Urgent Action by Greg McCain

On Friday July 6th I witnessed the exhumation of the body of Gregorio Chavez Aranda on one of the fincas (palm plantations) of Miguel Faccusé. He had been missing since July 2nd. Two months prior to his disappearance, Senior Chavez complained to Faccusé’s private security guards about the ongoing theft and killings of his farm animals by the guards.

His body was found many miles deep into the finca, but only approximately a mile from where the guards have been camped out. Gregorio’s head was covered with a small plastic bag and he had severe trauma to the back of his head as evidenced by a large wound and the pooling of blood inside the bag. The community of La Panama, of which Gregorio was a respected member, had tried to search the finca but were stopped by the guards when they had come to that section. Members of the Human Rights Observatory of the Aguan as well as Karen Spring from Rights Action and Mary Dean and myself had visited the Chavez family on Wednesday July 4th. We also spoke with members of the National Police and relayed to them the grave human rights violations that they were engaged in by riding up and down the roads of the community while acommpanying the heavily armed private security guards, a clear symbol of intimidation of the community.

Finally on Friday, the National Police, after much pressure from the community, agreed to accompany members of the community onto the Finca to allow them to search for Gregorio. They found a crudly dug shallow trench covered by palm leaves with many flies buzzing over it. After many hours of waiting for a forensic team to finally show up members of the community, including members of Gregorio’s family dug up his body.

Also, Jacobo Erazo Lopez, member of MUCA-Right Bank and partner in the campesino cooperative La Tranvio was assassinated last week in the community of Quebrada de Arena.
Tell the US Embassy that as the Embassy has maintained a close relationship with Miguel Facusse (principal owner of the Dinant palm oil company) and trained military forces in the region, they must act now to bring Gregorio and Jacobo’s assassins to justice:
Nathan Anderson
Human Rights and Labor Attaché
U.S. Embassy Tegucigalpa
Office: (504) 2236-9320 ext. 4733
Cell: (504) 9719-0289
email: andersontn2@state.gov

If you speak Spanish, call Honduran officials:

Ana Pineda, Minister of Human Rights (504) 9982-6801
Commissioner Mejilla – Departmental Chief of Police for Colon: (504) 9761-3669
Police Station in Trujillo: (504) 2434-3211


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