Israeli commandos in Honduras

UPDATE: Machetera was provided with a transcript of this interview for translation and had difficulties downloading the audio.  A Tlaxcala colleague who was able to listen to the audio provided a missing piece and a correction, indicated in green, below.  Regarding the proof, please see this story published last spring in La Jornada (don’t worry, it’s in English, thanks to yours truly) and then ask yourself what the chances are that Andrés Pavón and Dick Emanuelsson are making the whole thing up.

Interview with René Andrés Pavón, President of the Honduran Human Rights Commission (CODEH)

Israeli Commandos with Experience in Palestine and Colombia are Training the Honduran Armed Forces

090802_4Author: Dick Emanuelsson

Translation: Machetera

There are paramilitary structures that are working in coordination with the armed forces, says the undisputed leader of the human rights struggle in Honduras, Andrés Pavón, in regard to the latest casualty of the dictatorship of the Honduran putschists.

It’s not that strange.  The main professors of state terrorism come from the Zionist state in order to teach their methods of death, intelligence and terror, and they know how to sustain a state against a population that is fighting for its constitutional rights or recognition.  Or, as in Honduras’s case, for the re-establishment of democracy.  The interview with Andrés Pavon follows and can also be heard here.

Tegucigalpa – August 2, 2009 – We’re facing the COPEMH building, which is the professional association for middle education, and we also are speaking with Dr. René Andrés Pavón, who is the President of the Honduran Human Rights Commission (CODEH).

Dick Emanuelsson (DE):  Yesterday CODEH put out a news release denouncing a variety of things, among them that Micheletti’s de facto government has contracted with Israeli commandos or people to train the Honduran military/police forces.  What we know from the civil war in Colombia is that these commandos have also been advising the Colombian military forces.  What are the Israelis doing here?

Andrés Pavón (AP): Until now what we know is that their mission is to prepare the Armed Forces and the police to aggressively and violently dissuade the demonstrations, by committing crimes of a selective nature in order to build fear, staged terror, and achieve a dismantling of the resistance.  Other actions they are undertaking involve certain employees of private security firms putting on police uniforms and acting aggressively against the demonstrators.  The police have already sort of been trained to dissuade demonstrations and are a bit fearful about attacking the demonstrators so that it’s as if a bit of their human rights training lingers.  On the other hand, the security guards are being paid double and their immunity is guaranteed.  These are the practices that they are developing, using the experience of the conflict in Palestine and after having put into practice some of these actions in Colombia.

DE: What’s the count up to now, we’re five weeks out from the coup d’etat – how many people have died and how many have been detained, tortured, beaten?

AP: We have a register that since the beginning of the curfew has registered more than 2,200 people arbitrarily detained and deprived of their freedom.  And in direct actions undertaken to break up demonstrations we have registered more than 600 people.  There are more than 120 people wounded, and three people have been killed in direct actions during demonstrations, with another three whose deaths are characteristic of deaths planned and directed by these groups.

For the first time we’re going to announce the fact that during the curfew more than 37 homicides via firearms took place while the police and the army were in control of the streets.  We are going to ask for the names of those victims in order to make the pertinent investigations in light of the fact that the main suspect is the State.

DE: As for the death of the young man, Pedro Magdiel, in El Paraíso on the 24th and 25th of July, now there’s also a photo that came out in the La Tribuna newspaper the same day as the uprising, where a soldier can be seen dragging this boy who showed up dead the following day.  How far has the investigation gone in this case?

AP: Yes, we have an investigation going in regard to Magdiel’s case; he was the first to be taken by the police and it has the obvious characteristics of an extra-judicial murder.  We know that in Danli, in El Paraiso, there are paramilitary groups who are working in coordination with the armed forces and the police there; we believe that this boy was delivered by the police to these groups who committed this barbaric crime.  Today we also noted the death of another teacher who was stabbed in the same way as the killing at El Paraíso.

DE: Has there been another death?

AP: There’s been another death, a teacher that supposedly left here at two in the morning, his name is Martín Flores Ribera Barrientos, he was killed in the Colonia Centroamérica neighborhood, he was going from here to his house and was stabbed in a taxi.  This tells us that the state is providing a model of aggressive conduct.

Another strategy is that the Israelis are training a group to instill in people’s minds the idea that those of us who are leaders in this movement have a terrorist past or that we’re tied to the same structure as the police.  That’s what somebody told me yesterday who was trying to put up posters, sticking them on walls in order to create distrust in the part of the population that still lacks awareness about the leaders in this country.  According to them, they want the people to think that way; it’s a historic strategy in Latin America, and later they try to justify the death of certain leaders as a result of this contradiction.

DE: The reason all these people are here outside the COPEMH headquarters is that yesterday at 1 a.m., the 38 year old Roger Vallejo, a leader of this association, died as a result of a sniper’s attack last Wednesday when the National Front Against the Coup D’Etat took the Tegucigalpa North Highway.  What is known of that?  Because it’s already the second sniper-caused death.  The first was at the airport on July 5 and now we have another death where a sniper supposedly shot this man.

AP: It’s a premeditated killing with certain selective characteristics.  They chose a teacher in order to affect one of the associations that presently makes up part of the resistance and has a lot of people tied to the resistance.  Everything indicates that it was premeditated.  The doctrine of the Rome Statute under which this may come to the International Criminal Court establishes that it’s not necessary that the shooter’s name be known – it is sufficient to know the name of the person who is directing the repressive policies against a large grouping of the civil population, with the intent to provoke a certain natural psychological reaction among the people.  In that regard, well, no doubt, there will come a time when the premeditated act will be the object of a formal denunciation against the organizations who, certainly, in this country are tied to the repressive structures of the State.  But that will allow us to prove to the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court that there is something happening here and that what’s happening is State policy and that this State policy contributes to the generation of all the repressive acts we’re presently experiencing.

