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Response from the Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH) to statements by the SOA-trained Commander of Xatruch III in Honduras

Xatruch III, Get off the streets ... Get out of the Aguán ... and give us back our tranquility...!

It 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, including, 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 Doctrine.

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)

From 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 criminals
Will neither be forgiven nor forgotten!

Tegucigalpa, February 19, 2013