Monday, June 27, 2016

La Paz - Resisting Criminalization

June 24-25th La Paz
V. Cervantes

We left Progreso early on Friday and took a bus to San Jose, La Paz.  Walking down the road towards the regional center I could see their new radio antenna tower rising up behind the building. La Voz de los de Abajo and Chicago’s Radios Populares have worked with the campesino radio project with the CNTC in La Paz for more than 8 years and we always check in with the local communities in La Paz. 

When we arrived a workshop was in progress with a lawyer from Via Campesina on the topic of the “law and the campesino movement”.  This is a timely topic for the campesinos and campesinas in La Paz where the criminalization of the campesinos is ferocious.  There are 18 local CNTC campesinos with arrest warrants currently, including the regional General Secretary,  and many more on probation — all for their participation in the agrarian movement to recuperate land for the small landless farmers. 8 members of one La Paz CNTC campesino group named after Honduran human rights defender Juan Almendares, spent three months in prison last year under very difficult conditions that affected their health. This included 3 members of the regional leadership committee of the organization. Nationally, the CNTC has 5 members in jail now and  thousands more who have been charged. 

When we sat down and talked to the campesinos and campesinas they told us that the government of Juan Orlando Hernandez is not only arresting more campesinos but also charging them with more serious crimes. A few years ago they would be charged with usurpation of land or theft and now for the same actions of recuperating land, they are being charged with terrorism, weapons charges (for having work tools like machetes) also,  the penalties for things like deforestation (for cutting down one tree) used to be minor but now can mean 4-7 years imprisonment.  

In early May of this year I accompanied a recently evicted La Paz campesino group called “9th de Julio” whose members had their houses destroyed and their crops burnt out, and two of their members wounded when police opened fire against them.  On Saturday we were invited by the regional CNTC to visit the “9th de Julio” again. We found that the campesino families have rebuilt all their houses and replanted some of their crops despite being under threat of another eviction and despite the existence of  arrest warrants against their members. The men and women in the community explained that they had taken land that was fallow and turned it into land that provided food, not only for their families, but enough to take to the local markets and sell. The community has more than 20 children and the families talked about the trauma for the children of having seen police and military come into their homes, destroying everything and firing weapons. They explained that they have to teach their children the importance and necessity of what they are doing and why they are organized. The president of the coop told us that they know that this struggle for the land is necessary for their survival; if they loose the land and homes they have worked so hard for they will have absolutely nothing and will be living on the side of the road. 

In the evening on Saturday we joined two of the compañeros who were on the air on Radio Suyuguare (a Lenca indigenous word that means land of hills and valleys). The communities in La Paz are overwhelmingly Lencan and the CNTC region embraces their cultural and traditions. The radio project has applied for a community radio license and broadcasts 7 days a week from 1 to 9pm. There is a team of mostly young campesinos and campesinas who take turns broadcasting and they have shows that talk about indigenous rights, the campesino movement, news, environmental issues and also play music and take dedications. It was impressive to see and hear all the calls and messages coming in during the broadcast, showing us that they have a strong audience in the region. Samuel and Orlando explained to us the importance of the radio project for their work in organizing and educating the communities, for making alliances with other community members who are not in the campesino movement and finally for them as young campesinos as an activity that has opened up new knowledge and opportunities to participate in national and regional networks and events. 

Environmental issues are extremely important in La Paz. The ruling party leader and Vice President of the National Congress is from La Paz: Gladys Aurora  and her husband are strong supporters and business partners with many of the big hydroelectric and mining projects already begun in the beautiful mountainous region. In fact there are projects named Aurora 1, Aurora 2, Aurora 3. The campesino communities strongly oppose the destruction of the indigenous territories and of the agricultural land that these projects bring but they told us that the government in partnership with the construction companies and international companies are waging a war against the opposition with bribery, false promises to bring positive development to the poor communities, threats and finally with assassinations like that of indigenous leader Berta Caceres of COPINH in the nearby province of Intibuca. 
On Sunday we will head to La Esperanza, Intíbuca to express our solidarity with COPINH and to  talk to COPINH and to Berta Caceres’ family about their struggle for justice. 


Dr Purva Pius said...

