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íPresente!

Tuesday
Sep 30th
Graphic History of the Honduran Coup PDF Print E-mail
The Honduran Coup
Dan Archer (www.ArchComix.com )and Nikil Saval created this graphic history of the coup in Honduras. The comic looks at the roots of the military coup and the role that the United States as played in Honduras.

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Click here to see "The Honduran Coup - a graphic history"

Dan and Nikil are currently raising funds to turn the online piece into a 32 page color comic on the history of U.S. intervention in Central America and the SOA.

Their plan is to print 500 copies for distribution to NGOs, activist networks and schools to raise awareness and to use as an educational tool.

Click here to pre-order the comic now for $5 and your name will be included in the back.

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School of the Americas Graduates and the Honduran Coup d’état

High Ranking Military

General Romeo Vásquez Velásquez, Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
In the week preceding the military coup on Sunday, June 28, General Vásquez told President Zelaya that the army would not assist in distributing ballot boxes for the nationwide non-binding referendum scheduled for that Sunday. President Zelaya relieved the general from his position as the head of the Honduran military for refusing to carry out a presidential order and for allying with the oligarchy block in both the Congress and the Supreme Court. Since the coup, at rallies in Tegucigalpa, alongside Roberto Micheletti, General Vásquez has repeated that the army’s actions on June 28 were constitutionally valid and that the army, in this instance, has defended Honduras’s democracy.  General Vásquez Velásquez studied at the School of the Americas as a Sub Lieutenant in 1976, taking a course in “Basic Arms” (Básico de Armas de Combate) and again as a Captain in 1984, taking a course in “Small Military Units” (Admin de la Instrucción para Unidades Pequeñas).

General Luis Prince Suazo, Head of the Air Force
In conjunction with the army’s move to kidnap President Manuel Zelaya from Honduras, the army remained in control of the June 28 ballot boxes and quietly stored them on an Air Force base in order to prevent the nation from being able to exercise its democratic right to vote on that Sunday. General Suazo studied at the School of the Americas as a Major in 1996, taking a course in Joint Operations (Curso de Operaciones Conjuntas).

Government Officials

Colonel Jorge Alberto Rodas Gamero, current Security Minister
Jorge Rodas Gamero studied at the School of the Americas as a Sub Lieutenant in 1975, taking one course, “Infantry Officer Basics,” and again as a Captain in 1982, taking a course entitled “Military Intelligence.”

Mario Raul Hung Pacheco, Adviser to the Minister of Security
Mario Pachecho studied at the School of the Americas in General Infantry and is an expert on military intelligence, political warfare, and jungle operations. He is blamed for the disappearance of Roger Samuel González Zelaya in April of 1988, the assassination of merchants and farmers, Ernesto Hernández Rosales Mauritius and Francisco Morazán in July of 1989. He was charged in June of 1993 for protecting the officers Gustavo Andrés Domínguez, Oscar Eduardo Vasquez Jimminson, Carlos Bonilla Valladares, and Colonel Carlos Andino Benítez, identified as those responsible for the bomb attacks against journalist Rodrigo Wong Arevalo. In his tenure as commander of the F.S.P., twenty-seven alleged criminals were killed. He currently is facing a criminal prosecution for embezzling funds from the IPM, in the amount of five million in 2002 for bribing judges.

General Nelson Willie Mejía, newly appointed by Micheletti as Director of Immigration
Nelson Mejia studied at the School of the Americas as a Cadet in 1975, taking a course in “Basic Officer Qualification C-1.” He returned the School of the Americas in later years as a guest instructor.

Hernán Banegas, newly appointed by Micheletti as Minister of     the Honduran Social Investment Fund (FHIS).
Hernán Banegas studied at the School of the Americas in 1954.

Billy Fernando Joya Améndola, newly appointed by Micheletti as Ministry Assessor
Billy Joya was a member of the Honduran death squad Battalion 316 from 1981 to 1984. Within that battalion, he was the chief of “Special Force Detachments,” (Destacamento Técnico Especial) coordinating the battalion’s operations in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro de Sula. He also served as the liaison officer for Battalion 316 to U.S. military advisers and the team of Argentinean military officers who first trained the squadron. With this experience, Joya formed his own death squad, Lince de los Cobras, which, along with Battalion 316, carried out operations from home bases in Guatemala throughout the vast majority of Central America. He gained a reputation and nickname in Honduras, “Licenciado Arrazola.” From the early 1980s to the present day, these two squadrons, or members of their squadrons, have continued to operate in Honduras—threatening, kidnapping, torturing, and ultimately killing political activists, students, professors, labor organizers, progressive politicians, and progressive foreigners—people whom the military labels “subversive.”

The Battalion was trained in kidnapping and torture methods by Argentinean officers, a military relationship between the two countries, which was facilitated by the United States. Battalion 316 was subsequently trained by CIA operatives in intelligence techniques and psychological interrogation. Battalion 316 and Los Cobras were two secret military squadrons which did not operate from publicly known military bases, such as the Soto Cano Air Force Base, but rather from secret military installations in Honduras, many of which CIA operatives visited and supervised.  U.S. Ambassador John Dimitri Negroponte, who served as Ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985, helped to establish and maintain.

While Billy Joya never attended the School of the Americas, his military career highlights the profound network of U.S. and Latin American militaries, of which the School of the Americas is on piece.

The death squadrons Joya operated within and founded in the early 1980s were created under the Honduran General Gustavo Álvarez, a graduate of the School of the Americas, who took a course on “Group Operations” (Operaciones Conjuntas) in 1978. More importantly, it is important to note that by the 1980s, the Honduran military was saturated with officers whom had studied at the School of the Americas and whom otherwise had been trained either by CIA operatives or other Latin American militaries trained by the United States. The U.S. military machine’s greatest success in Latin America is that it has trained military students at the School of the Americas, who have then returned to their respective countries to become the leaders of their respective militaries and the teachers of younger generations of soldiers and officers.

Billy Joya is a testament to the success of this model of U.S. military intervention. His relationship with both CIA operatives and Argentinean military instructors demonstrates the sophistication of the network which the United States established to combat progressive and socialist movements in Latin America. Finally, the operations which Battalion 316 and Lince de los Cobras carried out throughout Central America, and not just in Honduras, demonstrate again the nature of this military network in both combating social movements within respective Latin American countries, but also preventing any type of solidarity, cooperation, or group identity to form amongst Latin American progressives.

Honduran Military

Army Attorney Colonel Herberth Inestroza
Colonel Inestroza studied at the SOA in 1987, taking a course titled, “Engineering Administration” (Curso Para Oficiales en Administración de Ingeniería). He justified the military coup and stated in an interview with The Miami Herald, “It would be difficult for us, with our training, to have a relationship with a leftist government. That's impossible.'” Inestroza also confirmed that the decision for the coup was made by the military.

Retired General Daniel López Carballo
He studied at the School of the Americas in 1979 in a course titled, “Small Unit Instruction Administration” (Admin de la Instrucción de Unidades Pequeñas 0-2A). He told CNN that the coup was warranted because Venezuelan President Chávez would be running Honduras by proxy if the military had not acted.
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