Friday, April 10, 2015

Student Protests Continue - Campesinos Planning Mobilizations

Campesino Press Conference: Protests Planned For Agrarian Reform and Decriminalization of the Campesino Movement

Conferencia de Prensa Campesina de Defensores En Linea y Honduras Tierra Libre: el original en español

Campesino press conference April 9th Tegucigalpa
foto: defensores en linea
The campesino movement today demands approval of the Law for Integral Agrarian reform with Gender Equity, a proposal that was introduced in the National Congress by the campesinos a year ago. 

The demand of the campesinos was made publicly at a press conference held in the offices of Vía Campesina in Tegucigalpa, where they announced that they would be holding big mobilizations nationally for the approval of the law. 

The campesinos noted that with the approval of the Law for Integral Agrarian Reform with Gender Equity the agrarian problem in Honduras would be resolved. 

On April 9, 2014 the campesino movement introduced a proposal for a law called “Agrarian Reform with Gender Equity, for Food Sovereignty and Rural Development” in the National Congress. The law had been previously circulated publicly to all the congressional political parties which promised to back it and to support the campesino movement related to this discussion and approval of the proposed law. 

The campesino movement lamented that the proposal was tabled with no measures taken for its discussion among all the political sectors represented in the National Congress. 

“It’s a disgrace that this proposed Law was tabled simply because there is no priority given to resolved the agrarian problem that the Honduran campesinos have at the national level,” stated campesino leader Agustín Ramos.

The criminalization of the campesino struggle grows greater every day. Around 5 thousand campesinos are in legal processes, of those 815 are women and 11 are in prison because of their struggle for the land. 

The problem for the campesino sector has increased so that the campesinos and campesinas announced that in upcoming days they would organize protests as a way of applying pressure so that the Law for an Integral Agrarian Reform with Gender Equity would be approved. 

“There will be mobilizations at the national level and we are conscious that we will be repressed but that won’t stop our demands that the Agrarian Reform Law be passed”, declared Magdalena Morales, representative of the National Center of Rural Workers (CNTC). 

She also called on President Juan Orlando Hernández to put his influence to work so that the Law would be approved in the National Congress in that with it the agrarian problem in Honduras would be resolved, in that the campesinos in Honduras don’t have land to work. 

Morales reminded President Hernández that in the rural areas there are more that 2 million women campesinas living in extreme poverty.

The campesino movement also denounced the fact that violent evictions continue in which their crops and homes have been destroyed with impunity causing thousands of lempira’s worth of losses for poor families of the Honduran campesino sector. 

Finally the campesinos called for the President of the Republic, Juan Orlando Hernández, the President of the National Congress, Mauricio Oliva and the President of the Supreme Court of Justice, Jorge Rivera Avilez to meet with them to open a broad and inclusive dialogue regarding the agrarian problem in the country and the crises in basic grains that will occur  this season if urgent measures are not taken to resolve it.

Student Protests: Support for the Students Grows while Violence Against Students Increases

Tegucigalpa March 26 protest
foto from desdeaquiabajo
Student protests begun by high school/middle school students and joined by university students against the budget cuts and privatization of public education have been marked by repression including the death squad style murders of student activists - one a 14 year old girl. The violence has been widely denounced including by the Honduras Solidarity Network (See statement here). The students now have been joined by broader sectors of the resistance movement and outraged Hondurans. For an update and more photos go to the Desde Aquí Abajo blog .
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