Hello Everybody,
My name is Mrs Sharon Sim. I live in Singapore and i am a happy woman today? and i told my self that any lender that rescue my family from our poor situation, i will refer any person that is looking for loan to him, he gave me happiness to me and my family, i was in need of a loan of S$250,000.00 to start my life all over as i am a single mother with 3 kids I met this honest and GOD fearing man loan lender that help me with a loan of S$250,000.00 SG. Dollar, he is a GOD fearing man, if you are in need of loan and you will pay back the loan please contact him tell him that is Mrs Sharon, that refer you to him. contact Dr Purva Pius,via email:( Thank you.


1. Name Of Applicant in Full:……..
2. Telephone Numbers:……….
3. Address and Location:…….
4. Amount in request………..
5. Repayment Period:………..
6. Purpose Of Loan………….
7. country…………………
8. phone…………………..
9. occupation………………
11.Monthly Income…………..

Email Kindly Contact:

Loan said...

Are you looking for a loan to clear off your dept and start up your own Business? have you being going all over yet not able to get a legit loan Company that will loan you? Here is your final solution, We can give you any amount you need provided you are going to pay back within the period of time given without any problem. Apply now and contact us for more details via email below.

Application For loan.
First Name:
Last Name:
Date Of Birth:
Phone No:
Zip Code:
Monthly Income:
Amount Needed:
Purpose of the loan:
E-mail address:


urgent cash offer said...

Are you in need of a loan? Do you want to pay off your bills? Do you want to be financially stable? All you have to do is to contact us for more information on how to get started and get the loan you desire. This offer is open to all that will be able to repay back in due time. Note-that repayment time frame is negotiable and at interest rate of 3% just email us

clara said...

I've been reluctant in purchasing this blank ATM card i heard about on-line because everything seems too good to be true, but i was convinced & shocked when my friend at my place of work got the card from DAVID BENJAMIN COMPANY & we both confirmed it really works, without delay i gave it a go. I have been able to make a cash withdrawal of $5000 daily from the card and am glad i gave it a try at last & this card has really changed my life financially and no more hanging bills. If you need this card from genuine hackers then do not hesitate to contact

Anderson Michael said...

GOOD CARD WITH COOL CASH...Get THE 2017 BLANK ATM Programmed Card and cash money directly in any ATM Machine around you. There is no risk of being caught, because the card has been programmed in such a way that it´s not traceable, it also has a technique that makes it impossible for the CCTV to detect you and you can withdraw a total sum of $5,000.00 USD daily,try and get yours today from (MR ANDERSON) And be among the lucky ones who are benefitting from it. Now email the hacker one

Osman raheem said...

Hello Everybody,
My name is Ahmad Asnul Brunei, I contacted Mr Osman Loan Firm for a business loan amount of $250,000, Then i was told about the step of approving my requested loan amount, after taking the risk again because i was so much desperate of setting up a business to my greatest surprise, the loan amount was credited to my bank account within 24 banking hours without any stress of getting my loan. I was surprise because i was first fall a victim of scam! If you are interested of securing any loan amount & you are located in any country, I'll advise you can contact Mr Osman Loan Firm via email

First name......
Middle name.....
2) Gender:.........
3) Loan Amount Needed:.........
4) Loan Duration:.........
5) Country:.........
6) Home Address:.........
7) Mobile Number:.........
8) Email address..........
9) Monthly Income:.....................
10) Occupation:...........................
11)Which site did you here about us.....................
Thanks and Best Regards.
Derek Email

johnson willian said...

We Offer Private, Commercial and Personal Loans with very Minimal annual Interest Rates as Low as 3% . We give out loans within the range of $1,000.00 to $500,000,00.If you are interested reply me now.Contact us on whatsapp +1(214)305-8945, E-Mail:

Unknown said...

Do You Need A Loan To Consolidate Your Debt At 1.0%? Or A Personal Loans * Business Loans etc. Interested Parties Should Contact Us For More Information Through Via E-mail: ( )

Do You Need A Loan To Consolidate Your Debt At 1.0%? Or A Personal Loans * Business Loans etc. Interested Parties Should Contact Us For More Information Through Via E-mail: ( )

We Offers Financial Consulting To Client, Companies Seeking Debt / Loan Financing And Seeking For Working Capital To Start A New Business Or To Expand Existing Business. Interested Parties Should Contact Us For More Information Through Via E-mail: ( )

Unknown said...

Are you a business owner or are you intent on investing and financing your investment but can not meet the necessary capital requirements?
Here at "Urban Capital Loans", we give substantial capital as loans to investors and also small and large scale business men and women for investment purposes.
Contact us by e-mail:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails