The conflict between Miguel Facussé (Dinant Corporation) and the “Campesinos” of the Valley of Aguan known as “Bajo Aguan” has made headlines across the world since December of 2009, and has resulted in the deaths of 10 employees of the Dinant Corporation and 48 poor villagers known as “Campesinos”. The Valley of Aguan is located on the Eastern Coastline of Honduras near Trujillo in the department of Colon. The dispute centered around thousands of acres of land which the Campesinos claimed Dinant Corporation obtained illegally, and which they called their home, having built villages and farms on it.
Under tremendous pressure by powerful business man Miguel Facussé, the government of Honduras was forced to recognize the legal title of the Dinant corporation, and therefore evict the Campesinos. The result has been ongoing violence and protest as well as the assignment of hundreds of military troops to the area to maintain order.
Today, however, as the deadline came and went for the eviction notice to be in force, the Campesinos have laid down their weapons and announced they will no longer put up a fight. Leaders of the Campesino groups said they had no choice, as the Honduran Government has deployed hundreds more troops to enforce the ruling, and they fear that more bloodshed is not the answer.
The agreement allows the Honduran Government to secure a loan from Honduran bank, Banhprovi, in order to pay Miguel Facussé $28,437,500 (yes, dollars) for the 4,045 hectares in question. The land, mostly cultivated with African Palm plantations, will then become owned by the government of Honduras.
The Campesinos have agreed to purchase the land, and using creative financing based on the production of the land they purchase, are able to make the process affordable, so each of the campesinos becomes an “owner” of their claim legally. Miguel Facussé will receive his payment in one lump some from the bank; however the Campesinos still argue that they have a right to farm any public Honduran land, but will abide by this signed agreement under duress as they fear the increased military presence.