Murder in Honduras: US-Trained ‘Death Squads’ & the Environmentalist…

A am reblogging this post in its entirety here, rather than just creating a link to the original which is here:
because I’m hoping there is a better chance of it being read if it’s in front of one’s eyes already. If you want to know more about how the CIA, Pentagon and Washington have been systematically dislodging, torturing, murdering and committing genocide against native Central Americans, it’s unfortunately easy to find the stories on the Internet.
…and if you want to read about CIA sponsored world-wide death squad terrorism, start here:
I have several reasons for posting this article, one being that I have been personally involved in these Central American heart-breaking horror stories in the past, in my case, particularly involving Nicaragua and El Salvador.
It provides a backgrounder for the accusations against US global terrorism and pro-corporate war mongering I made in my recent post, “On Communication and Patriotism”
It helps explain why there is a caravan of Honduran refugees seeking asylum and safety outside their country; why they left an impossible situation while demonstrating the ultimate hypocritical sham that is the US administration when it knows full well it is training, funding, assisting the illegitimate murderous regime of Honduras and its death squads. 
Speaking of hypocrisy, you can hear “liberal” screams against the death of journalist Khashoggi but how loud are the screams against the murder of Berta Cáceres in Honduras?
I shows that when it comes to exploitation and suppression, the Democrats are certainly no better than the Republicans, a fact that many “liberals” do not want to face.


From the author:

I covered the murder Honduran activist Beta Caceres here in 2016.

I covered the Honduras coup in that article too: and revisited it recently again here in relation to the current Migrant Caravan from Honduras to the US/Mexico border.

The short recap is that the US State Department in 2009 provided cover for a right-wing military coup in Honduras that overthrew the elected government and has been in power ever since: engaging in mass suppression, state violence and general dictatorship.

As noted previously, in addition to the political cover provided by Hillary Clinton‘s State Department, ties were also exposed between the US-backed Honduran police and security forces and the ‘death squads’, with American military training and aid for those security forces ongoing. Among those murdered have been members of the LGBT community, more than a hundred land-rights activists, journalists, human rights lawyers, labor activists, and a number of opposition candidates and community organisers. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch both documented the killing spree in Honduras.

The 2009 military coup was carried out by graduates of the highly dubious ‘US Army School of the Americas. In the years since the coup, US support for the Honduran regime has continued and also included assisting the regime in the upgrading of its surveillance technology.

I reiterate all of that here because it has been confirmed that Caceres was killed in a pre-planned conspiracy, involving US-linked Death Squads. As reported in The Guardian, the court ruled the murder was ordered by executives of the Agua Zarca dam company Desa because of delays and financial losses linked to protests led by Cáceres.

The murder was contracted to a group of hitmen who were paid to kill Cáceres. The seven men convicted of orchestrating her murder are Sergio Ramón Rodríguez, (‘communities and environment manager’ for Desa), Douglas Geovanny Bustillo (described as an ex-US trained army lieutenant), Mariano Díaz Chávez (a US-trained special forces major); Henry Javier Hernández (former special forces sergeant), and an Edwin Rapalo, an Edilson Duarte Meza and Oscar Torres.

The verdict confirmed that a Desa executive coordinated with Bustillo before and after the murder. The Guardian reports that, ‘During the trial the executive was identified as company president David Castillo, a US-trained former military intelligence officer. Castillo faces trial separately, accused of masterminding the murder.’

Last year, it was also reported that a former Honduran soldier said he had seen Cáceres’s name on a hitlist that was passed to US-trained units. And that Berta Cáceres’ court papers show murder suspects’ links to US-trained elite troops.

As discussed previously,  Honduras now had the world’s highest murder rate. Homicides had risen by 50 percent since the 2009 coup.

Why was Berta Cáceres targeted?

Because she was getting in the way: Cáceres was one of Honduras’s leading environmental activists and spent the better part of her life campaigning for the rights of indigenous people, especially concerning the struggles for land and natural resources.

Shortly before her murder, Cáceres explained that the illegitimate, US-backed Honduran regime passed oppressive laws that effectively criminalised political protest and social activism. Cáceres characterised it as ‘counter-insurgency’ conducted on behalf of international corporate interests and their seizure of Honduras’s natural resources, with the population being terrorised and hundreds of political activists being murdered.

Since that event, Honduras has also been subject to a massive rise in environmentally destructive ‘mega-projects’ and displacement of indigenous communities. An estimated 30 percent of Honduran land has been taken for such projects across the country, with land and rivers being privatised and communities being uprooted.

Cáceres’s murder on March 3rd 2016 occurred amid a reported resurgence in ‘death squad’ violence in Honduras. Social movements and activists were being brutally repressed and targeted assassinations routinely carried out.

