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Honduras grants Miskito Indians title to coastal lands

The government of Honduras has granted title to over 1.6 million acres (almost 655,000 hectares) along the country's border with Nicaragua and the Caribbean coast to Miskito Indian communities that inhabit the area.

The land lies in Honduras' northeastern corner, an area known as the Cape of Gracias A Dios. The government previously awarded the Miskito Indians another (265,000 acres) 107,000 hectares over the last year.

The head of Honduras' National Agrarian Institute says the Miskitos can use the land titles to defend the area's natural resources.

Reynaldo Vega said Thursday that mining, gas, oil or lumber companies would have to deal with the Miskitos as owners of the land.

The titles were handed over to five Miskito communities, known as Finznos, Wamakklisnasta, Trucksinasta, Watiasta and Laminasta.