[HNA] Urgent Alert from Aguan

Tom Loudon toml at quixote.org
Sat Apr 3 08:00:28 PDT 2010

in Spanish is below this article by Annie Bird

April 2, 2010 By Annie Bird, Rights Action

An extremely dangerous situation is developing in the municipality of 
Tocoa, department of Colon in the region known as the Aguan in Honduras.

In the days leading up to yesterday’s murder of a young campesino 
farmer, the preparation of an operation intended to (falsely) confirm 
the existence of an armed resistance movement in Honduras was exposed. 
Reports claim that a renowned death squad member from the 1980’s is 
training paramilitary forces, while a select police unit is being 
prepared to “combat guerillas.”

This extremely high level of violence, repression and impunity threatens 
the lives of campesino families organized in the Movimiento Unificado 
Campesino de Aguan (MUCA) who are immersed in land conflicts with some 
of Honduras’ most powerful businessmen. It also threatens to present a 
justification for greater repression of the non violent resistance 
movement in Honduras (the Frente), who along with many nations in the 
world do not recognize the legitimacy of the Pepe Lobo government, and 
who are calling for a new constitution.

On April 1, 2010, 22 year old Miguel Alonso Oliva was fatally shot in 
the back during the occupation of the Boleros farm. This killing comes 
after the steady escalation of the presence of military, police and 
private security forces in the area.

The morning of Lobo’s inauguration, January 27, 2010, a group of police, 
military and private security forces entered a MUCA community, where 
they opened fire and gravely injured four young men. The timing of acts 
of extreme repression during significant moments appears to be a pattern 
meant to send messages to the Frente.

In addition to the violence, disinformation is being published in the 
Honduran press stating that the MUCA families are an armed guerrilla 
movement tied to the national Resistance movement, financed by 
international drug traffickers, tied to the Colombian guerrilla movement 
the FARC and with the backing of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.

Though blatantly false this fabrication is disturbingly similar to 
narratives being promoted in the United States Congress by lobbyists and 
right wing congress people. The objective of the manipulation of 
Honduran press may not only be to manipulate the Honduran population, 
but apparently to substantiate a false narrative presented to the 
“international community.”

Hondurans have been very savvy and capable in avoiding an armed or 
violent response to the coup and the provocations of the anti-democratic 
forces. They know that an armed resistance movement would provide 
justification for even greater repression and even more pervasive 
de-legitimation of their political demands.

In a communiqué dated April 1, 2010, the Committee for Defense of Human 
Rights in Honduras (CODEH), explains that on Friday, March 26, 2010 it 
received a phone call from a woman who stated:
"I speak for more than thirty police officers who have been locked up 
for over two weeks, in the premises of the Regional Police Command of 
Tocoa, Colon, I am the wife of one of them…these officers were brought 
from various regions of the country such as La Paz, Comayagua, 
Choluteca, among others, having been told they were being recruited for 
a mission to Tegucigalpa. From Tegucigalpa they were sent to Colon… they 
are being trained to commit acts that are against the law, they are 
offering better pay and that if something happens to implicate them they 
will immediately be transferred to places they came from, they are told 
they will confront guerrillas and that was why they were paid well; they 
make them go hungry while they claim it is because of those people who 
they soon are going to fight."

Following CODEH’s denouncement on national television of the situation, 
the Human Rights procurator from the city of Tocoa, Colon attempted to 
visit the named police station in Tocoa but was denied entry, apparently 
confirming the report.

CODEH concludes that “the thirty policemen selected from various sectors 
of the country, can be used to make a false belief in the media that 
they died in combat in the area, confirming the existence of an armed 
resistance, with this justify the eviction with the death of dozens of 
farmers and gain control of land.”

The psychological preparation for the material authors of gross human 
rights violation, such as massacres, that is suggested in the 
denouncement of the officers being denied food and being told their 
hunger is caused by the ‘guerillas’ they will combat is a well 
documented process widely employed during the 1980s in Latin America.
So called “False Flag” operations were also a tactic widely used and 
well documented in the 1980s.


The same CODEH communiqué continues, “CODEH members who are in the area 
[Aguan], received the following information "that the area is Mr. Billy 
Joya Amendola, hired by businessmen to coordinate operations in the 
area, he is currently in the facilities of the Fourth Battalion Infantry 
based in the city of La Ceiba, Atlántida, where is there is a group 
training for paramilitary actions… another group is being trained in a 
in the Fifteenth Infantry Battalion based in the town of Rio Claro, 
jurisdiction of the municipality of Trujillo in the department of Colón.”

The Fifteenth Battalion has been consistently implicated in providing 
direct support to the businessmen implicated in the illegal acquisition 
of cooperative land. The commander of the military
battalion is reported to hire reservists and paramilitaries, and 
supervise the private security forces on the African Palm plantations. 
Witness claim the Fifteenth Battalion illegally detained two young
members of the MUCA as they rode on their bicycles on January 13, 2009 .

