NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING

  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • Honduran campesinos under the gun Pt.2


    Land conflict in Aguán is setting precedents for conflicts to come in post-coup Honduras -   July 13, 10
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here


    Audio

    Share to Facebook Share to Twitter




    This interview is why I support TRNN. Both interviewer and interviewee want the truth! - David
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Precis

    In Part two of two on the land conflict in the Agun Valley, we look at the roots of the conflict, and the motivation for the campesinos to begin the land occupation that eventually won them 11,000 hectares. We also look at what the experience in Agun means for other conflicts in a country where the power struggle that gave rise to the June 2009 coup is far from over.

    Including interviews with Father Ismael "Melo" Moreno, Rosemary Joyce, and reporting from the land occupation in question.

    Produced by Jesse Freeston.

    Transcript

    Honduran campesinos under the gun Pt.2JESSE FREESTON, PRODUCER, TRNN: In part one we described the landmark deal negotiated by the campesinos of the lower Aguán, despite the ongoing militarization of their communities. Land conflicts in the Aguán region are not new. Regular occupations by landless peasants in Aguán and elsewhere in Honduras during the 1970s forced the military dictatorship to enact land reform that granted five hectares to each family under the condition that they grow crops for export, such as sugar, fruit, and palm, and sell their products to predetermined buyers.

    ROSEMARY JOYCE, PROF. ANTHROPOLOGY, UC BERKELEY: The land reform laws of Honduras were radically changed in the 1990s, so that land that had been held by campesino groups could be sold off individually. And this led to a period in which many people, who were forced into poverty by the poor market for the goods they were being asked to grow, did exchange some land for money or abandon the land.

    FREESTON: The campesinos accused much of their leadership in the early 1990s of corruption in selling their collective land to the business moguls.

    UNIDENTIFIED (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): I deeply regret that some bad Hondurans thought it a good idea to sell the land. Unfortunately, the women weren't even consulted. They didn't even tell us when the sale was going to be.

    FREESTON: They were told that they would experience the wealth of the developed world as employees of big agribusiness, but 18 years later the situation in rural Honduras is quite dire. According to a 2006 study by the United Nations Development Program, 75 percent of rural Hondurans don't earn the $1.25 per day required to meet their basic nutritional needs. Meanwhile, the share of total income earned by the bottom 50 percent of rural Hondurans, 13.4 percent, is roughly equal to the income share of the top 1 percent of rural Hondurans, 12.8 percent. This is just income—statistics on accumulated wealth are unavailable.

    UNIDENTIFIED: We had better living conditions back when we had our own land. It's sad to see some mothers sitting at home, when our kids face such a tough situation that forces them to migrate to other countries, prepared to die, just find a new life where they're treated like dogs, because the life our kids lead abroad is not an easy one.

    FREESTON: But they want more than just a return to the arrangements of the past. They want autonomy to grow what they want and sell it to whoever they want.

    CAMPESINO LEADER (MUCA) (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): We want to grow other crops, not just palm. We want to grow beans, corn, rice. And if they want to pay a fair price, we'll sell to them, but if another company is going to pay more, then we will sell to them.

    FREESTON: After ten years of fighting to get the land back, the most recent occupation has won the campesinos a deal promising them roughly half the land that they won in the 1970s, but this time without conditions on what they grow and who they sell it to. Catholic priest and radio director Father Ismael "Melo" Moreno stresses the importance of land ownership in Honduras today.

    FATHER ISMAEL "MELO" MORENO, DIRECTOR, RADIO PROGRESO (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): The campesinos and their worker organizations are identified by the business and political elites as a threat, or even an enemy, of their stability and their conception of society, state, and government. They never achieved a land distribution that you might call a countryside without campesinos, a countryside for the agroindustrial projects, a countryside for the interests of national and multinational investors, where campesinos are just cheap labor—not citizens with the right to more than a job, but to cultivate the land and decide how their product is sold. For these reasons, land is a decisive factor in the crisis in Honduras. When campesinos organize, it is precisely to demand land.

