(Excerpts from the declaration of November 11, 2011)
We, members of the Honduran Social Movement, the Campesino Organizations of the Aguán, the National Front of Popular Resistance of the Department of Colón and international Human Rights organizations who attended the opening of this Observatory of Human Rights, before the National and International Community declare:
That protected by the fundamental charter of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in international treaties that uphold the fundamental rights of peoples, especially indigenous populations under threat, in the introduction of the Constitution of the Republic and in the Articles 59, 60 and 61 which literally state: that the Constitution guarantees to Hondurans and foreigners residing in the country the right to the inviolability of life, personal security, liberty, equality before the law, and property; the Article 64 also states that the right to life is inviolable; the Article 66 which prohibits the death penalty, and all the other articles relating to claims, rights and individual rights protected by the principle of self-determination and the exercise of popular sovereignty, in the context of permanent violation of human rights of the people of the Department of Colón and the Atlantic Coast of Honduras, especially the climate of terror, murder, persecution of peasant groups in the region and the constant danger that face human rights defenders in front of Court officials, businesspeople and landowners such as Miguel Facussé, Reynaldo Canales and Rene Morales, who are using an army of security guards and murderers to do the work of hired killers.
These landowners, acting under the politic approval of the National Agrarian Institute headed by the Minister Cesar Ham, of the President of the Republic Porfirio Lobo Sosa and his Minister of Security and Defence, are organizing this third militarization of the Lower Aguán, called "Xatruch II ", using conventional war weapons on land as well as helicopters and aircraft armed with destructive weapons that are ready to be used.
In recent months, police, Honduran national army troops, security guards and hired assassins which usually cover their faces with ski masks, carried out drills of massive raids twice on the settlement of the Unified Peasant Movement of Aguán (MUCA), established with the approval of the State and the actual Government in the settlement of Los Marañones, and twice in the settlements of the MUCA of the right bank of the river Aguán, La Confianza, La Aurora and La Lempira; Colonel Espinal, who serves as Commander of Operation "Xatruch II" declared that all the settlements would be intervened to succeed general disarmament.
Against this background which places the human rights of the Aguán population and especially the rural population in a precarious and extremely risky situation, we have decided:
1. To defend the right to life as a fundamental right, to defend human rights of men, women and children living in constant harassment, repression and insecurity.
2. To be present during evictions, raids and military interventions within the framework of the defense of peoples' human rights and of the agrarian conflict.
3. To provide protection of populations and individuals facing threats, suffering persecution and who are permanently the targets of repression.
4. Accompaniment in legal advocacy, medical and legal proceedings related to land conflict.
5. To denounce nationally and internationally the violation of human rights in the region, creating forums and urgent response mechanisms.
6. To bring to trail before national and international legal bodies, those who violate human rights in this region of Honduras.
7. We call upon human rights organizations, the national social movements in Latin America and the world, leading personalities in the defense of human rights and in promoting peace through social and human development, to attend the international gathering of human rights defenders, an event that will take place in this region of Aguán from February 17th to 21st, 2012.
For the right to life, stop the killings of campesinos in Honduras and the Aguán!
Stop human rights violation in the Aguán!
Tocoa, Colón, 11/11/2011.
MCA, MARCA, MUCA MARGEN IZQUIERDA, MUCA MARGEN DERECHA, MOVIMIENTO CAMPESINO RIGORES, EMPRESA CAMPESINA BUENOS AIRES, EMPRESA CAMPESINA ORICA, CENTRO JUVENIL HORIZONTES DE ESPERANZA, COPA, COPINH, OFRANEH, POPOL NAH TUN, FUNDACION SAN ALONSO RODRIGUEZ, ASOCIACION DE ABOGADOS POR LA JUSTICIA, COORDINACION FNRP-COLON, FIAN INTERNACIONAL, FIAN HONDURAS, DERECHOS EN ACCION, CICA