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Fri Jul 6, 2012, 01:11 AM

Honduras: Another Campesino Kidnapped In 'The Aguan'

Source: Rights Action.org

Honduras: Another Campesino Kidnapped In 'The Aguan'
By Annie Bird
July 5, 2012

On July 2, 2012, neighbors from the town of Panama found evidence that campesino Gregorio Chavez Arranda was kidnapped from his fields and taken by Dinant palm oil company private security forces onto the Panama Farm. As in three similar kidnappings last year, authorities have refused to assist family members and neighbors in locating the victim and appear to be collaborating with the security forces, making this kidnapping a forced disappearance.

Gregorio Chavez Arranda Kidnapped

On Monday, July 2, Gregorio Chavez Arranda, a campesino resident of the town of Panama, disappeared while working his yucca field that borders the Panama Farm, controlled by palm oil businessman Miguel Facusse through his corporation Dinant, and heavily controlled by large armed private security force.

Every day at 5pm Chavez Arranda tended his garden plot and then returned home. When he had not returned home at 6:30pm, his family and neighbors worried and went to the plot, where they found a shotgun bullet casing, his machete thrown to the side and remnants of material which could have been used to bind him. Plants were crushed in a path enter the Panama Farm in what appeared to have been where he was dragged away into the Panama farm. Given this evidence and the history of abuses by Dinant security forces, his neighbors are certain he was kidnapped by Dinant security guards.

AUTHORITIES DO NOT ACT, BUT OCCUPY THE PANAMA TOWN
Neighbors immediately called on the police in the nearby town of Tocoa demanding that based on the evidence police immediately search the Panama farm. The police refused to come to the community's assistance claiming it pertained to another jurisdiction, the town of Trujillo over an hour away. It was not until the following afternoon at approximately 2pm that investigators from the town of Trujillo came to Panama and took the bullet casing but did not enter the Panama farm to search for the missing man.

Read more: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1207/S00198/honduras-another-campesino-kidnapped-in-the-aguan.htm

5 replies, 2750 views

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 01:31 AM

1. How does this relate to the US, which condoned the coup and supported the coup president?

From the posted article:
~snip~

SECURITY GUARDS, POLICE AND US ARMY TRAINED MILITARY ARE REPORTED TO COLLABORATE IN KILLINGS
The security guards present in the Panama Farm are both directly employed by Dinant and Dinant also contracts the Orion Security Company. The company is reported to be run by ex Colonel Jose Antonio Melgar, who until recently was the commander of the 15th Battalion military base near the Finca Panama.

Campesinos and human rights activists report that the 15th Battalion has actively participated in the killing of campesinos, together with police and private security guards, in what appears to be death squadactivities. It has also been reported that Colombians dressed in Honduran military uniforms train military and private security guards on the base. Campesinos also report that the US Army Rangers train the 15th Battalion and patrol the region. In August 2011 it was confirmed that Rangers were training the 15th Battalion.

~snip~
PALM PLANTERS ILLEGALLY OBTAINED FARMS FROM COOPERATIVES
The conflict that led to Olvin and Segundo's disappearance and at least seven extrajudicial executions was unexpectedly resolved on June 29 2012 when after a court sentence nullifying the sale of the San Esteban farm and three other farms to palm planters Miguel Facusse, Rene Morales and Reynaldo Canales was issued. The palm planters were evicted and the farms turned over to campesinos. MARCA is composed of the rightful owners of the four farms, and after the eviction of the palm planters MARCA president Julian Hernandez was followed and threatened.

The Finca Panama was acquired by the Facusse under similarly irregular circumstances, around the same time as the San Esteban farm. 'Purchases' at this time were characterized by intimidation, violence, and fraud. The members of the old Paso de Aguan cooperative still live in the town of Panama. Almost all of the cooperatives who lost their farms at this time attempted to undertake court cases to regain them but as a result of the extremely high legal costs and extremely protracted proceeding, most were unable to continue the law suits. Approximately 60 campesinos and their supporters have been killed since 2010 when campesinos began taking possession of the farms palm oil planters had illegally obtained in the mid 1990s.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1207/S00198/honduras-another-campesino-kidnapped-in-the-aguan.htm

LBN:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014159993

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #1)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 01:56 AM

2. thanks judy

 

These updates of yours really inform on events in LA which are generally censored out of media in favor of the latest hollywood rehab news.

I googled Facusse and the first result is a wikileak that he is also apparently involved in cocaine trafficking. Seems like a swell guy.

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Response to HankyDub (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 02:47 AM

4. This man is horrendous. Mind-bogglingly monstrous. Big supporter of the coup.

WikiLeaks Honduras: US Linked to Brutal Businessman
Dana Frank | October 21, 2011

Since 2009, beneath the radar of the international media, the coup government ruling Honduras has been collaborating with wealthy landowners in a violent crackdown on small farmers struggling for land rights in the Aguán Valley in the northeastern region of the country. More than forty-six campesinos have been killed or disappeared. Human rights groups charge that many of the killings have been perpetrated by the private army of security guards employed by Miguel Facussé, a biofuels magnate. Facussé’s guards work closely with the Honduran military and police, which receive generous funding from the United States to fight the war on drugs in the region.

New Wikileaks cables now reveal that the US embassy in Honduras—and therefore the State Department—has known since 2004 that Miguel Facussé is a cocaine importer. US “drug war” funds and training, in other words, are being used to support a known drug trafficker’s war against campesinos.

Miguel Facussé Barjum, in the embassy’s words, is “the wealthiest, most powerful businessman in the country,” one of the country’s “political heavyweights.” The New York Times recently described him as “the octogenarian patriarch of one of the handful of families controlling much of Honduras’ economy.” Facussé’s nephew, Carlos Flores Facussé, served as president of Honduras from 1998 to 2002. Miguel Facussé’s Dinant corporation is a major producer of palm oil, snack foods, and other agricultural products. He was one of the key supporters of the military coup that deposed democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya on June 28, 2009.

Miguel Facussé’s power base lies in the lower Aguán Valley, where campesinos originally settled in the 1970s as part of an agrarian reform strategy by the Honduran government, which encouraged hundreds of successful campesino cooperatives and collectives in the region. Beginning in 1992, though, new neoliberal governments began promoting the transfer of their lands to wealthy elites, who were quick to take advantage of state support to intimidate and coerce campesinos into selling, and in some cases to acquire land through outright fraud. Facussé, the biggest beneficiary by far of these state policies, now claims at least 22,000 acres in the lower Aguán, at least one-fifth of the entire area, much of which he has planted in African palms for an expanding biofuel empire.

More:
http://www.thenation.com/article/164120/wikileaks-honduras-us-linked-brutal-businessman#i

If you're concerned, scan the images on google image for Miguel Facussé, there IS a story behind the graphic ones:

http://images.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4TSND_enUS411US412&q=Miguel+Facuss%c3%a9&biw=1194&bih=601&sei=vYn2T4XzKpCN0QHr6YnLBg&tbm=isch

Welcome to D.U., HankyDub.

Thank you.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 02:26 AM

3. Lovely to know that Our CIA / DEA thugs and their running dogs are still at work.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 10:30 AM

5. Good thing we won the election. Now we will stop supporting coups and brutality in Latin America.

Thank you President Obama!

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