On January 27, at 8 am, families living in the Left Margin of the Aguan 
River, in Trujillo, were subject to an unprovoked attack by elements of 
the Tocoa Police, the Fifteen Battalion and private
security forces. Four campesinos were seriously wounded. Police and 
military attempted to delay their transport to a hospital.

Billy Joya is a Honduran widely rumored to have close ties with, or to 
work for, the Central Intelligence Agency, and to principally reside in 
the United States. He is renowned in Honduras for his
participation in the “Battalion 316” death squad, responsible for the 
kidnapping and torture in the 1980s. Since the 1980’s, Billy Joya is 
reportedly the owner of major private security firms in Honduras and has 
consistently held security advising in government cabinets charged with 
overseeing policing and security.

Early in the 1990s, while Central America was still immersed in “peace 
processes,” a wave of legislation across Latin America destroyed legal 
mechanisms to insure the possibility of securely held collectively owned 
land; its impact resonated the loudest in Mexico where the reform of 
Article 26 of the constitution destroyed the Ejido system; this was an 
important factor in the formation of the Zapatista movement.

In Honduras, that same international land agenda hit hard. In 1992 
changes to Honduras’ agrarian reform legislation made it possible for 
land acquired through the agrarian reform program to be resold. This 
allowed the incredibly politically powerful Honduran businessmen, Miguel 
Facusse, Rene Morales and Reinaldo Canales, beginning in 1998,
to destroy 29 African Palm oil producing cooperatives of the Aguan 
region through the use of paramilitary violence to intimidate 
cooperatives into selling and other illegal mechanisms. These methods 
are very similar to methods being employed throughout the region by drug 
traffickers to acquire land. In this way these men have become some of 
largest landholders in Central America. They have also received 
significant financing from the private sector funding arm of the Inter 
American Development Bank.

In 2001, the now landless families from the cooperatives destroyed in 
this process formed the MUCA, through which they continued to 
investigate the illegalities in the manner in which the Aguan
cooperatives had been acquired. In 2004 they presented the first of many 
law suits. Unfortunately as is the standard practice in Honduran justice 
administration, the suits simply have not been expedited, this kind of 
corruption is what inspired hunger strikes by Honduran justice operators 
in 2008.

This forced the farmers, beginning in 2006, to undertake a series of 
peaceful protests, which culminated in a negotiation process. The 
negotiations had advanced to the point of signing an important agreement 
with then president Manuel Zelaya on June 12, 2009. The agreement would 
have allowed the farmers to acquire land title to the contested farms, 
as they provided sufficient proof of their land rights.

However, the June 28, 2009 military coup forced an end to the land 
titling process. Thus, on December 9, 2009, during the de facto regime 
headed by Roberto Mitcheletti, the MUCA began occupying the farms to 
which they hold legal rights but which were illegally in the possession 
of Facusse, Morales and Canales. The immediate response was an attempt 
to portray the land rights movement as an armed guerrilla movement 
connected to international terrorism and drug trafficking.

. ALERTA …Campesinos del aguan en la zona norte de Honduras, serán 
reprimidos en las próximas horas.
El movimiento Unificado Campesino del Aguan, ante el pueblo Hondureño y 
las organizaciones de derechos humanos nacionales e internacionales 
1.-El asesinato de nuestro compañero campesino Miguel Ángel Alonso forma 
parte de la nueva estrategia de exterminio del MUCA por parte de los 
terratenientes Miguel Facusse, Reinaldo Canales y René Morales, con la 
participación del ejército, la policía nacional preventiva y la base 
naval de Puerto Castilla.
2.-Grupos de paramilitares, militares, y policías son entrenados en el 
cuarto batallón de infantería de la Ceiba Atlántida bajo el mando de 
Billi joya, en las instalaciones de la fábrica de exportadora del 
atlántico en la comunidad de quebrada de agua en el municipio de Tocoa y 
en las instalaciones de xv batallón en la comunidad de Rio Claro 
municipio de Trujillo departamento de Colon.
3.-A partir del martes 6 de abril intervendrán militarmente de forma 
violenta y sangrienta donde se prevé la militarización de las tierras 
que actualmente ocupamos con instalación de minas destructivas y trampas 
caza bobos, toda esta represión se denomina OPERACIÓN TRUENO, aplicando 
medidas como la detención y el asesinato de dirigentes del MUCA y del 
Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular, así como la detención masiva de 
campesinos y campesinos.
4.-La policía y el ejercito de colon operan con vehículos de los 
empresarios terratenientes con placas particulares, armados de ak47, con 
pasamontañas y junto a paramilitares realizan diariamente operaciones en 
contra del MUCA.
5.-Responsabilizamos a los empresarios terratenientes, al ejército 
nacional , a la policía nacional preventiva y al actual gobierno por las 
muertes que ya ocurrieron y por la sangre inocente que pueda correr con 
el desarrollo de la operación trueno.
Tocoa colon Honduras 2 de abril de 2010

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