your voice in solidarity with Aguan.
Military out of Aguan!
Stop the extermination by assassination of the campesinos!
Stop the violations of human rights in Aguan~
Stop the kidnapping of campesinos! Tocoa, Colon, October 17, 2011 National Front of Popular Resistance in Colon
El 17 de octubre de 2011 23:09, Wilfredo Paz Reyes <email@example.com> escribió:
El FNRP-COLON, denuncia al pueblo hondureño, a la comunidad internacional, que dede el viernes 14 de octubre del año en curso,despues de un ataque armado a campesinos del movimiento nacional recuperación rigores desapareció el compañero Segundo Mendoza en el asentamiento de la finca la consentida,los guardias de los terratenientes y policías del operativo xatruch abandonaron la finca en horas de la tarde habiendo dejado escondidos el cuerpo del compañero Segundo y otro cuerpo mas que no se sabe de quien es.Esta versión se confirma cuando el 15 de octubre los guardias regresaron a la mencionada finca, se encontraron con un grupo de campesinos, los agarraron a balazos, logrando herir al campesino Santiago Iván Gonzales y al campesino Deby Mancía, ellos observaron que en la paila de uno de los vehículos llevaban dos bolsas grandes amarradas como las que usan con cadáveres. Según versión de la policá de Tocoa,colon fueron a realizar el reconocimiento de un cuerpo encontrado en las palmeras del empresario Miguel Facusse que en el día anterior handaba con unos delincuentes que se dedican a robar palma africana (así criminalizan ellos la lucha por la tierra en la márgen izquierda del río aguan), al preguntarsele que quién lo habia asesinado manifestó que no sabían aún,cuando la policía misma actuó en el operativo de desalojo donde asesinaron a Segundo los guardias de los terratenientes.El compañero Segundo Mendoza, luchador del movimento campenino de rigores fué encontrado en la morgue judicial de la ciudad de la ceiba, departamento de atlantida a unos 60 kilómetros de su asentamiento, su cuerpo presenta varios disparos de arma psada que terminaron con su vida, un crímen más que llena de sangre esta madre tierra del aguan que recibe en su seno la vida de sus mejores hombres, que quieren que sus hijos tengan que comer,donde dormir , donde producir para vivir mejor.
La zona de accion de los grupos campesinos sigue militarizada,no hay otra región militarizada,y no hacen las intervenciones armadas ,más que en estos grupos campesinos,
los cómplices del ministro agrario Cesar Ham, propiciador de la militarizacion en el aguan ,los cómplices de los terratenientes,los cómplices del sicariato que asesina campesinos siguen en silencio, a veces dando versiones falsas acerca del conflicto, pero estos también ya estan reconocidos.
Hay compañeros y compañeras que sus cabezas tienen precio,aquellos compañeros y compañeras que se atreven a salir de sus asentamientos estan siendo secuestrados y asesinados,disparan en horas de la madrugada en contra de los asentamientos,,los militaes del comando xatruch realizan operativos de ensayo de como harán los hallanamientos masivos,cercan por sus cuatro lados hasta por doce horas a los asentamientos campesinos, y el estado hio llegar hoy 17 de octubre ocho nuevos comandos de efectivos militares a la zona
preparandose para la acción de exterminio final,tendrán entonces que traer para actuar en un operativo conjunto a la asesoría del ejercito norteamericano,la asesoría del ejercito colombiano experto en terrorismo de estado y los paramlitares mexicanos que tambien ya estan en honduras junto a todo el ejercito de honduras porque esta zona del bajo aguan es demasiado extensa,tiene mucho río y mucho camino alternativo.
Quiza, en eso esten pensando,en exterminar a cualquier costo político,a cualquier costo social,a este gobierno de pepe lobo NO LE IMPORTA LA VIDA DE ESTOS SERTES HUMANOS DEL AGUAN, porque su compromiso es mayor con los terratenientes que impulsaron y sostuvieron el golpe de estado en honduras. QUIEREN EXTERMINAR este pueblo mártir del aguan ejemplo de valentía para america latina y el mundo.
Podrán quitarnos la vida pero miles siguen con la lucha y la esperanza de refundar nuestra patria donde la tierra no sea de unos pocos ,sino de todos y todas.
Hacemos el llamado a fortalecer el observatorio internacional de derechos humanos para el aguan demostrando una solidaridad militante con nuestros hermanos y hermanas que luchan por la tierra..
Los que guardan silencio anta tanta atrocidad son cómplices
de los que asesinan a nuestro pueblo.Si hasta hoy has guardado silencio levanta tú voz,solidarizate con el aguan.
¡fuera militares del aguan¡
¡alto al exterminio por asesinato de los campesinos ¡
¡paremos la violacion a los derechos humanos en el aguan¡
¡alto al secuestro de campesinos¡
Tocoa,colon, 17 de octubre 2011.
Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular en colon.
Honduras Delegation Preliminary Report- Sept 8-19, 2011
U.S Human Rights Observer Team Leaves Honduras with Troubling Report.
Tegucigalpa, Honduras- Nine U.S human rights observers of the Honduras Solidarity Network returned to the US this week after a twelve day intensive investigation that included visits to the Bajo Aguan/Colón and the departments of Atlantida, Yoro, Cortés and Francisco Morazán. Delegates met with campesino communities and organizations, with military/police representatives in the Bajo Aguan, observed the resistance march on Sept 15th in San Pedro Sula, visited four political prisoners including Enrique Flores Lanza, witnessed the ratification of the statutes for the Frente Amplio (FARP) and met with the new US Ambassador Lisa Kibiske. “We decided to assemble this observer team because of our growing concern for the protection of human rights in Honduras, particularly for those associated with the resistance movement and communities involved in the land struggle of the Aguan Valley. We feel a vital role as US citizens and human rights advocates to monitor the role of the US government and US military in Honduras. We do not agree with the past actions of the US government that supported repressive regimes in Latin America and provided funds to Latin American militaries involved in human rights violations.” Says Tanya Cole of the human rights group Witness for Peace Southwest.
Another goal of the observer team was to evaluate how the Lobo government is complying with the Cartagena Accord. “We know the US was a heavy advocate for the return of Honduras to the OAS and yet it is very apparent to us that the Lobo administration has not effectively completed any of the requirements of the Cartagena accord which were mandatory obligations for Honduras’ re-entry into the OAS. “ quotes Dale Sorensen of the California organization Task Force of the Americas.
During the Observer Team’s time in the Bajo Aguan they met with a variety of campesino communities as well as questioned police and military representatives of Colón. “Before we arrived to the Aguan we had heard so much media reporting within Honduras about the existence of heavily armed campesino groups. We visited several different campesino communities of the MCA, MUCA and MARCA. The only heavily armed groups we saw in the Aguan Valley were the guards of Miguel Facusse, the national police and soldiers of the Xatruch II military unit. The campesinos told us that they want a peaceful resolution of the land conflicts and to be able to live safely and support their families, but that they continue to be terrorized by state security forces and the private armed guards of large land holders.” Stated Vicki Cervantes of Chicago’s La Voz de los de Abajo. The observer team visited the community of Rigores that was raided in June by the police forces who completed an illegal eviction of hundreds of community members including the burning and destruction of homes, a school and two churches. Just days after the observer team left the Rigores community where some families have returned to their lands, 21 community members were rounded up by police, threatened and tortured. There were reports of threats made by police also against the “human rights people that were helping them”. A couple of days later police and military of the Xatruch II raided the community again and dragged the 16-year old son of the campesino group’s president into the palm, drenched him in gasoline and threatened to set him on fire.
The delegation also met with the community of Marañones of MUCA -Left Bank who were part of a government agreement in April of 2010 to grant them 11 thousand hectares, part of which they are currently using and cultivating. Since this agreement was made the government has not complied with any of its promises and the community continues to be threatened by the armed guards of Rene Morales and Miguel Facusse as well as having suffered several illegal evictions conducted by the National Police forces. It was brought to the delegates attention that the armed guards of Miguel Facusse and Rene Morales used to have uniforms that clearly demonstrated they were private guards but now they try to dress like campesinos or they arrive with their faces masked. “Our observer teams see several failures of the Honduran state to resolve the conflict in the Bajo Aguan. At the core is the land struggle. The government has not resolved or finalized many of the land titles owed to campesino communities nor have the security forces evicted large landowners from campesino land they are currently occupying. In addition the state security forces not only are unable to prevent the illegal threats, raids and assassinations of campesinos by private armed guards of the large land holders but they often are or seem to be complicit in these activities. “ Says delegate Vicki Cervantes.
The delegates visited three prisons including the a prison near La Ceiba, Presidio San Juan in Trujillo and the Juvenile Detention Center El Carmen near San Pedro Sula. All three jails are holding presumed political prisoners from the community of Guadelupe Carney of the Bajo Aguan. Guadelupe Carney was the first campesino community to establish itself in the Bajo Aguan many years ago and is named after the American Jesuit Priest James Guadelupe Carney who was disappeared in Honduras during the 1980’s. Isabel Morales has been held for nearly 3 years without conviction, which in itself is a violation of Honduran law. Also two youths from Guadelupe Carney, Lelis Lemos Martinez (17) and Denis Israel Castro (20) have been held since August of this year. All three prisoners have multiple declarations from witnesses along with forensic evidence that they were not involved in their accused crimes. “During our time in the Bajo Aguan we also heard of dozens of arrest warrants out for campesinos leaders from lands in dispute. We see this as a police tactic of intimidation and illegal detention. Since it can take up to 2 years for a prisoner to see a trial and be proven innocent, or more in the case of Isabel Morales, we see this as a way Honduran security forces are politically and illegally silencing the campesino movements of the Aguan Valley.” Says Tanya Cole. The observer team also met with Enrique Flores Lanza, under house arrest in Tegucigalpa. “The detention of Lanza is a direct violation of the Cartegena accord which called for the return of all exiles without fear of prosecution. We also are aware of four other exiles from the coup that have since been forced to leave the country again after the Cartagena agreement was signed.” Says Brian Stefan of the Cleveland group Inter-Religious Task Force on Central America.
