The Unitfied Movement of Peasants of Aguan, (MUCA) with the support of peasant organizations, people's organizations and Human Rights organizations, held a press conference on Wednesday January 13th, 2010 in the offices of Vía Campesina in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where it revealed the persecution and threats to which peasants of the movement have been submitted through many years of the struggle for land.
The brotehrs and sisters representing MUCA expressed to the different media the constant violations of their human rights that they have suffered and continue suffering above all with the recent displacement this past January 8th, 2010 because of orders of the supposed owners of those lands using military and police authorities of the de facto regime, for the simple act of having reclaimed lands that belong to the movement, as it was exactly in this area, Aguan, where years ago many agrarian cooperatives of peasants were functioning generating income and development in the area.
Francisco Fúnez, Director of the National Agrarian Institute in the government of Zelaya expressed that “with the Coup d'Etat in Honduras the conflicts have sharpened in the country and especially in Aguan where the agrarian conflicts for land are ongoing, despite the fact that last year President Zelaya, the peasants, the National Agrarian Institute, and the land owners signed an agreement that said that nobody could dispute the property of those lands without demonstrating the legality of it, nonetheless the displacement continues in that zone and the threat is latent."
What follows is the press release put out by the MUCA today in the press conference and Communiqué number 45 of the National Front of Popular Resistance in solidarity with the peasants of Aguan.
The Unified Peasant Movement fo Aguan (MUCA), arises in 2001 and is made up of 3,500 peasant families. The purpose is the recuperation of a parcel of land for Agrarian Reform, but this right has cost much blood to the peasants who though the years have been at the front of this struggle.
Currently 18 peasants of the MUCA are being prosecuted for the crime of usurpation and are receiving persecution and threats.
Friday January 8th, 2010 the following peasant groups: the Agropecuaria 21 de Julio Cooperative, the Empresa Asociativa de Campesinos 9 de Diciembre, the Empresa Asociativa de Campesinos el Despertar, Empresa Asociativa de Campesinos San Esteban and others located in the left bank of the Aguan river, who are members of MUCA, were violently displaced by elements of the police, the military, security guards of the landholder René Morales dressed in military uniforms, causing grave physical and psychological damages to many peasants who were in the area.
Because of this:
1- MUCA demands of the Honduran State and the National Agrarian Institute the immediate adjudication of the lands of the peasants of Aguan, since the acquisition of them by Miguel Facusé, René Morales and Reinaldo Canales was illegal, because article 106 of the Law of Agrarian Reform establishes that the cooperatives have the prohibition of selling or transferring the totality or part of the adjudicated lands except with previous authorization of the National Agrarian Institute and this entity never authorized the sale of these lands.
2- There exists an agreement among President Zelaya and these peasant groups of Aguan signed at the beginning of the month of June, 2009 before the coup d'etat, in which was agreed that a technical juridical commission would investigate the legality of the tending of these lands and the supposed owners Miguel Facusé, René Morales and Reinaldo Canales would be paid for the improvements they had made; but the lands would be given to the peasants of MUCA.
3- We demand Exigimos of the Attorney General, the Judge of Tocoa and other entities involved in this matter to abstain from executing violent displacements of the Unified Movement of Aguan (MUCA), since the agrarian question is the responsibility of the State through the National Agrarian Institute and not of the army and the police, especially not when there is an agreement signed by the government with the peasant groups of this zone.
4- We demand that while the investigation has not ended regarding tenancy of this land by the INA, all types of displacement be halted, as well as the persecution and threats against members of the Unified Peasant Movement of Aguan (MUCA).
5- We hold responsible the prosecutor of Tocoa Adoris Molina Reyes and the judge Suyapa Karina Basha Pinel, the supposed property owners, the Armed Forces and the de facto authorities for all acts of violence that could occur, as tomorrow, January 14th, 2010 there is another displacement of sisters and brothers who have kept their position in the lands on the bank of the River Aguan.
6- We make a call to the national and international community and especially to the social and people's organizations of Honduras as well as the Human Rights defense organizations to stand in solidarity with our struggle.
Tegucigalpa, Honduras January 13th, 2010
Unified Peasant Movement of Aguan (MUCA)
Vía Campesina in Honduras
National Central of Rural Workers (CNTC)
Coordinating Council of Peasant Organizations of Honduras (COCOCH)
National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP)
Fian Internacional, Human Rights defense organization