"Thousands of Honduran farm workers have launched a co-ordinated land occupation, squatting on about 12,000 hectares nationwide and fuelling new tensions over land rights, authorities said.
More than 3,500 families started squatting on farmland in the provinces of Yoro, Cortes, Santa Barbara, Intibuca, Comayagua, Francisco Morazan, El Paraiso and Choluteca on Tuesday - the International Peasant Day of Struggle.
Activists say the seized arable land is public property and small farmers have the legal right to grow crops under Honduran law. The large landowners who have been farming the land say they bought it legally from the government.
On Wednesday, police and soldiers read an eviction notice to farm workers on the San Manuel sugar plantation, about 22km north of the capital Tegucigalpa. The workers then peacefully vacated the 2,500 hectare area.
The rest of the farms were still occupied late on Wednesday, activists said."