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Activist says 9 people killed this year in Honduras land dispute; at least 89 dead in 3 years

A Honduran land rights activist says nine farmers have been killed since the beginning of the year in a region of northern Honduras torn by a land dispute.

Rafael Alegria says the latest person to be killed was a farmer shot to death Saturday in the Aguan Valley, a fertile farming area plagued by violent fights between agrarian organizations and land owners. Alegria says the farmer's brother was killed in September.

The activist said Tuesday that 89 people have been killed since December 2009, when farmworkers in the Aguan Valley took over land to demand ownership of about 25,000 acres (10,000 hectares) of privately held oil palm plantations.

The dead are mostly farmworkers but include plantation employees and police officers.

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