The Dark Side of Palm Oil: Land Grabbing in Honduras

26 March 2015
26 March 2015

*free entrance, coffee & tea starting from 19:30*
*language: Spanish (possibly English translation through headphones)*

The Bajo Aguán valley on the Atlantic coast of Honduras has a long history of land grabbing and violence. Between September 2009 and the end of 2012, 56 people were killed in conflicts related to palm oil and land. A public hearing on the valley recently proclaimed the agrarian conflict as the most serious in terms of violence against peasants in Central America since the end of the 1990s. The surge in palm oil plantations has blocked access of peasant communities to land, jeopardizing their right to food and threatening their livelihoods.

This evening our speakers will reflect on the human rights violations in Honduras from three different perspectives. The speakers will also talk about the upcoming Universal Periodical Examination (UPR) at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, in which the current state of human rights in Honduras is assessed. They will also share their impressions and expectations from their meetings with European government officials.

Gilda Rivera is the director of the Women’s Rights Centre (Centro de Derechos de Mujeres) in Honduras. She is a psychologist and human rights defender, with a particular focus on women’s rights. Some of the issues she works on are the high rates of femicides, oppressive policies against sexual and reproductive rights of women and the dangerous environment in which women human rights defenders work, especially in conflict over land and natural resources.

Ana María Pineda is a legal practitioner and member of FIAN Honduras. As a human rights advocate, she specializes particularly in the right to food, access to water and other natural resources, the agrarian legal framework in Honduras and human rights violations in the Bajo Aguán valley.

Guillermo López is a legal practitioner and member of Judges for Democracy (Asociación de Jueces por la Democrácia). He works as a human rights advocate and lawyer before national courts and the Inter-American Human Rights System. López is a former judge of the Honduran Court of Appeals from which he was illegally removed after his public condemnation of the 2009 coup d’état in Honduras. He also contributed to the final report of the Truth Commission regarding human rights violations in Honduras after the coup.

FIAN Netherlands and Transnational Institute (TNI)
FIAN and TNI are part of the Hands on the Land Alliance, which highlights the struggles of peasants all over the world against land grabbing from a food sovereignty / right to food perspective. FIAN International has been following the rural conflicts in Honduras since 2000.

In cooperation with:
Peace Brigades International (PBI)