|CNTC's Franklin Almendares explains|
campesino position to landowners
claiming the campesino land
|Campesinos meet with CNTC|
leaders and INA (both photos)
In late January as part of La Voz de los de Abajo accompaniment with the CNTC communities, I attended a mediation session with another campesino group and the same locally powerful landowners disputing ownership of the land of "Juan Almendares" at the regional Agrarian Institute office in Comayagua (see photos). At that session there were agreements to remeasure the lands and to attempt to settle disagreements without evictions or violence. However that campesino group reported that they had been violently evicted before and regularly harassed by unknown armed men. I spoke to the mother of a young campesino from the group who was murdered by gunman near their home. At this time the INA, which has played a very mixed role in the agrarian conflict in the past, is undergoing massive budget cuts and tasks are being turned over to the government agency called Private Property Council and the function of issuing land titles is being given to a combined public/private enterprise (Coalianza) in which the current President, Juan Orlando Hernandez, and other members of the elite are partners. At this time the INA is not providing services to the campesinos of “Juan Almendares” and the few services they provided to the campesino movement nationally are being withdrawn.
The CNTC (Central Nacional de los Trabajadores del Campo) celebrated their 30th anniversary on January 21st of this year, but they had to cancel festivities because of the number of evictions and detentions and attacks against their members. At this time besides the nine campesinos from “Juan Almendares” the following CNTC members are held in jail/prison: Omar Mejía Gálea, Benancio Palomo Chavarría, Edgardo Hernández, detained January 10, 2014 and members of the group “Buena Vista”, la Brea, Comayagua; Héctor David Gáleas López, Nery Antonio Gonzales, Ángel Arnaldo Martínez Márquez, Manuel Nicolás Domínguez, José David Aguilar Gáleas, Jacinto Bardales detained one October 11, 2013 and members of the group “Grupo 18 de Abril la Pollera”, Quilaperque, La Paz; Osmar Lara miembro of the group “Campesino Unidos para un Futuro Mejor”, Márcala, La Paz y José Isabel Morales (Chabelo) from the Campesino Movement of Aguan at Guadalupe Carney, Trujillo, Colon who has been imprisoned since 2008. There is also repression against CNTC communities in Progreso, Yoro; Cortes; Santa Barbara and Francisco Morazan. There are 2,601 members with some kind of charges against them related to their movement participation (700 are women) and there are 79 current eviction orders issued that affect 2 thousand families. In 2014 alone, 7 CNTC members were murdered because of their participation in the agrarian struggle.
|Evicted community in Progreso, Yoro|
|2012 eviction of CNTC community, La Paz|
V. Cervantes- March 22: updated with new info March 24