What’s particularly illustrative about this case is that, here, we had an environmental and human rights activist being murdered essentially on behalf of corporate interests: corporate interests that were able to call on hitmen, who themselves had received training from the US for very purposes of containing opposition or dissent.

Meanwhile, as previously argued, it seems without question that the present exodus of Hondurans – and the Migrant Caravan on the United States’ doorstep – is a direct consquence of the right-wing/military coup in that country. A coup that was not only backed by the US State Department under Hillary Clinton, but which has been continously supported from the outside: including in its extra-judicial killings and its targeted murder of environmental activists and political opponents.

Most Americans – certainly all of the ‘Build the Wall’ crowd, anyway – probably have no idea about any of this: of the US role in Honduras’s situation, of the corporate seizure of vast lands, the mass displacement of indigenous populations, the US-trained Death Squads, or the general plight of people in post-coup Honduras.

I’m not sure they would care, even if they did know. Which is fine. And it’s fine to chant ‘Build the Wall’: but it would be more appropriate to also chant something like ‘And Hooray for the Death Squads!’ at the same time.

It would fit the reality better.

Read more:The REAL Conspiracy Behind the Migrant Caravan‘, ‘The Killing of Serena Shim & the Suicide of the BBC’s Jackie Sutton‘, ‘Hillary Clinton & the Murder Capital of the World‘, ‘The Brazil Coup – The Rousseff Impeachment Conspiracy‘, ‘MBS, Saudi Arabia & the Khassogi Killing‘, ‘The Princess Diana Assassination Conspiracy Revisited‘…

23 thoughts on “Murder in Honduras: US-Trained ‘Death Squads’ & the Environmentalist…

  1. Bélanger Robinson

    I did not know this, Sha’Tara, but it also does not surprise me given the way America worships the “dolla, dolla bill, ya’ll,” to put a Wyclef spin on it. Taking resources and land that does not belong with us while pushing out indigenous people and blaming them for their desperate situation is American at the heart. Greed never surprises me anymore. And you were right in your previous post-we will find a way to make ourselves look like heroes for our nasty deeds.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks for commenting – yes heroes, using that old and worn out saw: making the world safe for democracy. Turns out though it has been made safe neither for people nor democracy, quite the opposite. This makes me think of an “essay” I had thought of writing and forgot about. Thanks.

  2. jim-

    My wife has been tutoring a Honduran girl (15) whose family paíd a mule to take her through Mexico and to the US border. They dumped her at the southern border and took the cash on their merry way. This girl made it all the way through Mexico alone, then turned herself in to customs and asked for political asylum. She got it. She spent a few months in Texas then was sponsored by an English speaking family here at our town. My family are the only bilinguals in the area, so my wife took a temp job at the High School to go to classes with her for a year. Anyhow, her story is a heroic tale that should be a movie, basically had to prostitute her way through Mexico to get here. Today she would most likely be turned away. This all took place 1-1/2 to 2 years ago.
    Honduras is a mess. Imagine something so bad that your parents would send you away alone with strangers and no money, to get out of hell. Unfortunately her life is full of baggage and the poor girl still thinks she has to offer her body as a token of acceptance. I’m pretty sure that the majority of the Honduran population is corrupt beyond repair, as far a fitting in to any world society. Not sure at this point how this should play out, or just let it die. I hate to have that thought but that may be the reality.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Let it die? That’s exactly what the corporations want. Then they become the lords and masters and all of what’s left belongs to them without the complications of a local governments and annoying laws and activists. Kill all excess humanity, keep enough for slaves: done deal. That is the underlying plan, Jim, for all of Latin America and the Middle East. Regime change and genocide isn’t done just for the fun of it, it’s all about the profit margin.

      1. jim-

        I completely agree with you. It is definitely a sore subject for us here. The country is a disaster (manufactured, I get it) and I have no idea how to help or what to say. They could govern themselves, a great example if that is when the US turned the Panama Canal over to panama was a great day of liberation, although all those in control are of European decent. Honduras may very well be defeated. Education is in shambles and the prisons are run by the inmates. It’s the worst place on earth. Hard to even know what to say.

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        Yes, I know that it’s preaching to the choir here… Bottom line is, we do what we can right where we are and if there is a chance to raise a voice somehow, we do that. I realize none of us is “guiltless” but we’re not the ones in the cockpit. Your wife, tutoring, that is a beautiful thing. Maybe helping this young human realize she can build herself a new and different life, that is awesome. Who knows what she can accomplish. Two thumbs up to your guys.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      (I thought I had replied to your comment already…) Yes, the US will pay. History is recorder, judge and executioner in this case and not one hegemonic empire has survived the judgement of history. This one will not be an exception, except that it’s “punishment” will go much deeper than it went for, say, those horrid European empires. This one will not survive as a nation even. Likely it will be simply taken over by the next Hegemon, either Russia, China, or the spoils shared between these two. It’s coming.

