Friday, 20 February 2009

Murder of Small Farmer Rights Organizer Sparks Protests in Yaracuy, Venezuela

Mérida, February 20th 2009 ( -- Small farmer rights groups plan to march across the city of San Felipe in Venezuela’s Yaracuy state this Saturday to demand that the hired assassins of Nelson López, a small farmer rights organizer, be brought to justice.

López, who was shot fifteen times in the back last Thursday, is the 213th small farmer (campesino) to be murdered since 2001, the year the government of President Hugo Chávez passed a sweeping land reform law which set the conditions for re-distribution of idle sections of large estates to small farmers, according to the Ezequiel Zamora National Farmers’ Front (FNCEZ), one of the groups convoking Saturday’s marches.

According to Braulio Álvarez, a National Assembly deputy and farmer rights organizer from Yaracuy state, the directors of the National Cattle Ranchers Association and the National Federation of Cattle Ranchers (FEDENAGAS), along with two powerful landowners, were responsible for planning López’s murder.

“How much longer will the murder of small farmers at the hands of Colombian paramilitaries and hired assassins, financed by large estate owners and FEDENAGAS, remain in impunity?” Álvarez asked during a town hall meeting organized by the Unified Regional Agrarian Command (CRAU) in Yaracuy on Thursday.

FEDENAGAS and the other implicated cattle ranchers associations have not issued a response to the accusations.

The FNCEZ, Venezuela’s Culture Ministry, the regional director of the Agriculture and Lands Ministry, three leaders of the small farmer rights movement, and several members of the National Association of Free, Alternative, Community Media (ANMCLA) were also present at the town hall meeting.

These organizations demanded that the Venezuelan Attorney General dismiss Yaracuy District Attorney Alejandro Márquez for having accused Nelson López of being an “invader” of private property, and District Judge Linda Lugo for having served the interests of large estate owners and FEDENAGAS against small farmers in Yaracuy.

The organizations also spoke of the “historical debt” owed to small farmers, based on the oppression experienced by small farmers at the hands of the Spanish oligarchy for several centuries.

Till when the assassination of Venezuelan peasants at the hands of Colombian paramilitaries?

Office of Culture paraYaracuy Friday, Feb. 20, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Demanding the cessation of killing of peasants in the hands of paid assassins, Fedenaga and landowners.

Until when will be continued the impunity and the killing of peasants in Venezuela, in the hands of paid assassins and paramilitaries in Colombia, funded by landowners and Fedenagas? Aren't enough the deaths of 213 agricultural leaders since 2001, after it was enacted the Land and development Act , and Nelson Lopez being the last victim of this permanent terrorism, when he was shot fourteen times in the back on February 12 in the Bartola in Bruzual Municipality Yaracuy state?

That is what he said the peasant leader and member of the National Assembly at the state of Yaracuy, Braulio Alvarez referring to the deaths on demand, of farmers in this region and across Venezuela during an act of repudiation against impunity and killing on demand, indicating as intellectual responsible the president of the National Association of Cattlemen, Genaro Mendez, Fhandor Quiroga, president of Fedenagas Yaracuy, the landowner Luis Gallo and members of the family of Lecuna Di Battista for the death of the yaracuyano farmer Nelson Lopez.

Death to impunity

During this event organized by the Regional Agrarian Unified Command, this Thursday at the Cinemateca in San Felipe, attended as support for this voice of protest the Legislative Council deputy in the state of Yaracuy, Ivan Aparicio, the leader of the Peasant Movement Jirajara, Joel Pineda, Kamal Hassan representing the Ministry Cabinet of Culture, the regional director of the Ministry of Agriculture and lands, Gabriel Gil, the peasant leader Laura Lawrence and Henry Fernandez of the National Association of Free and alternative Community Media (ANMCLA).

On April 10 -assured Congressman Alvarez - Genaro Mendez was in Yaracuy to meet with local leaders of Fedenagas and proselytizing in favor of NO, and he took the opportunity to launch the following warning "Mr President Chavez, if you do not take measures against criminals and land invaders, then we will take the law into our hands and we will do justice", then two days later they killed Nelson Lopez when he was entering his home.

Historical Debt

Similarly we demand the inhibition of the prosecutor II of the Public Ministry, Alejandro Marquez responsible for the investigation of this crime, for having managed earlier a record against Lopez which still remains open, as of the judge for the National Agricultural Circuit Yaracuy, mrs Linda Lugo, for having promoted on countless opportunities with her flawed decisions the interests of yaracuyanos landowners.

These 213 farmers killed in collusion with Colombian paramilitary forces and Fedenagas only were asking to be the producers in land which in the past was snatched from their indigenous ancestors, for our African ancestors later to be slaves and afterwards to become pawns of the same land, assured at the end of the meeting Braulio Alvarez that also has been once victim of an attack against him.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Bangladesh: Farmer shot by BSF in Chuadanga

Financial Express

CHUADANGA, Feb 17 (UNB): A Bangladeshi farmer received bullet wound as Indian Border Security Force (BSF) opened fire on him along the Jagannathpur border in Damurhuda Upazila Monday.

The injured was identified as Engrej Ali, son of Bokhs Ali of Jaypur village of Mujibnagar Upazila of neighbouring Meherpur district.