TEGUCIGALPA – Three farmers have been slain since July 2 in Aguan, a region on Honduras’ Caribbean coast torn by conflict between peasants and wealthy landowners, a human rights organization said Thursday.
The Permanent Human Rights Observatory of Aguan blamed security forces for the killings and demanded the withdrawal of the army from the area, which lies in Colon province.
The body of one victim was found on a palm-oil plantation “in possession” of magnate Miguel Facusse, the observatory’s Heriberto Aleman said at a press conference in Tegucigalpa.
An accord signed more than a year ago by the Honduran government, plantation owners and an organization representing the peasants called for more than 4,000 hectares (9,876 acres) of land to be distributed among landless families in Aguan.
The agreement has yet to be implemented and around 60 people have died in Colon during the last four years in the conflict pitting peasants against private security guards employed by palm-oil barons, according to the National Human Rights Commission.
Most of those killed have been peasants.
The fighting continues despite a Feb. 17 pact among the government, landowners and peasants meant to resolve the issue once and for all.
The dispatch of extra police and troops to Colon last October also had little impact on the level of violence, and the Human Rights Observatory accuses the security forces of siding with the landowners. EFE