Responses to the Coup d'etat in Honduras on Sunday June 28, with special emphasis on producing English-language versions of commentaries by Honduran scholars and editorial writers and addressing the confusion encouraged by lack of basic knowledge about Honduras.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"The best Zelaya is a dead Zelaya"

Those of you who know something of the history of Honduras during the 1980s will remember Batallion 3-16, the death squad founded by General Gustavo Alvarez Martinez. It was responsible for more than 384 "disappearances"; and forensic anthropologists have excavated some of its clandestine cemetaries in abandoned military bases built by the US as part of the Contra war during the Reagan administration.

If you need a refresher, follow the link above. Among other things, it lists former members, several of whom form an official part of the Micheletti administration. I'll simply mention Nelson Willy Mejia (Immigration), Napoleón Nassar Herrera (chief negotiator for Minister of Security) and Billy Ferando Joya Améndola (advisor to Micheletti on security). In the interest of fairness, I'll note that some of these also had lower level posts in the Zelaya government (Nassar was chief of National Police in the northern region; Billy Joya was an advisor to the Security Minister). But the prominence of multiple members of Batallion 3-16 has been viewed with alarm by human rights activists since the coup, and the participation of such hard-liners may have contributed to the rapid move to violent suppression of the resistance by the de facto regime.

So it comes as no surprise that suddenly, today, we learn of a new far right commando group in Honduras which revealed itself through fliers left at the site of its first public act. The group, calling itself the "Commando Central del Frente Armado Nacional General Alvarez Martinez" claimed responsibility for setting off a tear gas grenade in the facilities of TV Channel 36, Cholusat Sur, the only TV channel that supports the return of Manuel Zelaya. After the tear gas cleared, staff at the station found several fliers with a short manifesto.

"Because of the latest patriotic events (the overthrow of Zelaya last June 28) we have decided to form this armed anticommunist front to defend our country."

The flier went on to state that they would defend the country from "anyone who wants to reduce it to the totalitarianism of Zelaya, Chavez, or Castro".

"The best Zelaya is a dead Zelaya," they wrote.

Only the National Police and the military have access to tear gas grenades.

The obvious conclusion: this was an intimidation attempt from the Batallion 3-16 crowd, named after their fearless founder.


Anonymous said...

Even though there were reports that this was tear gas, the staff of Radio Globo said it caused vomiting and diarrhea. That sounds to me more like a nerve agent.

--Charles of Mercury Rising

Unknown said...

How easy is it to print flyers like these and claim they belong to any group? You choose what to believe.

How easy is it to fake this? Especially when there are clear examples of fakery like this being shown on Telesur.

Don't believe everyone you sympathize with.

RNS said...
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RNS said...

This is attemped misdirection. If you think its a forgery, its up to you to present some evidence.

You're ignoring the fact that this regime has employed notorious members of Batallion 3-16 at its highest levels, and as the Interamerican Human Rights Council concluded, has been employing undo force and coercion against its own population.

Unknown said...

I'm sorry, I missed the last two paragraphs. These canisters are a bit more difficult to obtain. And rogue police do exist. Point taken.

The canisters make your theory more plausible. But tear gas canisters can be found in any nation, an alternate theory is that Venezuela or Nicaragua supplied them.

I'm not saying that this is what happened. In fact, if this attack is real, it is a deplorable act and very counterproductive. Even though I stand on the other side of the fence, I don't defend actions like these.

Let's use a different example, the burning down of the Popeye's next to plaza Miraflores. Some people claim it was Michelletti's people who did it, and blamed it on Zelaya's followers.

My point? That we can't really be sure who is doing this. But who ever is doing it, deserves condemnation, and in this I agree with you.

Carina said...

It will soon be one week since the chemical attack inside the TV station, which houses teams of journalists and broadcasters. Is there a link to a detailed Spanish or English-language story on this terrorist attack and account of those injured?

RNS said...

The Honduran press seldom ever follows up on a story, so no, there's been no update published in Honduras or anywhere else, on the attack. Here's a list of some of the International coverage of the attack: