Stop repression and impunity

in Bajo Aguán now!

International Mission organizations

present final report 


Galería Fotográfica



The international organizations that earlier this year conducted a mission to investigate the human rights situation in Bajo Aguán have now released their final report to the European Parliament and Honduran society. From February 26 through March 4, 2011, the mission gathered enough solid evidence to reveal the persistence of selective murders, repression and impunity in the region and issue recommendations to national authorities and the international community.


The serious human rights abuses in Bajo Aguán were once again denounced and brought to the attention of international and national opinion.


 Bertha oliva



At a press conference held in Tegucigalpa, national human rights organizations1 and Rel-UITA (IUF Latin America), in representation of the organizations and networks that participated in the International Mission,2 released the contents of the Mission’s final report.


They denounced the systematic repression against peasant families demanding access to land and a decent life, the concentration of the best lands in the hands of a few large landowners and palm producers, and the widespread impunity in the region.


“Peasant activists have had their rights continuously trampled and abused, with grave violations of their rights to life, physical integrity, freedom and personal safety. They’ve also had their rights to food, health, housing and education ignored, and none of the crimes committed are being duly investigated and punished,” the press release reads.


According to the final report, from January 2010 to June 2011, 32 peasant activists were murdered, nine of them in the past three months alone. In addition, there has been a multiplication of the number of assaults, kidnappings and violent land expulsions “with the direct involvement of public and private security forces.”


Gilda Rivera



Honduras must continue to investigate and report the crimes that are being committed in Bajo Aguán. With this report, the members of the International Mission are significantly advancing the work began earlier this year and giving wider international visibility to the violations denounced,” Bertha Oliva, coordinator of the Commission of Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH), said.


Gilda Rivera, director of the Center for Women’s Rights (CDM), explained that the final report “is backed by solid facts and is the result of in-depth field work conducted by the International Mission.”


Gilberto Ríos, FIAN Honduras executive director, expressed the need to address the root causes of the violence and human rights abuses in Bajo Aguán. “There are cases from at least 11 land conflicts that are still unresolved. We need to develop public policies that will bring about a true land reform and will guarantee access to land  for peasant families,” Ríos said.




Gilberto Ríos



The International Mission called on national authorities to investigate the murders and other crimes committed in the region and bring the perpetrators to justice, and to act immediately to put a stop to the repression and violence against the peasant movement. It also demanded observance of legal provisions and land conflict-related agreements.


Moreover, it urged the international community to be more alert to the human rights situation in Bajo Aguán and take a more active stance.


European Parliament concerned


The final report was also presented to several bodies of the European Parliament. According to members of a delegation of the International Mission that traveled to Brussels, the report was well-received by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights and by representatives of the European Council and the EU Foreign Service.





Participants at the public hearing held acknowledged the importance of monitoring the situation of violence and impunity in Bajo Aguán, a situation that has become an issue of concern and consideration in the European Parliament.


The vice-chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, Laima Andrikiené, and European legislator Richar Howitt showed great concern over “the high rate of impunity in the country and the difficulties in protecting human rights in Bajo Aguán.”


Lastly, the members of the International Mission asked Emine Bozkurt, head of the European Delegation for Relations with Central American Countries, to include Bajo Aguán in the delegation’s next visit to Honduras, scheduled for October.



From Tegucigalpa, Giorgio Trucchi


July 15, 2011






Photos: Giorgio Trucchi

Bottom photograph: Peasants cleared out of the Paso Aguán Settlement (December 9, 2010)


1-CDM (Center for Women’s Rights), CIPRODEH (Human Rights Research and Promotion Center of Honduras), COFADEH (Commission of Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared in Honduras), Truth Commission, FIAN Honduras,  Vía Campesina Honduras, and Swiss Interchurch Aid (HEKS).


2-APRODEV (Association of Development Organizations connected with the World  Council of Churches), CIFCA (Copenhagen Initiative for Central America and Mexico), FIAN International, IFIHR (International Federation for Human Rights ), Rel-UITA (Latin American Regional Office of the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations), and Vía Campesina International.


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