peasant organization Movimiento Unificado Campesino del Aguán (MUCA) denounced
yesterday the kidnapping and disappearance of Juan Ramón Chinchilla, one of its
leaders and a member of the Executive Committee of the National Popular
Resistance Front (FNRP). Chinchilla was stopped by strangers as he returned home
from an activity in one of the peasant communities of Bajo Aguán. His motorcycle
was found with bullet holes on it. MUCA and FNRP are demanding his safe return.
a teacher union leader and FNRP Executive Committee member, told SIREL
that on Saturday, Jan. 8, after spending the day at a meeting with members of
the peasant undertaking Buenos Amigos, Juan Chinchilla headed on his
motorcycle to his home in the community of La Concepción, where his wife was
waiting for him.
“He called his
wife to tell her he was on his way. Then, at around 8:30 p.m., he spotted a car
and a motorcycle following him and called a fellow MUCA member. As he was
talking, shots were heard in the background and the call got cut off,” Paz
communities were alerted immediately and at dawn his motorcycle was found near
the road to Elixir. It had two bullet holes.
Chinchilla is a spirited leader who is 100 percent committed to the
Resistance Front. He’s been actively involved in the struggle against the
militarization of Bajo Aguán and formed part of the MUCA Negotiating
Committee that in April 2010 signed the agreements with the government of
and army forces lifted the roadblock of the Atlantic coastal highway and began
the militarization of the Guadalupe Carney community, Chinchilla clashed
with police and army officers who accused him of being responsible for
everything that was going on in Valle del Aguán,” Paz continued.
continued his tireless efforts to help organize and support different peasant
groups. In fact, he was coming back from one of these activities when he was
snatched by strangers on the road. And we haven’t heard from him since,” the
FNRP member said with concern.
immediately launched a region-wide search and issued an alert publicly demanding
the safe return of its leader .
“There’s a real
possibility that the kidnapping was perpetrated by security guards hired by
African palm producers from the region, with the support of repressive forces of
the state. We’re very concerned for his safety and fear he’s been murdered.”
Things in Bajo
Aguán are still very difficult and repression has not stopped.
kidnapping,” Paz said, “is part of a long series of attacks against
peasant organizations committed over the past few months.”
MUCA public relations secretary along with Chinchilla, expressed
deep concern over his disappearance.
looking for Chinchilla nonstop since he went missing and he’s nowhere to
be found. They’re playing with us. We’ve received tips from anonymous callers
telling us they’ve found a body, but when we get to where the body’s supposed to
be, there’s nothing there. They’re trying to throw us off track.”
worried,” Álvarez said, “and we know that when Juan was picked up
he had on him a great deal of information on people who’ve participated in
FNRP political training workshops.”
told Sirel that MUCA
would continue its search until the missing leader is found.
also called on national and international organizations to pressure state bodies
this act and demand the safe return of Juan Chinchilla, an activist who
has shown extraordinary courage in the struggle for a new Honduras.”
“We call on
national and international organizations to pressure this repressive regime,
which falsely claims to seek national reconciliation and unity, while it
continues to support and participate in crimes against people and popular
organizations,” the FNRP statement concludes.