Honduras: human rights center created for Aguán Valley

Honduran and international human rights and grassroots organizations announced on Oct. 21 that they were forming a center to monitor and prevent rights violations in northern Honduras’ Lower Aguán Valley, where dozens of people have been killed over the past two years in land conflicts. The Human Rights Monitoring Center for the Aguán is scheduled to open on Nov. 11; it will be based in the city of Tocoa, Colón department.

According to Wilfredo Paz Zúniga, the center’s spokesperson and also the local coordinator for the National Popular Resistance Front (FNRP) coalition, the center’s functions will include stationing observers at demonstrations, land occupations and highway blockades to avert excessive use of force by police agents; protecting people whose lives are threatened; assisting victims of violence or repression; taking preventive measures; reporting human rights violations; and collecting information for legal action against rights violators.

In the area’s most recent violence, campesino Segundo Mendoza Ramos was killed on Oct. 15 and two other campesinos were wounded by gunfire the next day, according to the Honduras office of the European organization FoodFirst Information and Action Network (FIAN). The incidents were reportedly connected to efforts by private security guards for a major landowner, Miguel Facussé Barjum, to end a land occupation by members of a campesino group, the Campesino Movement of National Reclamation (MCRN). (Adital, Brazil, Oct. 21)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Oct. 23.

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