Land conflict in Honduras leaves ten dead

An Aug. 5 confrontation between the campesino group “Padre Guadalupe Carney” and landowners left at least nine dead at El Tilín, in the Honduran Caribbean coastal department of Colón. The Honduran Security Secretariat said some 200 armed peasants attacked the property of local police commander Henry Sorto, burning buildings, in a dispute over contested lands. Campesino militants also blocked roads, barring security forces access to the seized property. Campesino leader Rafael Alegría in a statement issued to the media called upon the national authorities to appoint a commission to mediate the conflict. (El Heraldo, Honduras, Aug. 6)

A brief Chicago Tribune account Aug. 5 said ten, all Sorto family members, were hacked or burned to death by the campesinos. Sorto was said to be working in a nearby town at the time and was unharmed. But the account mis-named the locale as “Silin,” contradicting Honduran reports, and described it as “near the border with Guatemala.” Colón department is more than 100 kilometers from the Guatemalan border, and is actually closer to Nicaragua.

Popular organizations have pledged nationwide protests next week over the price of food and public services. Leader of the Bloque Popular, Juan Barahona, pledged marches in cities and towns throughout the country. (El Financiero, Mexico, Aug. 6) Last month saw a wave of hundreds-strong student protest marches in the capital, Tegucigalpa. (Prensa Latina, July 22)

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