TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Gunmen fatally shot a 23-year-old Honduran villager on Aug. 6 in a longstanding land dispute, an agrarian movement said.
The Unified Peasant Movement of Aguán said in a statement that gunmen kidnapped and killed organization member Melvin Amaya.
“Our colleague Melvin Amaya was running some personal errands in one of the nearby communities when he was kidnapped by his murderers and taken to the Salamá community where he was killed with three shots to the face,” the movement said in a prepared statement.
The Aguán land conflict erupted in January 2010, a month after thousands of peasants occupied vast tracts of land owned by wealthy landowners farming African palm oil.
Since 2010, more than 100 people have died in the conflict that has played out in the Aguán Valley, about 600 kilometers northeast of the capital of Tegucigalpa.
The land had been given to poor farmers in 1980 as part of a land reform program, but a 1992 law allowed land to be resold.
Some farm leaders, behind the backs of those below them, sold land at low prices.
The last death in the conflict occurred in May when a guard was shot dead in an ambush that left four other guards wounded. Land-owners blamed the incident on peasants.
[AFP (Honduras), 08/07/2013; El Heraldo (Honduras), 07/08/2013]