Volunteer Human Rights Accompaniment in Honduras
Organized by: Greg McCain
I have been volunteering in Honduras as a long term on-the-ground human rights monitor for 3 years. In that time I have accompanied the peasant farmers (campesinos) in the northern Aguán Valley as they struggle for a sustainable livelihood.
I have twice been present during the exhumations of campesinos who violently lost their lives at the hands of the private guards of Corporation Dinant, a large African Palm producing company that acquired much of their land through swindles and bribery.
The Honduran Military and Police have also actively sought to criminalize the campesinos, and the Honduran government has denied the campesinos of sustainable markets syphoning off international aid to give to the large corporations.
I have also been present at numerous evictions, monitoring the violent behaviour of the police and military as well as the private guards. I have accompanied campesinos to police stations to monitor how they were being treated and took their testimonies of the violent evictions. I also go to courthouses to monitor the process of the judicial system, one that is heavily weighted against the poor and is there to further enrich the ruling elite.
On several occasions I have accompanied people who needed to flee the region or country because of death threats or actual attacks. Many of these occurred after the person went to the Public Prosecutor to file a complaint of receiving a death threat. The Public Prosecutor almost never investigates these complaints and are often working in tandem with those making the threats.
I have also been accompanying the Political Prisoner Jose Isabel "Chabelo" Morales who had been unjustly incarcerated for close to 7 years. The Supreme Court annulled his conviction TWICE. His case is a clear example of the criminalization of campesinos.
The donations that I receive enable me to continue the much needed accompaniment of those who are struggling for dignity and justice against a corrupt government that has the full support and financial aid of the US government.