Honduras: another campesino murdered in Aguán

Unidentified men on motorcycles shot Honduran campesino Adelmo Leiva dead the morning of Nov. 25 as he was waiting for a bus with his wife and daughter in Trujillo, in the northern department of Colón. Leiva was a member of the Despertar Cooperative, one of the cooperatives forming the Authentic Claimant Movement of Aguán Campesinos (MARCA). Along with other campesino organizations, MARCA has sponsored occupations of estates in the Lower Aguán River Valley in Colón since December 2009 to regain land that the campesinos say big landowners bought illegally in the 1990s.

Although some of the land disputes have been settled this year, other struggles continue, as has the killing of campesinos. According to the French wire service Agence France Presse, the number of dead in the violence over the past three years is now about 90, the great majority of them campesinos. After Leiva’s murder the Honduran branch of the international campesino movement Vía Campesina said that living in the Aguán region involved “high risk.” “The terror appears to be a well thought-out strategy to provoke a mass exodus from the zone with pernicious and dangerous objectives,” the group charged. (Adital, Brazil Nov. 26; AFP, Nov. 26, via La Tribuna, Honduras)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Dec. 2.