  3. rawgod

    This is an impossible situation in an impossibly crazy world. We the people cannot just go down there and demand justice, they would just shoot all such comers and cover up the bodies as best they could. All that is left is using the media, and European/American/Canadian media are too busy covering Dumby to give space or time to a third world country like Honduras. A grass roots movement is about the only option we really have, if we can get one started. But then what about all the other countries in the world, as bad off as The Honduras–do they not deserve our attention also?
    Karl Marx predicted the rise of the proletariat, killing all the capitalists. I think it is time for that prediction to be made true. I am against killing of any kind, but since killing is already going on, why not make sure the correct people are getting killed. The money-slavers have had their time, and abused it beyond even Marx’s imagination. It is time they paid for their crimes against life. Read my comment on Filosopha’s Word today, her good people post. It is a cousin to this one!

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      This is your comment on Filosopha’s blog:

      rawgod December 5, 2018 at 7:31 pm

      Quote: “I haven’t heard the school strike getting to Canada, nor have I heard ANY media outlet take up Greta’s challenge. What I do hear every day is getting Canadian oil to markets. Right now the US buys 90% of the oil we take out of the ground, and are buying it for much less than they pay Middle East producers. Canadians everywhere are up in arms because we are not building the pipelines our economy needs to sell that oil. Meanwhile, not selling that oil is the best thing that can happen to climate change, and Canada will have to adjust its economy to a clean power based industry. That will not happen soon, when even Alberta’s socialist government is pushing hard for selling our oil. They were supposed to be the protectors of the environment, but money talks louder than continued existence. Our next generations are in big trouble, and we cannot take our minds out of our wallets. The best thing the young people of today can do is line us older folks into firing lines and shoot us. Then, when we are all dead, they can be free to do the things they have to do to survive.”

      As we learned, even in the late 60’s and into the 70’s and beyond, as environmentalists, it’s that a planet’s ecology is completely interrelated and symbiotic. Destroy a part of it and you eventually destroy all of it.  These young people demonstrating against their parents’ leaders (not theirs, they can’t vote) are sensing the natural fabric tearing apart. Because they are young, it feels to them as if it’s happening today and tomorrow, not 10 or 20 years from now. Meanwhile there is the opposite faction, the Old Guard that has gotten rich and fat through exploitation of human labour and natural resources. They are blinded by their past successes and cannot even comprehend the need to change and they will not change until their support base collapses under them. This Old Guard comprises governments, religions, corporations, militaries, security forces and of course much of institutionalized science and education.  All the overt power rests in the hands of anti-life collectives. They will never understand the problem. Those who oppose them are the enemy, the terrorists and they must be stopped or destroyed.  The “economy” is sacro-sanct because they made it up and it’s their game. We are but the pawns in it.

      We need to understand that it is the power structures, the institutions, the collectives, that must be destroyed. Killing individuals is a revolutionary act and all we need do is look at past revolution to see how well killing elites, leaders and priests has worked.  Within 40 years of the famous “Prise de la Bastille” France had another king. Germany’s first taste of republican life lasted 14 years under the Weimar Republic. All over the planet, democracies arrived at through revolution are failing or being overthrown in favour of dictatorships.

      For the moment we in the West have one weapon with which to collapse the forces arrayed against us and our living environment: boycott. We must become anti-consumers.  The recent spate of ignorant violence around Wal-Marts during “Black Friday” indicate that the sheeple are not going to do that, exceptions noted.

  4. rawgod

    No revolution or rebellion in our history has ever succeeded in taking out whole generations. But in this case it is the older generations who have to be taken out, as well as all the capitalists. Boycotts have worked for certain things, but will not work against a style of economy. Until fossil fuels are completely taken out of the economy, climate change cannot get better. If I have to die to change this situation, they can have my life…

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks for commenting, my friend. You sound as tired of it all as I feel… I’m sorry if my words have added to your burden, that was not my intent. Well, we had our tries and trials in our time, it is indeed up to the youth of today to find and force a better way. Unlike us, their very survival depends on their taking action – now. Massive boycotts, however haphazardly, and “threatening” complaints about useless plastic packaging on our part would help them (the young) in their efforts, along with our loud encouragements. It will not likely happen, but it is a positive idea, I think. I’m too old to think or advocate violence, plus I came into this life with a clear vision that no matter how I got involved against the System I would never do anything that would land me in jail. I’ve come close, but by being respectful to policing authorities and staying mostly within the law, I managed. That past life experience left a very deep scar. Come spring I have to take a long, hard look at my back yard, see if I can visualize a proper garden; see if I can motivate my neighbour. We have these big yards that could feed a family for most of the year… but always too busy away from home working. A family from Bangladesh or Sub Sahara Africa would think they were in heaven if they had my piece of land to grow food on and I grow a lawn that needs mowing twice a week.