    FREESTON: On Saturday in the capital of Tegucigalpa, thousands marched in solidarity with the campesinos of the lower Aguán. The event was called the March of the Sombreros. The campesinos of Aguán are one of many groups that oppose the June 2009 coup. They loudly support the call for a new constitution, which is the essential demand that has unified the national resistance movement. For this reason, others around the country have been closely watching events in Aguán.

    JOYCE: Watching Lobo Sosa deal with the peasants of the Bajo Aguán is our first indication of how he's going to deal with dissidents in Honduran society. On the one hand, they negotiate with you. But there'll be an army presence, so you're reminded that you're negotiating not in a free, open atmosphere but with the threat of violence.

    FREESTON: After signing the deal with the campesinos, the Lobo government signed another deal with the United States government for an increase in security aid to Honduras. Soon after, the Lobo administration announced that the military, who have never left the streets completely since carrying out the coup last June, would be mobilized indefinitely to support regular police activities.

    JOYCE: Laws on the books are supposed to be enforced in the civilian sphere by the police. So, sending the army out to enforce the laws that are supposed to be enforced by the police, that's something that happened during the coup. And there's a question whether due process and protections of rights will actually be followed there.

    FREESTON: The government claims that the military will only be used for common and organized crime operations. But the experience of the campesinos in Aguán and the use of the military ever since the coup to repress peaceful protest has many questioning that.

    JOYCE: And saying that that violence will only be unleashed against people who are arms traffickers or drug traffickers in Honduras is no particular reassurance, because the accusation of drug trafficking is regularly used as a means to discredit your opposition.

    FREESTON: The minister of security, Óscar Alvarez, admitted to the newspaper El Tiempo that their operations in the Aguán region hadn't produced any results in terms of drug or weapons interdiction. Meanwhile, the campesinos claim that six of their members were illegally detained at military checkpoints last week.

    CAMPESINO LEADER: The soldiers are here, pulling people off buses to them for documents. They have a list, and if your name isn't on the list, they don't arrest you, but if your name's there, they arrest you.

    JOYCE: [inaudible] has repercussions for the entire set of organizations that form part of the resistance front that have been calling for public marches, for public mobilization. And these kinds of movements, especially the mobilizations that are calling for people to come from all over Honduras to central places, imagine the effect on those of the military being set loose on the streets to stop any car, any truck they want, and search anybody for arms, drugs, or other material considered to be contraband. It's a chilling effect on free circulation. It's a chilling effect on public protest.

    FREESTON: Also last week, Honduras and its military were singled out for criticisms in the Inter-American Human Rights Commission's annual report. President Lobo has rejected the report's findings.

