CLOC Via Campesina Central America denounces the increase in murders and persecution for defending life

Delegates of the CLOC Via Campesina Central America together with representatives of Guatemalan communities that suffer from persecution and intimidation for the defense of land and territory, made known, the increase of criminalization of the peasant and indigenous struggle for defending life.

The representatives of the Central American commission made known that the countries where there is increase in murder, imprisonment, persecution, and intimidation towards peasant and indigenous leaders for defending life are Honduras, Panama y Guatemala.

The representation of the CLOC Via Campesina pointed out that in the last three years in Honduras, there has been registered 115 peasants murdered and around 3,050 peasants prosecuted in the process of their struggle for land. It was also said that in the last years in Guatemala and Panama there has been an increase in the number of leaders imprisoned, persecuted and murdered; as well as an increase of  violent evictions  and the remilitarization of the communities that defend their territories.

The politics of eviction from the government and the transnational businesses has given as a result, the increase of families evicted from their lands for the sowing of monocultures; such politics have provoked the impoverishment of thousands of families. They pointed out that it is important to denounce worldwide, so that everyone realizes the reality in which these towns live for the defense to life.

La CLOC Via Campesina sent  their solidarity to the peoples of Bajo Aguan Valle de Sula and Rio Blanco in Honduras; as well as to the communities of Guatemala where the criminalization of their struggle has increased. Such is the case of 12 communities of San Juan Sacatepequez, Santa Cruz Barillas, communities of Valle dePolochic, communities of San jose del Golfo, Santa Maria Xalapa, San Rafael Flores, the 48 cantons of Totonicapan among others.

Their solidarity was also for the peoples of Panama Ngäbe-Buglé, and Kuna Yala who in these last years have been reprimanded by the politics of the current right wing government of Ricardo Martinelli. From Guatemala, where the central american delegation of the Via Campesina were present, they sent their solidarity to the national peasant leaders of the countries who are currently persecuted, among them were: Juan Ramón Chinchilla, Jhonny Rivas, Vitalino Álvarez leader of the  Movimiento Unificado Campesino del Aguan -MUCA-, also to Rafael Alegría general coordinator de la Vía Campesina en Honduras.

Their solidarity was also for the leaders of Guatemala, among them, the peasant leader Roberto Gonzalez Ucelo, who the State has seen him as an enemy for his leadership in the struggle against the extractive model in the territory of Xinca. Their solidarity was also for the Comite de Unidad Campesina –CUC-, who has been attacked and threatened constantly by the processes of fighting for the defense of life. The central American delegation reputed the  sentence of 150 years of prison against the kaqchiquel leader Abelardo Curup, whose struggle was to defend the territory and not permit the cement company to enter in the Sanjuanero Territory.

Representative of the International Peasant Movement CLOC Via Campesina, demanded to the State of Guatemala to cease politics of repression and criminalization against those who defend their life, their land, and their territory, they demanded that the government respects human life and that they orient themselves to approve public politics that lead to an integral life for all, as well as requesting that national and international human rights organizations watch and denounce the constant violence that the people through, struggling for life and that they respect human rights.

They pointed out that with the increase of dispossession, of criminalization, persecution and murder towards the organized struggle in defense of mother earth and territory, there will be peaceful manifestations in the regions of the countries. Also, from each country there will be a petition made to the Interamerican Commission of Human Rights to request protection to the leaders and communities that struggle constantly for the respect to life.