Garifuna resistance in Vallecito against land grabbing for palm oil plantations and drug trade, Honduras


<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns"><div class="less">The indigenous Garifuna communities living on the northeastern coasts of Honduras are threatened by eviction, displacement, intimidation and criminal violence due to the high rates of expansion of oil palm plantations. Violence is scaling up in the region as numerous gangs associated to organized crime serve the economic interests of palm oil businessmen and drug smugglers. Vallecito has recently turned into a main target for palm oil and drug trade interests, directly affecting the Garifuna communities living there, that are now struggling for their land and the survival of their people.</div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">The conflict dates back to the agrarian reform laws in 1970s, but has deepened along with the certification process started in the early 90s, along with the agrarian counter-reform promoted by the neoliberal government of Rafael Callejas, and has eventually intensified after the coup d’état in 2009.<br/><br/>One of the biggest players in the region is Miguel Facussé – owner of Dinant Corporation, formerly engaged in a conflict with the peasants of the Bajo Aguán valley – accused of having fraudulently taken control over about 15 km of the ancestral lands between Limón and Vallecito, belonging to the Garifuna community of Limón, within the Colón department. Today his African palm plantations completely surrounds Vallecito.<br/><br/>Moreover, since 2005 people associated with organized crime have intensified their presence, imposing a reign of terror in the corridor of Limón - Punta Piedras, trying to force Garifuna communities located in Vallecito to leave their land. They took control over Vallecito territory, building a clandestine airstrip for drug smuggling that had been used for years, without any governmental intervention.<br/><br/>The increasing level of conflict has brought, on July 2014, to the capture and kidnapping of several members of the Garífuna community – including human rights defender and OFRANEH president Miriam Miranda – by heavily-armed men in Vallecito. During a previous visit to the area, they discovered that the illegal runway used by the narcos, which had been destroyed by the army in January 2014, was being rebuilt.<br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Garifuna resistance in Vallecito against land grabbing for palm oil plantations and drug trade, Honduras</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/honduras">Honduras</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>Colón</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>Limón</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>HIGH local level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture and Livestock Management)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Land acquisition conflicts<br /> Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/palm-oil'>Palm oil</a></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Area (in hectares)</td><td>980</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Level of Investment (in USD)</td><td>100,000,000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Rural</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Potential Affected Population</td><td>hundreds</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>1997</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/dinant-corporation'>Dinant Corporation</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/honduras'><small>Honduras</small></a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Instituto Nacional Agrario INA</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">International and Financial Institutions</td><td><a href='/institution/inter-american-investment-corporation'>Corporación Interamericana para el Financiamiento de la Infraestructura <small>(CIFI)</small></a><br /><a href='/institution/central-american-bank-for-economic-integration'>Central American Bank for Economic Integration <small>(BCIE)</small></a><br /><a href='/institution/clean-development-mechanism-executive-board'>Clean Development Mechanism Executive Board <small>(CDM Executive Board)</small></a><br /><a href='/institution/corporacion-financiera-internacional'>Corporación financiera internacional,</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña, OFRANEH<br/><br/>Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares y Indigenas de Honduras, COPINH<br/><br/>Agricultural Missions, Inc (AMI) </td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>In REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Indigenous groups or traditional communities<br /> International ejos<br /> Local ejos<br /> Social movements</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Development of a network/collective action<br /> Involvement of national and international NGOs<br /> Land occupation<br /> Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism<br /> Media based activism/alternative media<br /> Street protest/marches<br /> Boycotts of companies-products</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Global warming, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) , Deaths</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Other socio-economic impacts<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>In operation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Corruption<br /> Criminalization of activists<br /> Land demarcation<br /> Repression<br /> Strengthening of participation<br /> Violent targeting of activists</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>No</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>Landgrabbing already happened and still happens among the Garifuna communities for allowing palm oil plantations to expand.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Indigenous people's long struggle to defend their rights in the Americas<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.amnesty.ca/sites/default/files/indigenouspeoplesamericasreport8august14.pdf" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Expanding palm oil empires in the name of ‘green energy’ and 'sustainable development'<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.rainforest-rescue.org/press-releases/5301/expanding-palm-oil-empires-in-the-name-of-green-energy-and-sustainable-development" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Deadly Conflict Over Honduran Palm Oil Plantations Spotlights CEO<br/><a class="refanch small" href="www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=15802/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> On Those Misguided World Bank Loans<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.hondurasweekly.com/editorial/item/20651-on-those-misguided-world-bank-loans" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> IFC Response to CAO Audit of Investment in Corporación Dinant<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.ifc.org/wps/wcm/connect/REGION__EXT_Content/Regions/Latin%20America%20and%20the%20Caribbean/Strategy/Corporacion_Dinant" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Cocaine: the new face of deforestation in Central America<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0311-watsa-drugs-deforestation.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Pueblo garífuna sigue en resistencia en Vallecito, Colón<br/><a class="refanch small" href="www.honduprensa.wordpress.com/tag/vallecito/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> OFRANEH<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://ofraneh.wordpress.com" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> El Instituto Nacional Agrario y el saqueo del territorio garífuna<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.conexihon.hn/site/noticia/derechos-humanos/pueblos-indigenas/el-instituto-nacional-agrario-y-el-saqueo-del-territorio" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Cocaine from South America to the United States<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.unodc.org/documents/toc/Reports/TOCTASouthAmerica/English/TOCTA_CACaribb_cocaine_SAmerica_US.pdf" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> OFRANEH | La defensa del territorio de Vallecito, Colon<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.ofraneh.org/ofraneh/informe_vallecito.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Media Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Garinagu Falla - Vallecito, Tierra, fuego y tambores<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxloGdJ77DQ" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Honduras Estado fallido: Vallecito territorio ancestral garifuna<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihhf3TdoLTA" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Encuentro de Solidaridad por la reivindicación de los Derechos Territoriales del Pueblo Garifuna<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ty46Jyl20SA&feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other Documents</td><td><table><tr><td><p><strong>National Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH) coordinator Miriam Miranda</strong> On July 2014 Miriam Miranda has been kidnapped by heavily-armed men in Vallecito.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/Miriam_Miranda_OFRANEH_1.jpg" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>African palm plantation in Limón</strong> <br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/Schermata_2014-09-06_alle_14.28.20.png" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>African palm plantation in Limón</strong> <br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/Schermata_2014-09-10_alle_17.41.16.png" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>Cocaine trafficking routes in Honduras</strong> Violence is scaling up in Limón municipality, Colón department<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/Schermata_2014-09-10_alle_22.25.26.png" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>Garifuna women at work</strong> <br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/garifuna_trabajo.jpg" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>INA map</strong> In 1997 the INA granted title deeds on 980 hectares of land in Vallecito to six Garifuna cooperatives (Ruguma, Saway, Saway Sufritiñu, Walumugu, Satuye y Sinduru Free).<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/map_empresas_asociativas_vallecito.png" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Sara Pinzani, A Sud / CDCA, [email protected]</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>12/01/2015</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>
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