Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

September 26, 2012

SOA Watch: Two human rights lawyers assassinated in Honduras

Two human rights lawyers assassinated in Honduras: take action!

This past Sunday and Monday, two human rights lawyers, Antonio Trejo and Eduardo Diaz, were brutally murdered in Honduras, bringing to over 60 the number of victims caught in the struggle for life and land in the Bajo Aguan in Honduras. The debate over the production of food for families versus bio-fuels for corporations has reached a high note

After the 2009 coup that was led by SOA graduates, massive privatization has become the order of the day for Honduras, with almost everything, from land to entire cities, on the docket for privatization.

Lawyer Antonio Trejo had the valor to take a stand against this. He was defending the right of the MARCA peasant collective to the restoration of their lands in the Lower Aguan valley. These lands were seized 18 years earlier by Honduras’ wealthiest man: Miguel Facussé. Facusse’s Dinant Corporation was using this land to produce African palms, a source of bio fuel .

Trejo’s efforts led to initial success, with a June court decision calling for the return the land to the campesinos, However, pressure from the private corporation led to an overthrow of the court order, as well as the arrest of Trejo and other campesinos protesting the reversal.

Saturday night unknown assailants riddled Trejo's body and car with bullets as he left a wedding. On several occasions, Trejo denounced the threats he had received to the media and had publicly said that if he were killed, Facusse would be responsible.

Trejo had also taken a stand on the controversial proposal by the Honduran government, in conjunction with a US company, MGK Group, to build three privately run cities with their own police, laws and tax systems. Just hours before his murder, Trejo had participated in a televised debate in which he accused congressional leaders of using the private city projects to raise campaign funds.

Only hours after Trejo’s assassination, another human rights lawyer, Eduardo Diaz Madariaga was killed in Choluteca, 84 miles (135 kilometers) south of the capital.

Lawyers Antonio Trejo and Eduardo Diaz lost gave their lives to the struggle for dignity. If you have at least 3 minutes to spare or a 3 cents in your pocket, this is what you can do:

- 3 minutes to spare?Contact your Member of Congress and demand an end to US military aid to Honduras.

- 10 minutes to spare? Learn how Nicaragua found the courage to withdraw their troops from the SOA last month, while neighboring Honduras continues to pay the price for actions of SOA graduates, by reading the report from a recent SOA Watch delegation.

- 3 days to spare? Go to Honduras as an election observer. The National Popular Resistance Front formed a political party, LIBRE, to compete in next years national elections, and primary elections for LIBRE and Honduras’ traditional parties will be held this November. Four LIBRE primary candidates have been killed to date and violence against FNRP activists and members is committed daily

- 10 days to spare? Join Witness for Peace and the Friendship Office of the Americas to see the effects of militarization in Honduras and then take action at the SOA Watch vigil in Georgia.

- No time, but some pocket change? Help sponsor SOA Watch' Human Rights Accompanier with the PROAH Accompaniment Program of Honduras

“Oligarchs beware: the Honduran people of struggle will continue to place our bet on the construction of a dignified life, until we achieve a new society and a new country that we will refound with equality, justice, peace and sovereignty”
- statement by COPIHN, September 25, 2012

"We are not birds who live in the air, we are not fish who live in the sea, we are campesinos who must live on the land".
- Unified Campesino Movement of Aguan (MUCA) -

November 16-18, 2012: Converge on Fort Benning, Georgia!


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