Blanca Sarahí Izaguirre Lozano
National Commissioner for Human Rights of Honduras (CONADEH)
November 23, 2022
Dear Commissioner Izaguirre:
We are writing to draw your attention to the serious matter unfolding in el Valle del Aguán, Yoro Department, as a consequence of ongoing human rights and land right violations.
Members of the Coordinator of Popular Organizations (COPA) and the Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice (MADJ) announced in a press conference that agribusiness corporations like Dinant have a plan to assassinate the peasant leadership in El Aguán who are fighting to secure access to their ancestral lands. Sources say the agribusiness companies have carried out surveillance to monitor the movements of the leadership and have devised a plot to murder the leadership of the Agrarian Platform—and then blame it on common street-crime violence. The names of the threatened leaders are: Jaime Cabrera, Jony Rivas, Héctor Murillo, José Cruz, Santos Pérez, Alexander Garcia, José Garcia, William Sorto and Esly Banegas.
This latest denouncement comes after the signing of an agreement on February 22, 2022 between the peasant organizations and the state to address human rights violations and violence. The agribusiness corporations responded by reactivating criminal networks to generate more violence, which in turn has given rise to multiple murders, persecution and surveillance against the peasant organizations.
We strongly urge you to:
- safeguard the life and personal integrity of the campesino leadership in El Aguán Valley, in strict accordance with their wishes
- initiate an investigation against businessman Miguel Mauricio de la Soledad Facussé Saenz, leader of Corporación Dinant, who has been accused of implementing the plan to assassinate the peasant leadership
- resume and promote the agreements contemplated in the agreement signed on February 22
- proceed to immediately install the Tripartite Commission for the investigation of human rights violations in the El Aguán area
Brian J. Stefan Szittai and Christine Stonebraker-Martinez
copies: Javier Efraín Bú Soto, Ambassador of Honduras in Washington, DC c/o Alejandra Sandoval Taixes ~ via email and US mail
Carlos Pulido, Rapporteur for Honduras, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) ~ via email and US mail
Isabel Albaladejo Escribano, Representative to Honduras of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OACNUDH) ~ via email
Alice Shackelford, UN Resident Coordinator in Honduras, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights ~ via email
US Embassy in Honduras: Ambassador Laura F. Dogu and Human Rights Officer ~ via email
US State Department: Bryan Schell, Honduras Desk Officer ~ via email
US Senators Brown & Portman and US Representatives Beatty, Brown, Gibbs, González, Johnson, Jordan, Joyce, Kaptur, Latta, Ryan ~ via email
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