On September 15th the team witnessed a peaceful, upbeat and spirited march of the resistance in San Pedro Sula. Hardly any police presence was seen but reports were heard of police tanks standing by just blocks away from the march. Delegates heard testimonies from participants of last year’s march that left one person dead and many injured. The observer team had just left Tocoa, Colón the day before where the resistance march was blocked by police on the 15th.The team had to make preparations for tear gas and emergency evacuation by using scarves soaked in vinegar and keeping an evacuation vehicle close by. “With so many thousands of people including children and elderly participating in the march it is horrifying to imagine how police used massive amounts tear gas against the crowds last year.” Says delegate Sara Kohgadai of San Francisco, CA.
FNRP and FARP
The team also was witness to the ratification of the statutes for the new political party the FARP (Frente Amplio) on Sept 17th at the assembly of the FNRP in Tegucigalpa. “It is exciting to see the movement toward more popular political participation in Honduras. Yet it concerns us greatly that just within weeks of the FARP’s official formation as a political party we heard of the deaths of three leaders of the FNRP including Nahum Guerra of Santa Barbara, Emo Sadloo of Tegucigalpa and Medardo Flores of San Pedro Sula. A main component of the Cartagena Accord is that the FNRP be able to move forward as a legitimate political force. We do not see how the FARP can freely participate in the democratic process under such a severe climate of politically motivated assassinations.” Says delegate Tanya Cole.
The team also visited the Garifuna community of Triumfo de la Cruz near Tela, Cortés and met with representatives of the Garifuna Hospital near La Ceiba. “Our team saw similarities with the struggle of Garifuna communities to stay on their rightful lands with that of the campesino communities of the Aguan. It seems that large land owners like Miguel Facusse have disrespected legal land titles held by the Garifuna and started mega tourism projects on Garifuna land.” Stated delegate Corinthian Davis of the Chicago Religious Leadership Network. “The Garifuna told us that they are not against development or progress but that development should come from within the community and benefit the community. We saw an example of that with the construction of the only Garifuna Hospital in Honduras. An amazing accomplishment that came from the community, benefits the community and that unfortunately received no help from the government.,” remarked Ms. Davis.
In the team’s last official day in Honduras they held a meeting with the new US Ambassador Lisa Kibiske, who has been in Honduras only for a few weeks. “We felt it was of vital importance to report our concerns for human rights in Honduras to the new US Ambassador. While we were in the Aguan, sergeants (of the Xatruch II military units) of the Xatruch Special Forces participating in the Xatruch II operation confirmed they had received training from the United States military in special operations, which include sniper and anti-terrorism training. Just moments after leaving the Ambassador’s office we heard the reports of the Xatruch II military and police agents raid against the Aguan campesino community of Rigores – the second violent raid in four days” Says Vicki Cervantes. In May of this year the Honduras Solidarity Network, a broad nationwide network of organizations and individuals concerned for human rights in Honduras, worked to get 87 members of congress to sign a letter condemning human rights violations in Honduras. The letter specifically asked for a halt in US military and police aid to Honduras and for the US Embassy to speak out against human rights violations in Honduras. When asked if the US Embassy has responded to this request from the US congress, Ambassador Kubiske responded. “There is a time to speak out and a time not to.” Tanya Cole adds, “It seemed during our entire meeting at the US Embassy the Ambassador was unwilling to admit there exists politically motivated killings in Honduras. We need the US Embassy to take a true stand for human rights in Honduras. It worries us the U.S may want to pretend everything is fine in Honduras so that they may continue with US military sales and business relations as usual.”
Preliminary recommendations from the September Observer Team’s findings are 1. International Human Rights Organizations increase their attention on Honduras as the electoral process is pursued by the FARP and the land struggle continues in the Aguan Basin of Honduras. 2. That US congress and State Department take concrete and public action to condemn human right violations in Honduras and withhold military/police aid from Honduras while Honduran military and police agents continue to be complicit in forced disappearances, illegal raids, illegal detentions and human rights violations across the country.