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News > Latin America

76,000 Families Suffer Hunger in Honduras

Published 17 October 2014
Opinion

​Rural people and small farmers (known as campesinos) in Honduras, marched on World Food Day, calling for more support, accusing the government of turning its back on them. teleSUR's Central American Correspondent Gerardo Torres has more.

Farm worker groups from all over Honduras gathered in the capital city of Tegucigalpa for a forum and demonstration in front of the National Congress. They accused the government of abandoning them and of being responsible for increasing hunger, as well as allowing landowners to violently take over their land.

Over 100 campesinos have been killed because of land related conflicts over the past four years in Honduras. Almost 400,000 are going hungry. Thursday they demanded the approval of an Agrarian Reform Law that they presented to the National Congress in May this year, which is yet to receive an official response.

“There is no support,” says Franklin Almendarez of the National Center for Rural Workers. “The government campaign called 'Live Better' is a total lie. More than 76,000 families that were affected by the drought still haven't receive any support.”

Almendarez continued: “In some places the authorities sent bags with food but that was only a temporary measure. Bread today, but hunger tomorrow.”

A lengthy drought affected all of Central America this year. In Honduras, more than 380,000 people are currently having difficulty accessing food, despite a government stimulus for agricultural sectors.

Wilfredo Paz, campesino, and member of the Libre Party explains: “The government approved 7.5 million dollars for agricultural production, but the same 19 businessmen that broke the National Bank of Agricultural Development, Banadesa, are the ones that got all the money, and there is nothing left for medium or small producers.

Campesinos access to funds has been limited as they are asked to provide higher guarantees than they can afford. Almendarez also pointed to larger problems affecting Honduran food production for the future.

“There is an even bigger phenomenon now, to do with extractivist activities: the sale of territory,” Almendarez warns. “Our indigenous groups are being affected by the construction of hydroelectric projects and the planting of monocultures for agribusiness and biofuels. These businesses work against our ability to have sovereignty over our food.”

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