    UNIDENTIFIED: They say there's peace? There's no peace in Honduras. As long as there is no land, there will never be peace. That's all I want to say.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    The Resegregation of American Schools
    The Modern History of Venezuela, Why Still So Much Crime? - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (7/9)
    What Role Has Russia Played in Eastern Ukraine?
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (2/2)
    University Sit-In Targets World's Largest Private Coal Company
    The Modern History of Venezuela and the Need for a Post-Oil Economy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (6/9)
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (1/2)
    One Percent of Environmentalists Killings Lead to Convictions
    Investigation Finds Former Ukraine President Not Responsible For Sniper Attack on Protestors
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Ukraine Transitional Gov't Moves Militarily To Reclaim Seized Buildings
    IPCC Report Flawed By Narrow Focus on Carbon Emissions
    The Modern History of Venezuela: The Bolivarian Revolution - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (5/9)
    Obama Signs Directives to Reduce the Gender Wage Gap
    Eastern Ukraine Lacks Political Representation in Kiev
    Demystifying the Role of Mitigation in the Most Recent IPCC Report
    Hypersurveillance State Won't Prevent Another Boston Marathon Bombing
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Univ. of Maine Faculty Reinstated After Students Protest Against Cuts
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1908 to 1973 - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (2/9)
    IMF Will Address Global Inequality, Says Managing Director Christine Lagarde
    Raising Big Banks' Leverage Ratio Good, But Not Nearly Enough
    TRNN Replay: Austerity Road to 19th Century
    Has Palestinian Maneuvering Revived Peace Talks?
    Late Jackson Mayor Lumumba's Son Wins Primary to Replace His Father, Runoff Election Ahead
    Quebecers Reject PQ and Elect a Liberal Government Representing Big Business
    TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. Legalization
    The Beginning of the Chavez Era - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (4/9)
    "Off With His Head": Court Upholds Obama's Power to Kill
    Workers at Nation's Top Hospital Strike For Fair Wages
    From Exile to Radicalization in Venezuela - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (1/9)
    Rwanda 20 Years Later: Genocide, Western Plunder of Congo, and President Kagame
    Ukrainian Protesters in the East Demand More Autonomy From Kiev Government
    Hunger Strikers Demand President Obama Halt His Record 2 Million Deportations
    Indian Parliamentary Elections - A Primer With Vijay Prashad
    West Looks to Carve Up Ukraine & Privatize Industries Held by Kleptocrats
    Where Are Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations Headed?
    The Multiple Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia (5/5)
    Do the Afghan Presidential Elections Signify Progress?
    Republican Presidential Hopefuls Pay Homage to Billionaire Casino Tycoon Sheldon Adelson
    Will Extremist Lieberman Become Israel's Next Prime Minister?
    Why do the Saudis Want the US to Attack Iran? (4/5)
    Immigrant Advocates and Families Tell President Obama 'Not One More'
    Elections, Pipelines, and Protests - The Canada Panel
    Chris Hedges on "Israel's War on American Universities"
    Baltimore Residents Decry Lack of Affordable Housing
    Yellen Talks the Talk But Will She Walk the Walk?
    Hopkins Hospital Workers Speak Out against "Poverty Wages"
    Will Venezuela's New Floating Exchange Rate Curb Inflation?
    The European Central Bank's War on Wages is Pushing Europe's Economy to the Brink
    Supreme Court Decision Opens Floodgates for More Campaign Cash
    Charles Keating, the Financier Behind the Savings and Loan Scandal, Dies at 90
    Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda Monster (3/5)
    Maryland Residents Voice Opposition to Natural Gas Fracking Export Facility
    Supreme Court Ruling Gives Wealthy Individuals More Influence Over Elections
    What are the Saudis Afraid Of? - Madawi Al-Rasheed (2/5)
    Baltimore's MICA Adjunct Professors Set to Vote on Unionization
    Boycott of Israel Moving to Next Level?
    Hypocrisy Dressed Up as "Realism" Justifies American Alliance with Saudi Dictatorship
    Immigration Reform in the Shadows of Cesar Chavez's Legacy
    Leaked Senate Report Shows Use of Torture As "Ineffective"
    UN Report Says Climate Change Will Threaten Food Production Worldwide
    The Hypocrisy of US Calling for Enforcement of International Law
    How the Ecuadorian Economy Grew in a Global Recession
    'Shadows of Liberty' Trailer
    Kristina Borjesson on Why CBS Shut Down Her investigation into Flight 800 (2/8)
    Glen Ford on Racism in the American Media (3/8)
    Paul Jay on What Drives Corporate Media and What Drive The Real News (4/8)
