Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lobo Sosa Insinuates Bajo Aguan campesinos are armed

In remarks quoted in El Heraldo as of 10:43 pm Monday April 12, Porfirio Lobo Sosa dangerously escalates his rhetoric, drawing connections between the campesino activists of MUCA who are occupying land in the Bajo Aguan, and unnamed foreigners who he insinuates have provided guns to the self-identified peaceful activists.
"No voy a permitir grupos armados de ningún tipo en Honduras y lo quiero repetir: no voy a permitir grupos armados en Honduras."

El Heraldo stated that Lobo Sosa said this in response to questions about why he has sent 2,000 military into the area
where campesinos advised by foreigners have invaded dozens of hectares of already cultivated land.

The claim that the MUCA movement is advised by foreigners is a way to divorce their actions from Honduras, to make these farmers into a dangerous other.

El Heraldo notes that Lobo Sosa
has asserted that behind the land conflict in the Bajo Aguán "there exist political interests"

and goes on to add that
some sectors do not discard the presence of armed groups in the region.

A subsecretary of the Ministry of Security, Roberto Romero, is quoted at length as arguing that this militarization of the Aguan in no way violates the spirit of supposedly ongoing negotiations:
"The negotiations have been respected and at the moment the only thing that the secretary of Security has done, with instructions from the President, is comply with a constitutional mandate, which is to generate spaces of trust and augment the security in this zone, in such a way as to control the flow of arms."

Lobo Sosa himself reinforces this grand lie:
"What they (Army and Police) are going to do is remind people of the Ley de Tenencia y Portación de Armas (Law of ownership and carrying of Arms) that establishes penalities of nine years in prison for anyone who carries arms in an irregular way."

Meanwhile, Sandra Ponce, who has the title of "Human Rights Advocate" (Fiscalía de Derechos Humanos), explained that in response to complaints she had initiated an investigation which has already found that
what official sources say is that the mobilization does not equate with a repressive action against persons of the campesino movement, but rather to operations against drug trafficking.

Univision quotes Ponce more succinctly as saying
The police have no order to dislodge the farmhands and their mission in Tocoa is to lower the arming and the drug trafficking in the region.

But who's arming here? not the campesinos.

In this atmosphere of intimidation, MUCA is reportedly expected to come to a final decision today about the no-longer-negotiable offers from the Lobo Sosa government. But the militarization, we are asked to believe, has no specific relationship to the campesino actions.

And the Honduran news media add fuel to the flames, editorializing that MUCA is following a "hard line" and repeating that the businessmen disputing land rights "have asserted that the occupation of the land is aided by foreigners" and that Lobo Sosa "fears that the actions of the campesinos are politically motivated and that they seek to disparage his government with the theme of human rights", concluding that
the greatest risk that presently exists is to continue giving time for radical groups so that they can totally take control since what they want is a greater confrontation to impose their manicheanism by violence [sangre y fuego].

The solution, according to the editorialist for El Heraldo, is simple; people just have to stop thinking that police actions in the middle of a tense land dispute have anything to do with that dispute, and it is up to the campesinos to see that they don't give anyone the idea that a massacre is about to happen or they will show they are tools of the radical left:
the peasants of MUCA have the opportunity today to give the lie, through deeds, to those that see them as instruments at the service of the radical left. They only have to accept the proposal of the government of Lobo....

So we hope, then, that in the meeting today a definitive agreement will be reached so that the government can dedicate itself to confronting grave national problems such as insecurity, without its actions being misinterpreted like yesterday, that deployed armed forces and police to combat common delinquency and organized crime in Cortés, Atlántida, and Colón [coastal departments], and that stirred up such an ado saying that a "genocide" was being prepared against the campesinos of the Aguan.

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