"The soldiers came with an eviction order saying we had weapons"
Saturday July 2, 2011. On Friday June 24 the judge of letters from the city of Tocoa, Josue Mejia Pagoada issued an eviction order addressed for Rigores Peasant Movement in Lower Aguan. When it took place hours later, 114 houses were demolished (valued at 14,000 Lempiras each). The security forces that implemented the eviction also destroyed six school classrooms, three churches, three broiler projects, a community center as well as several other productive facilities for the next harvest crops, all with backhoe. A tractor was confiscated. The children will lose another school year due to the destruction of schools and the trauma that an eviction means to them.
Twelve groups members were taken to Tocoa and later released, while several women aborted during the evacuation, which lasted between 12 noon to 9 pm. There are 13 other farmers with arrest warrants, while solidarity networks announce that on Friday July 1st two members were arrested. Carlos Sandoval is still detained and the authorities give no information on why this is happening “At 7pm, Rigores was attacked with firearms by police forces, and 2 more campesinos were forcibly disappeared” said Chuck Kaufman.
The land was recuperated by Rigores Peasant Group in 2001, around 500 people lives in the place, who are now sleeping in friends' homes and survive with the help of the community as representatives of the group reported.
The military and the police arrived, "heavily armed, threatening and intimidating the dignity of campesinos" said a group member.
The group has suffered 5 evictions over 11 years, the latter performed by Judge Ever Isael Lopez Oseguera in a demand caused by Erick Rivera, who alleges ownership of the land that while "uncultivated" were recuperated by the group according to the Honduran law.
In a Communiqué the farmers, mostly members of the CNTC, called for national and international community to speak out in solidarity.
This alert (below) was issued on Thursday, June 30 by a delegation from Alliance for Global Justice and Rights Action that is traveling in Aguan as human rights observers. As of the evening of July 2nd, the campesino, Carlos Sandoval from Los Rigores remains detained and the two disappeared have not been located.
EMERGENCY ALERT: SPANISH SPEAKERS' CALLS NEEDED
>>>> Today around 11am Mountain Time, 2 campesinos in the Aguan were detained without charge from the community of Rigores, which has been increasingly under attack by large landowners in the region since the 2009 coup. At 7pm, Rigores was attacked with firearms by police forces, and 2 more campesinos were forcibly disappeared. The Alliance for Global Justice received news that a violent eviction is to take place at 6am tomorrow Friday, and will be on site to observe and accompany the campesinos of Rigores. While one of the detainees has been released, Spanish-speaker callers are urgently needed on behalf of the remaining detainee, Carlos Sandoval. Please call the Tocoa Police Station to demand assurance of his personal safety and inquire about the location and identities of the 2 disappeared persons.
Please call both numbers immediately:
Tocoa Police Station: 011 504 2444 3105
Investigation Office: 011 504 2444 2490