Date: January 6-15, 2012
Sponsored by: Alliance for Global Justice
Since the June 2009 military coup, large landowners in the fertile Aguan Valley of Northern Honduras have used the military, police, and private security guards, to terrorize villages and expand their lucrative African palm plantations. Aguan communities, however, have been peacefully resisting, refusing to abandon their lands and livelihoods. As a result, they have seen some of the worst repression in the country. The presence of international accompaniers here can make a real difference.
In July 2011, an Alliance for Global Justice accompaniment delegation stood arm in arm with the members of the rural community of Rigores in Aguan Valley, as security forces arrived to illegally evict them. After over three hours, the police finally left without incident, realizing they were in the spotlight of the international community. The delegation took photographs, notes and testimonials, which were key to recording the events in this isolated region, and disseminating the information internationally.
On this delegation, learn about the threats to democracy and food sovereignty in Honduras, including: the expansion of palm plantations for ‘agrofuels’; the displacement of coastal communities for ‘Cancun-style’ tourism; and plans for large hydroelectric, mining and timber projects. These projects are being carried out by an illegitimate government, with funding from international investors and widespread repression. Astoundingly, campesinos are not only resisting but building alternatives. The Unified Campesino Movement of Aguan (MUCA), for instance, has defied its aggressors by growing organic food on occupied palm lands—including a fruit orchard, fish farm and livestock—for local self-sufficiency.
You will also learn about the National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP), a broad-based non-violent movement for democracy that comprises every sector of Honduran civil society: from campesinos, urban workers and indigenous people to the LGBTQ community, artists, musicians and youth.
Join AfGJ National Coordinator Chuck Kaufman, long-time Honduras human rights accompanier with Rights Action, Karen Spring, and food policy analyst Tanya Kerssen from Food First, Jan. 6-15, 2012.
Cost: $850 covers two meals a day, hotel (double occupancy), translation, and in-country transportation including pick-up from and delivery to the San Pedro Sula airport. The fee does not cover international airfare. For an application, send an email to AFGJ@AFGJ.org.
While the highly experienced delegation leaders will make every effort to insure the personal safety of the delegates, we will be visiting communities that are the target of severe repression. We are looking for delegates with stable personalities who can function well in stressful situations, but at the same time do not thrive on conflict. This delegation is especially recommended for individuals considering becoming long-term accompaniers in Honduras.