Tag Archives: MUCA

Honduras: Aguán campesino leader arrested

By Bill Weinberg, February 12, 2013.  Source: WW4 Report

A contingent of some 30 soldiers and police agents arrested Juan Ramón Chinchilla, president of the largest campesino organization in northern Honduras’ Lower Aguán Valley, the evening of Feb. 8 in the central park in Tocoa, Colón department. Police then drove Chinchilla, who heads the Unified Campesino Movement of the Aguán (MUCA), 60 kilometers to a court in the city of Trujillo, where he was charged with “usurpation of land.” After a two-hour hearing, the judges released Chinchilla conditionally at about 2 am; he is required to stay in the country and to report to the court every Monday.

The criminal complaint against Chinchilla originated with Exportadora del Atlántico SA, the agricultural division of Grupo Dinant, a food product company founded by the wealthy Miguel Facussé Barjum. The Aguán Valley has been subject to violent struggles between campesinos and large landowners like Facussé since late in 2009, when MUCA and other campesino cooperatives occupied a number of estates they said were on land reserved for small farmers under an agrarian reform program from the 1980s. More than 80 campesinos have died in the land disputes, and Chinchilla himself was captured and beaten by hooded men in January 2011 and held for two days before escaping.

According to MUCA, the court’s decision to release Chinchilla so quickly was the result of solidarity from media groups and from hundreds of campesinos who headed to Trujillo the night of Feb. 8 and threatened to block roads if Chinchilla wasn’t freed. But the case against Chinchilla remains open. MUCA spokespeople say 3,081 campesinos have been arrested in connection with Aguán land disputes in the last two years, while the government of President Porfirio Lobo Sosa has failed to prosecute the region’s landowners and their security guards for violence against campesinos. (Lista Informativa Nicaragua y Más, LINyM, Feb. 9, viaFrente Nacional de Resistencia Popular,  Honduras); MUCA communiqué, Feb. 10, viaHonduras Tierra Libre)

In related news, on the afternoon of Feb. 2 a group of armed men gunned down the campesino Juan Pérez near the El Tigre community, about three kilometers from Tocoa, as he was returning home from work. Pérez, the father of nine, was a member of the Campesino Movement for the Recovery of the Aguán (MOCRA). Three hours later Williams Alvarado was murdered in the community of Taojica; he was a MUCA member who worked at the Flor del Aguán cooperative in the Aurora settlement. (MUCA communiqué, Feb. 3, via Vos el Soberano, Honduras; Adital, Brazil, Feb. 4)

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Filed under Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Food Sovereignty, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Political Repression

Deadly conflict over Honduran palm oil plantations puts CEO in the spotlight

By Jennifer Kennedy, January 10 2013. Source: CorpWatch

Photo: CorpWatch

Photo: CorpWatch

Months before he was killed this past September, Antonio Trejo-Cabrera reportedly sought protection from Miguel Facussé, the owner of Dinant Corporation, a major Honduran snack food and agricultural company. Trejo had good reason to be afraid – he was a lawyer who represented peasant movements fighting palm oil plantations in the Honduras in the last three years – many of whom were subjected to violence and other human rights abuses.

A recent profile of Facussé in the Los Angeles Times describes the 89-year-old businessman as “a symbol of the old style of patriarchal power” that has “ruthlessly developed the country over the decades from a hot and dusty backwater to an international producer of bananas, cheap clothing and, more recently, biofuels.”

Facussé joined the biofuel rush by planting African palm trees, backed by funds from bilateral and multilateral loan agencies like the World Bank. The palm trees yield a fruit which can be processed to produce biofuels that is in high demand by governments who want industry to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels like coal and petroleum in order to meet international obligations to mitigate global warming under the Climate Change convention. Continue reading

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Filed under Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, Green Economy, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Political Repression, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests

Stop World Bank funding of death squads in Honduras

By Annie Bird, November 8 2012. Source: Rights Action

Photo: Upside Down World

Note:  The World Bank is being called upon to suspend its $30 million loan to the Dinant Corporation of Honduras, an African palm oil corporation that belongs to one of Honduras’ wealthiest persons and largest landowners.

As examined in the following report by Annie Bird of Rights Action, Facusse’s security forces are believed to be responsible for the murder of over 80 campesino land rights activists and their supporters in the Aguan region of northern Honduras; murders that have taken place since the 2009 military coup.

Rights Action is urging the international community to add their voice to the call, by writing to the President of the World Bank demanding an explanation as to why it continues to invest in the military junta-controlled country, where the rule of law, the most fundamental element of a rights protective framework necessary for just development, is not functional.

You can send letters (which are far more effective than petitions or emails) to

President Jim Yong Kim
The World Bank Group
1818 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20433

The Dinant Corporation and subsidiaries of the Jaremar Corporation, both Honduran African palm oil corporations blamed by campesino movements for the murder of approximately 80 campesinos in the Aguan river valley region since the June 2009 military coup, have received millions of dollars from the World Bank since the coup.  Most recently, on November 2, 2012, Orlando Campos, Reynaldo Rivera Paz, and José Omar Paz – all former members of a campesinomovement which contests rights to the “ Panama farm” against Dinant Corporation’s illegitimate claims – were killed in a drive-by shooting as they waited for a bus. The following day, in an unprecedented arrest of a death squad member, police officer Marvin Noe García Santos was arrested for these assassinations.
Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Green Economy, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Political Repression, World Bank

Lawyer who helped peasants recover lands murdered in Honduras

September 23, 2012. Source: Latin American Herald Tribune

TEGUCIGALPA – Honduran attorney Antonio Trejo, who represented peasants who have attempted to reclaim land in the Caribbean province of Colon, was murdered by unknown killers in Tegucigalpa, a human rights group announced Sunday.

Trejo was the legal adviser to the MARCA land reclamation movement and was shot to death Saturday night near the Toncontin International Airport, the Committee of Relatives of Disappeared Detainees in Honduras, or Cofadeh, said.

According to the versions of the murder published in the local media, Trejo attended a wedding on Saturday night in the southern capital neighborhood of America near the airport and when he left the noisy venue to answer a cell phone call he had received he was riddled with bullets by gunmen waiting outside.

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Filed under Food Sovereignty, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Political Repression, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration