Second Farm Workers’ Leader Killed in Honduras

The Vice President of MUCA (Unified Movement of Campesinos of the Aguán), Pedro Salgado, and his wife, Reyna Irene Licona were murdered on Sunday, August 21st at 7:30 pm.

According to Julio Espinal, commander of some 600 police and soldiers in the area, authorities do not yet know the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Salgado and his wife, which took place in La Concepcion, a community about 12 kilometers (7 miles) from the town of Tocoa. Authorities found shell casings from a 9 mm pistol and an AK-47 assault rifle in the Salgado home.

The double-murder came a day after unknown attackers in Tocoa killed the president of Secundino Ruiz, president of the San Isidro MARCA (Authentic Peasant Protest Movement of the Aguán), and wounded the organization’s treasurer in the head. The president was killed as he left a bank in the Bajo Aguán valley carrying some $10,000 in workers’ pay. Authorities say Ruiz was killed for the money, but after yesterday’s deaths, there is growing doubt about the underlying motive of the first murder.

Vitalino Alvarez, the public relations speaker for MUCA, claimed, “These assassinations are some of many the death squads are performing in the area, what they want is to kill all the leaders – but they will not succeed as this strengthens us to move forward.”

According to neighbors and followers of the MUCA organization, Pedro Salgado was shot with a firearm and subsequently beheaded. His wife had died of gunshot wounds.

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