TEGUCIGALPA – Three rural laborers were killed amid an ongoing conflict over land in the Bajo Aguan region on Honduras’ Caribbean coast, a group representing peasants in the area said Monday.
The victims died Sunday in a drive-by shooting at a bus stop in the town of Tocoa, the MUCA organization said in a statement.
“MUCA repudiates ... these cowardly acts of intimidation against the peasants and calls on the regime of (President Porfirio) Lobo to stop this violence against the laborers of Bajo Aguan,” the statement continued.
While authorities have no official information on the killings, they will investigate the allegation, a police spokesman told Efe.
Last year, the Honduran government, owners of palm-oil plantations and MUCA signed an accord calling for more than 4,000 hectares (9,876 acres) of land to be distributed among landless families in Bajo Aguan.
The agreement has yet to be implemented and nearly 70 people have died during the last four years in a conflict pitting peasants against private security guards working for the palm-oil barons, according to the National Human Rights Commission.
Most of those killed have been peasants.
The Lobo administration sent troops and police to the region a year ago, but the presence of security forces has failed to stop the violence. EFE