Honduran authorities announced Thursday an investigation into the killings of more than 100 peasants in an ongoing conflict over land tenure in the Caribbean coastal region of Bajo Aguan.
"We will resolve the deaths ... to be able to determine the real causes and establish who are the responsible parties and achieve their capture," Attorney General Oscar Chinchilla told a press conference in Tegucigalpa.
The AG's office and the National Police will create a dedicated unit in the Caribbean city of Tocoa to probe some 147 homicides that occurred between late 2009 and last month, he said.
"We will investigate the hypothesis that it is the landowners who have been connected with the majority of the deaths," Chinchilla said.
Organizations representing the peasants in Bajo Aguan say the killings are the work of private security guards employed by palm-oil barons and accuse authorities of colluding with the plantation owners.
In 2011, the administration of then-President Porfirio Lobo, the plantation owners and peasant leaders signed an accord calling for more than 4,000 hectares (9,876 acres) of land to be distributed among landless families in Bajo Aguan.
The agreement has yet to be fully implemented.
Lobo later sent army troops to Bajo Aguan to tamp down the violence, but to little effect. EFE