      1. rawgod

        Being scared of landing in jail is not committing completely to a cause. But that is your choice. I am not advocating violence, but only stating the obvious. Our generations failed. We don’t deserve to live.

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        You’re right, we don’t deserve to live, and less so as we continue to support and benefit from the status quo. It’s troubling. As to the jail thing, and a cause, that was clearly explained to my by the Teachers. If we abhor violence, and consider it counter-productive, committing such an act puts one in a quandary of, don’t do as I do, do as I preach. We don’t have to go out of our way to commit violence anyway in a predatory system – we’re always “killing” something and even die-hard Buddhists can’t escape it. Remember that scene in 7 Years in Tibet where they have to scour the grounds dedicated to a movie theater to relocate the worms? I do landscape work as the major part of my business – imagine how many insects, birds and small animals die from my passage? I had a very close friend during our days of Central America Support Committee – early 80’s, Reagan presidency and CIA trained and equipped murderous Contras, refugees fleeing El Savador and Guatemala to wherever, and that friend committed cold blooded murder of a ‘right winged’ adversary. Got 30+ years of prison, no possibility of parole. I was horrified… absolutely devastated at that time. I went on my own after that and gave up most of my activism, particularly politics. I’m only now getting the itch again, but at 72, I feel that sanity will prevail. Old war horses dragged out of retirement don’t do so well usually.

      3. rawgod

        It does not take violence to get into jail. Many peaceful protestors have ended up there, just by standing their ground. There is no shame attached to that. But as I said, it is your choice. But if you ever get there, even inadvertently, wear it like a badge of honour.
        Never heard of 7 Years in Tibet. A movie, I presume?

  5. selizabryangmailcom

    The horrors during Black Friday aside, capitalism is rapidly becoming unsustainable and unsupportable. Not that it was ever a good thing, but it’s actually dangerous now. I think the Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezes are the beginning of a new wave of thinking. There might be hope.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Maybe… with a large grain of salt. I don’t trust Bernie Sanders after his turncoat act during the last election, but then I’m not American, and our side of “the wall” (it’s mostly a ditch or a cut through the woods actually with black helicopters endlessly patrolling) has its own problems with an elitist playboy at the helm who is quite happy to send our tax dollars to Saudi Arabia to please Donnie Tee, even if DT thinks of Trudeau as a traitor to America… say what? Never mind, we’re back to the dark ages, with the kings and queens, princes and princesses taking over each other’s thrones, screwing and marrying each other for territorial gains and etc. Bring on the knights of the Round Table, the musketeers, the highwaymen and… why not: the tall ships and the pirates! Let’s call it “The Last Really Big Show.” We could call it “End Game” but the title’s already taken. The more things change the more they stay the same.

      1. Sha'Tara Post author

        By the way, I meant American black helicopters. Ours would be seen as being provocative and most certainly get shot down. Justin (case) Trudeau would probably apologize if that happened, of necessity, to maybe avoid an invasion.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Sorry, this one got overlooked. I know, Gandhi went to jail many times, as many others, Nelson Mandela for example. But again, perspective. You don’t want to go to jail for committing a crime or being a pointless troublemaker if there is a better option. Here, in Canada, I had that option and I took it. Example, the kind recent spates of climate change protests are so far demonstrating: no violence. It may fizzle out but violence wouldn’t work and would spell the end of the protests much faster. 7 years in Tibet is a Brad Pitt movie from 1997. Begins at the time of the Anschluss between Nazi Germany and Austria. It is an interesting piece of history.

      1. Phil Huston

        All history built on scapegoating. As long as beer and soda pop are distributed in plastic containers and China’s air is tangible, as long as fossil fuel is the order of the day we can protest peacefully or violently and it won’t matter becasue the world needs it’s premade sandwiches and soda pop. there is a beach in northern california called glass beach. You would think that all those little sea softened bits of color were interesting, until you learn that just offshore was a massive dumping ground for first half of the century refuse. Little colorful pebbles of beer bottle and mil bottles and toxxic chemical containers, washed up on the beach for the kiddies to collect and put in more glass jars at home. Crazy.

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        Even educated Earthians continue to run after baubles and trinkets without considering the source. Beads and hatchets, then beads and guns… then the decimating diseases.

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