Response from the Committee of Relatives of the
Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH) to
statements by the SOA-trained Commander of Xatruch III
Xatruch III, Get off the
streets ... Get out of the Aguán ... and give us back
is unconscionable for us that we could return to the old
ways and the old methods of the 1980s. We were surprised
when, during a press conference on Monday, February 18,
the Commander of the Xatruch III Task Force, Infantry
DEM Colonel German Antonio Alfaro Escalante (based in
the Aguán) made accusations against digital media,
defensoresenlinea.com, the Committee of Relatives of
the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH)’s
online newspaper specializing in human rights.
In the 1980s, they did the same thing in the department
of Olancho, in the community of El Aguacate, where a
military base was installed to run counterinsurgency
operations. Today, we remember it as a clandestine
cemetery from the days of the National Security
During this era, the men in olive green uniforms became
personalities of social welfare, attracting rural
communities with medical brigades, giving them hoes,
machetes, grains and picks, to first gain their
confidence and then, install terror and death. Community
by community was militarized, their leaders persecuted,
tortured, killed and disappeared, as were the cases of
Father Guadalupe Carney and Dr. José María Reyes Mata
among others who were disappeared. Even today we look
for their bodies, and we demand justice.
We have no doubt that the militarization of our country
is a strategy to annihilate the demands of the citizenry,
and, therefore, the army should not be in the streets,
in any part of our territory, nor should they be in
control of state institutions or public safety in
Honduras. It has been shown that they are not the
solution; they are the problem. So they should stop
inventing enemies where none exist, and wars where we do
not want them.
They must return to their military units, to their
battalions. We do not want them even fighting fires, nor
as medical brigades, nor guarding the ballot boxes under
the pretext of ensuring democracy in this country.
As for the threats the Commander of the Xatruch III says
he has received from the United States and Europe, in
reality, those are communications in solidarity with the
farmers of the Aguán. Be not afraid of this, Colonel...!
The presence of Xatruch III in the Aguan IS a real
threat. We said that yesterday and we repeat it again
today. An army that settles a critical situation by way
of weapons, tear gas, torture, detentions, the
criminalization of the peasant struggle, and attacks on
the press, is an army condemned to never overcome its
primitive state. (Stone Age)
defensoresenlinea.com we tell you that we do not
receive orders from anyone nor do we orchestrate
CAMPAIGNS against anybody, we do what we have to do in
favor of the victims. When they stop making attempts
against human life, freedom of movement, freedom of
expression, the right of youth to dress and wear their
hair as they want, only then will the voices be silent
and the writers stop writing.
We inform you that neither the Committee of Relatives of
the Detained and Disappeared of Honduras (COFADEH), nor
our media team, nor Marvin Palacios are intimidated by
this…. Away with your efforts to scare us!….
Drop the attitude of death and terrorism, withdraw from
the Aguan, return to your barracks, and then we’ll
advance. With your attitude you are creating and
inventing enemies where there are none. There is no
communism here, what is here are people who have risen
up to demand justice, who have had enough of impunity.
To Infantry Colonel German Antonio Alfaro Escalante, we
order you to not impose your stars, uniform, nor weapons
to silence the media. Don’t hide the reality, Colonel!
Don’t be afraid of your actions, be brave, don’t forget
that at COFADEH we are the surviving victims of your
practices of war and we know your methods.
The crimes and
Will neither be forgiven nor forgotten!
Tegucigalpa, February 19, 2013