    Creating a New Media Paradigm After Citizens United (5/8)
    Should The Left Engage with the Mainstream Media? (6/8)
    What Is the Financial Backing For The Real News? (7/8)
    Standing up to Character Assassination (8/8)
    Oligarchs, Fascists and the People's Protest in Ukraine
    TRNN Debate: Is Obamacare In the Interest of Workers?
    Too-Big-To-Fail Advantage Remains Intact For Big Banks
    Obama and the Saudi Agenda
    TRNN Replay: Investigating the Saudi Government's 9/11 Connection and the Path to Disilliusionment - Sen. Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt 1
    The Iraq War's Real Legacy
    Petitions with 100,000+ Signatures Call for Snowden's Passport to be Reinstated
    We Need to Harness People Power - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (4/4)
    BC Pipeline Fight and Quebec Elections - The Canada Panel
    Jonathan Schell - 1943-2014: Board Member of TRNN on Why We Need The Real News
    Teachers on Strike from the UK to Argentina
    Connecticut Poised to Become First State with $10.10 Minimum Wage
    Oil Spill Threatens Wildlife and Local Economy
    DC School Test Scores Up, But Poor Black Kids Are Doing Worse - Andy Shallal on RAI (3/4)
    Obama's Proposal To End NSA Bulk Data Collection Won't Protect Privacy
    How Google, Apple & The Biggest Tech Companies Colluded to Fix Workers' Wages
    An American Should be One that Questions Their Government - Andy Shallal on RAI (2/4)
    What's Driving Putin & Obama's Posturing on Ukraine?
    Hundreds of Students & Faculty Occupy College Campus to Fight Cuts to Public Higher Ed
    Due Process 'Impossible' In Harsh Death Sentencing Of Over 500 Muslim Brotherhood Members
    Has Anglo-American Capitalism Run Out of Steam?
    Being the "Other" in America - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (1/4)
    TRNN Debate: Should Baltimore 'Ban The Box'?
    How Fallujah Became the Iraqi Government's New Battleground
    Why I Decided to Blow the Whistle on the NSA
    NASA Climate Predictions Show Serious Threat To Humanity
    Professor Who Teaches Israel-Palestine Conflict Accuses College of Violating His Academic Freedom
    CIA and NSA Wrongdoing Requires Independent Investigation, Says Former Church Committee Staff
    Are Tuition Breaks Enough To Combat High Student Debt And Low Graduation Rates?
    Industries Across the U.S. Are Stealing Wages From Their Lowest Paid Workers
    Who In Ukraine Will Benefit From An IMF Bailout?
    NSA Recording All International Calls From U.S.
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (2/2)
    BP Gets Green Light to Drill in Gulf, But Has Safety Improved?
    Residents Still Not Drinking Tap Water Two Months After West Virginia Spill (1/2)
    Libya's Descent Into Turmoil Three Years After NATO Intervention
    From Pipelines to Peladeau - Canadian Report
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (1/2)
    Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Strikes Back Against Austerity
    Libya Three Years Later - Chaos and Partition
    Why Was Gaddafi Overthrown?
    Should Ukraine and West Accept De Facto Crimea Joining Russia? (2/2)
    Tony Benn Saw Socialism as the Culmination of Democratization
    Why Didn't Bush/Cheney Attack Iran and Can Obama Make and Sell a Deal? - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (3/3)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi? (2/2)
    Crimea Referendum: Self Determination or Big Power Manipulation? (1/2)
    Sen. Graham: President Must Side with Openness About CIA and 9/11
    Manufacturing a Narrative for War - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (2/3)
    Protesters Hit the Streets of Brooklyn to Demand $15 Minimum Wage
    Hammer: 'Moral Bankruptcy' Behind Massive GM Recall
    White House Withholds Thousands of Documents from Senate CIA Probe
    I Grew Up Believing in Time Magazine's Version of America - Gareth Porter on RAI (1/3)
    Western European Banks Vulnerable to Ukrainian Sovereign Debt Crisis
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (2/2)
    CIA vs. Senate: Who Is Obama Protecting?
    Will Tipped Workers Get Excluded Again From Minimum Wage Hike?
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (1/2)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi?(1/2)
    TRNN Replay: A Look at Who's Poised to Become No.2 at the Fed
    How Right-Wing Nationalism Rose to Influence in Ukraine (2/2)
    Netanyahu Attacks Boycott As Campaign Enters New Phase
    Moving Towards a Police State - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (7/7)
    Fighting Reagan's Secret, Illegal Wars - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (6/7)
    Puerto Rican Independence Movement and Cuba Further Radicalized Me - Michael Ratner on RAI (5/7)
    The Butcher of Attica - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (4/7)
    MLK and a Radicalizing Moment in American History - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (3/7)

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting