TEGUCIGALPA – A peasant leader was shot dead and his companion wounded after they left a bank in Tocoa, a city in the Honduran province of Colon, police said.
Secundino Ruiz, president of the Authentic Peasants Movement of Aguan, and Eliseo Pavon, the organization’s treasurer, were shot on Saturday.
Pavon was wounded in the head and his condition is not known, police commander Julio Espinal told reporters.
Ruiz and Pavon had just “withdrawn 195,000 lempiras (about $10,260)” from a bank in Tocoa, located in the Caribbean region, to cover some of the organization’s bills, indicating that this was likely a common crime, Espinal said.
Masked men riding a motorcycle opened fire on Ruiz and Pavon, the police commander said.
Colon’s Aguan Valley region has become a battleground in recent years due to disputes pitting organized peasants’ groups against landowners.
Peasants have invaded private farms and clashed with security guards.
Eleven other people, including six security guards ambushed and killed at a farm belonging to businessman Miguel Facusse, have died in the region.
Five people – three men and two women – were ambushed and murdered near Tocoa.