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José de Protección, and one community member is the designated bearer of the titles who

is responsible for protecting the documents. The bearer of the titles is changed

periodically, but there is no set term that one person holds the titles. If the mayor or any

other authority arrives at the village, the residents of Protección have developed a

communication chain in response to these threats. Upon receiving warning of a threat,

the titles are immediately taken to a safe location outside the community. The author

interviewed one title bearer who remained in hiding for over a month, “They returned to

the village every day, so I had to stay in my hiding place.”

The antagonism between the villages and the municipality has only increased

since the cooperatives began logging their forests. The Municipalities Law and the

Agricultural Modernization Law both stipulate that the municipalities are the executors of

communal land. This means that the cooperatives must work directly with the

municipality to receive approval for management plans and harvesting. The municipality

has the right to charge stumpage fees and taxes for extraction of resin, firewood, or

timber. The cooperatives resent this perceived violation of their communal property.

“The forest belongs to the communities, we have the titles. We shouldn’t be forced to

pay taxes to the mayor when we are the ones who have always taken care of the forest.

The municipality has always wanted to steal our land to cut the trees.” If the

cooperatives do not pay the taxes, the municipality will not even give permission to tap

resin, much less harvest timber. More hard feelings are generated by accusations of

corruption in the municipality. One informant stated that their cooperative had paid over

one million Lempiras (17.4 Lps. = $1) in taxes during the term of the last mayor. At the

same time, both Quebrada Honda and Chaguite Grande were logging and paying taxes as


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