Honduras: five killed in continuing Aguán violence

A Honduran campesino, Marvin Orlando Rivera Mejía, was killed around 6 am on Sept. 1 during a confrontation between security guards and a campesino group at the Boleros estate, at the edge of Trujillo in the northern department of Colón. The victim was reportedly not involved in the confrontation and was shot unintentionally. A guard, José Reyes González, was hit by a bullet in the back and was taken to a clinic in the city of San Pedro Sula. The campesinos fled when police and soldiers arrived; an unknown number were wounded. Departmental police chief José Mejía claimed the campesino group was heavily armed.

Honduras: Aguán campesinos arrested in Supreme Court protests

Some 45 campesinos from the Lower Aguán Valley in northern Honduras were arrested during protests on Aug. 21 and Aug. 22 demanding that the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) issue rulings in favor of campesino struggles for land. The protests were sponsored by a number of organizations—including the Unified Campesino Movement of the Aguán (MUCA) and the Authentic Claimant Movement of Aguán Campesinos (MARCA)—that have led land occupations and other demonstrations since 2009 in an effort to obtain farmland that they say big landowners acquired illegally during the 1990s.

Honduras: students demand transportation subsidy

A total of 25 high school students from the Honduras Technical Institute in Tegucigalpa were arrested on July 30 when the National Police broke up a protest by about 100 students on the Armed Forces Boulevard in the Villas del Sol neighborhood. The protesters were demanding that the government pay out a promised transportation subsidy. When police agents used tear gas and nightsticks to disperse the demonstration, the students reportedly responded by throwing rocks. Some shops were damaged, along with a patrol car, but according to police spokesperson Desire Martínez "no students or police were injured." 

Honduras: more evictions, more occupations in the Aguán

The situation in northern Honduras' Lower Aguán Valley, where land disputes have led to as many as 70 deaths in the past three years, remained tense and confused as of July 20, with prior agreements and court rulings apparently being contradicted by later developments. The National Agrarian Institute (INA) was reportedly ready in the second week of July to implement agreements made between the government, campesino groups and major landowners in June to settle disputes over eight estates. The INA would pay out 636 million lempiras (more than US$33 million) to two major landowners—Honduran cooking oil magnate Miguel Facussé Barjum and Nicaraguan entrepreneur and politician René Morales Carazo—for the estates and then turn them over to the members of two campesino organizations, the Unified Campesino Movement of the Aguán (MUCA) and the Authentic Claimant Movement of Aguán Campesinos (MARCA). The campesinos would pay the money back with 6.5% interest annually over a period of 15 years.

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