Legal prosecutions are piling up for the people of the Zacate Grande Peninsula, located in the Gulf of Fonseca, southern region of the country. On Wednesday, May 4th, 8 members of ADEPZA (the Association for the Development of the Peninsula of Zacate Grande) were to present themselves at the local courthouse to face charges ranging from land seizure to disobedience, adding to the 92 charges already existing, according to ADEPZA’s director Pedro Canales Torres1, who is also currently being prosecuted. During the procedure, of which the duration is completely uncertain, the accused must follow strict precautionary measures considerably limiting their personal liberties. In the meantime, the situation is extremely tense in the community due to the land conflict affecting the entire peninsula. A recent incident illustrating the level of tension occured as the director of the community radio “La Voz de Zacate Grande”, Franklin Melendez, was shot in the leg by an individual working for large landowner, Miguel Facussé2.
In response to the constant threats and attacks experienced by community members, a partnership was established between ADEPZA, Italian CICA (Collettivo Italia Centro America) and Honduran human rights association COFADEH (Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras) to establish a Human Rights Observation Camp in the town of Puero Grande, as to compliment the accompaniment work already carried out by the Honduras Accompaniment Project (HAP). Based on the Zapatista experience in Chiapas, this camp will host national and international human rights observers, whose task will be to report human rights violations committed this conflict-ridden area. HAP took part in the development of the project as an external advisor, sharing some of its experience in the field of human rights observation and committing to help in disseminating reports of violations recorded by the campers. The camp in Zacate Grande is only a first step, as COFADEH and many other national human rights organizations are actively discussing the idea of opening similar projects in other conflictive zones of the country.
Website of the Human Rights observation camp, in Spanish: http://campamentoshonduras.blogspot.com/
1For more background information, please read the following article: http://www.friendshipamericas.org/delegation-visits-zacate-grande