The Nation: WikiLeaks Honduras: US Linked to Brutal Businessman
Since 2009, beneath the radar of the international media, the coup government ruling Honduras has been collaborating with wealthy landowners in a violent crackdown on small farmers struggling for land rights in the Aguán Valley in the northeastern region of the country.
New Wikileaks cables reveal that the U.S. embassy in Honduras — and therefore the State Department — has known since 2004 that Miguel Facussé, the richest man in Honduras, who is allegedly responsible for the deaths of campesino activists in the Aguan Valley, is a cocaine importer. U.S. `drug war’ funds and training are being used to support a known drug trafficker’s war against campesinos.
The U.S. is funding and training Honduran military and police that are conducting joint operations with the security guards of a known drug trafficker to violently repress a campesino movement on behalf of Miguel Facussé’s dubious claims to vast swathes of the Aguán Valley, in order to support his African palm biofuels empire.
Despite strong anti-drug rhetoric from U.S. officials, State Department cables recently made available by Wikileaks show that the U.S. has been aware of the drug ties of one of Honduras’ most powerful and wealthy individuals since 2004, yet has continued to support him. U.S. military and police assistance is also aiding the businessman, landowner and coup-backer Miguel Facussé, in a campaign of repression targeted at the campesinos whose land Facussé wants for production of palm oil.
Despite the objections of 87 members of Congress, U.S. funding for the Honduran military and police continues, even though reports continue to emerge of police involvement in killings, such as in the recent case of the son of a university rector, and journalists and human rights activists continue to be targeted, with impunity.