Support Honduran Peasants in their struggle for land and livelihood
April 17th, the International Day of Peasant Struggle, isn’t just about slogans and marches. Honduran peasants began massive land occupations on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 and are paying the price. Because of this Rafael Alegria and other leaders are under threat. We ask you to send protest letters to the Honduras government with copy la La Via Campesina.
please send them to the following addresses:
Ministra de Derechos Humanos, Lic. Ana Pineda, E-mail: i [dot] quintanilla [at] sjth [dot] gob [dot] hn, i [dot] quintanilla [at] hotmail [dot] com
Presidente del Congreso de Honduras, Lic. Juan Orlando Hernandez, E-mail: tyase_00 [at] yahoo [dot] com
Ministro-Director del Instituto Nacional Agrario (INA), Sr. Cesar Ham, E-mail: karolrodriguez15 [at] hotmail [dot] com,
with copy to La Via Campesina - Centro America laviacampesina [at] cablecolor [dot] hn
Thank you for taking the time to protect the human rights of these farmers.
Below, a letter from La Via Campesina in solidarity with the 3,000 Honduran families on the front lines.
LETTER OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE FARMERS MOVEMENT IN HONDURAS
Jakarta, 20-04-2012 issued by La Via Campesina
On the International Day of Peasant Struggle, April 17th, in Honduras massive land occupations have started by peasants. More than 12 000 hectares in at least six departments that were occupied by about 3000 farm families. The avalanche of criticism against the coordinator of La Via Campesina Central America Rafael Alegría were unexpected and today most media accuse our friend Rafael Alegria to invade private land, jeopardizing the domestic and foreign private investment.
La Via Campesina in solidarity with the farmers movement in Honduras, recalls that in the final declaration of the International Conference Nyeleni against land grabbing a commitment was given to “support the control by people of their natural resources through land occupations , occupations of companies and corporate investors, protests and other actions to mobilize the masses to claim their commons.”
If these families have made the decision to recuperate land with all the risks involved for them, we support them so that they do not continue to live in extreme poverty and can engage in the production of food for thier survival. According to a report of CEPAL/FAO in December , 2011, 68% of the rural population in Honduras lives in poverty.
La Via Campesina calls upon its organizations and other social movements to express their solidarity with peasant families and send letters to the Government of Honduras to approve the proposed comprehensive agrarian reform law that the peasant movement has presented to Congress in October , 2011.
La Via Campesina also requests the government of Honduras to stop promoting the use of public and paramilitary forces to repress peasant families and especially to respect the physical integrity of people who struggle for land. We reject all forms of violence and the criminalization of our struggles and mobilizations in defense of our rights,
General Coordinator La Via Campesina
What can U.S. citizens do
The following alert was originally circulated by the Honduras Solidarity Network:
Please call your U.S. Representative and ask them to sign the McGovern- Schakowsky- Farr “Dear Colleague” Congressional letter on Honduras! The Honduran People and the Honduras Solidarity Network need your help ASAP to move a critical congressional initiative that supports human rights in Honduras.
In light of the renewed violent repression against teachers, students and members of the civilian Resistance movement in Honduras, Reps. James McGovern (D-MA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Sam Farr (D-CA) are circulating a Congressional sign-on letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Honduras. (Read the letter.) which:
expresses great concern for “the threats and violence directed against human rights defenders, activists, opposition leaders, members of the LBGT community and journalists in Honduras;”
calls for the U.S. Embassy to denounce violence and threats against human rights defenders and activists that has occurred with total impunity;
urges the State Department and U.S. Embassy “to vigorously press the Honduran government to take concrete steps to end abuses by official security forces by suspending, investigating and prosecuting those implicated in human rights violations;”
calls for the suspension of U.S. assistance to the Honduran military and police because of the lack of accountability for violations.
Call Your Congressperson Today!
Contact your Representative in the U.S. Congress. The Congressional Switchboard number is (202) 224-3121 . You will be connected directly to your Rep’s office in Washington, DC. Once connected, please ask to speak with the “foreign policy aide.” If the aide is unavailable, get his or her name. Then ask for his/her voice mail, leaving a message noting who you are and the town that you live in.
Ask for your representative “to sign the McGovern letter to Secretary Clinton in support of human rights in Honduras and suspension of military aid to Honduras until human rights violations end.” Leave your phone number, asking the staffer to call you about when a decision by your Rep. will be made on this request.
Your Representative can sign on by contacting office of Rep. Jim McGovern. The deadline by which to sign on is Wednesday, May 25, 2012.
Current Signers Include:
James P. McGovern (MA)
Janice D. Schakowsky (IL)
Sam Farr (CA)
Maurice d. Hinchey (NY)
John Lewis (GA)
John Conyers, Jr. (MI)
Sheila Jackson Lee (TX)
Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (IL)
Anna G. Eshoo (CA)
Danny K. Davis (IL)
Jim McDermott (WA)
Lynn Woolsey (CA)
Raul Grijalva (AZ)
Please email the hsnadvocates [at] yahoo [dot] com>Honduras Solidarity Network Congressional Action Committee to tell them what you have done. Thanks for your support of the people of Honduras!