DE: Could the selection of this gentleman [as a target] also have been an expression of the advice given by the Israelis?

AP: Yes, of course!  It has much in common with the characteristics of the Colombian conflict where there is a confrontation with correlated forces that are somewhat similar to an armed conflict.  Here in Honduras, the correlation of forces is not similar to those in Colombia, here there are civilians who are armed with a courageous conscience, truth, and the only type of self-defense exercised once in awhile is that of a stick or a stone.  They also have their methods for intervening in situations like this, similar to what has happened in Gaza and the West Bank.

DE: Speaking of Colombia, when Obama became president, a lot of people had hopes that the warmongering policies of the United States would radically change.  But what we’ve seen is that the Fourth Fleet, re-activated in July of last year, continues to sail from Alaska in the north to Patagonia in the south.  Five new military bases are to be built in Colombia, among them three on the border with Venezuela and one in Málaga Bay, on the Pacific coast, between Central America and Ecuador.  There’s no sign that this war policy is going to end.  If Hillary Clinton had wanted to do something with the Micheletti government, why have only the visas of four officials in the Micheletti government been canceled, something cosmetic?  Or how should this be interpreted?

AP: What Obama says reflects a reality, and what his closest collaborators at the business level or this group known as the hawks have, is another discourse and practice.  We read this as Mr. Obama encountering a conflict similar to that faced by other leaders in Latin America; here one has to bear in mind that there could also have been a coup in Bolivia, in Ecuador, in Nicaragua and El Salvador.  It also is worth considering that there could be a coup in the United States sooner or later; these are things that seem impossible to dream of, but they could actually happen.

On the other hand there’s still another reading of the conflict and this reading could be that the advisers closest to Obama are selling the idea that this is an opportunity to change policy and retake influence as Latin America’s policeman.  Because when we asked him not simply to withdraw visas we were practically asking for intervention in Honduras, so that we’d have a military intervention similar to what went down in Haiti and it’s possible that in this way, Obama’s government would try to gain prestige for itself in a situation like this.

I’m sure that if the Marines were to intervene in Honduras, they’d be applauded by a whole bunch of people that aren’t here, without dreaming that we are opening the door to future interventions in Latin America and bringing back the Latin American police.

These are all possible details.  Of course if that’s what Obama’s thinking, he’s not going to do it right away, it would be a couple of months from now so that elections in Honduras could take place, completely tying up any possibility that President Zelaya might succumb to the social pressure which is demanding the creation of a national constituent assembly.

Dick Emanuelsson’s blog can be found at: Latinamerika I Dag/LatinoAmérica de Hoy.

Machetera is a member of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity. This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author, and translator are cited.

20 responses to “Israeli commandos in Honduras

  1. What is the evidence that the regime has hired Israeli police/military/paramility advisers? Has their arrival in Honduras been documented in any way?

  2. Is the original Spanish transcript of this interview available anywhere? Not that I doubt the accuracy of this translation in any way, I’d just like to glance at the original

    • Machetera always sources to the original. You’ll find it by clicking on the title of the report – in this case it will take you to the original repost at Tlaxcala (which has an extended box on the Pedro Magdiel Muñoz murder which I haven’t had time to translate yet), and Dick Emanuelsson’s blog is also referenced at the bottom and you can also find the original there. Finally, there’s a link to the original audio at the end of the second introductory paragraph.

  3. Machetera:

    For anyone who doubts whether the Israelis are training the Honduran military, here are a few things to consider. One, wherever the US has a strategic interest, the Israelis are there providing, at the very least, intelligence support. And, two, there is only one state-sponsored terrorist force in the world that routinely harasses and kills mourners at the funerals/wakes of people they have murdered and that is the Israeli Defense Forces. We all know that this technique has been applied in Honduras.

    Further, since I am most familiar with state-sponsored terror in Haiti, I can tell you that the Ton-Ton Macoutes and the later US-sponsored death squads had no qualms about entering a hospital to finish off a victim, but killing people attending a funeral wasn’t something even on their radar. I’m sure that the prevalent Voudun religion in Haiti was enough to keep them away from dead people’s graves. Too bad the IDF doesn’t have a similar religious or moral prohibition.

  4. Resorting to foreign advisors? Well, who isn´t?
    What about Zelaya getting support from Hugo Chavez, Cuba and FARC? So are these poor humble popular struggle choir boys? Don´t be ridiculous….

  5. Nell
    I do not think you have to have a real evidence to prove the intervencion of the genocidal government of Israel … It is known that they are, every where, even in the soup….. to Look a little further east you’ll see the clear case in Colombia


    Here we are talking about imperialism and its advisers…. did you get it?

  6. The Zionist Israel is an exporting country, it exports millitary hardware/Killing machines. It export terror, that’s what Israel has done to my people for the last 61 years, I know I’m a product of Israeli aggression, I am a Palestinian Refugee. Israel is a hateful country that lives by the sword and will die by the sword…

  7. The new coupe leader in Honduras has shown by appointing Zionist advisers, his hand and the hands of the men who overthrew elected Zelaya of Honduras-The Western Israel-USA Axis of EVIL

  8. Job said “If I justify myself mine own mouth shall condemn me”. With the talk about “popular support”, which may even have 15 percent support, they expose their doubletalk.

    They claim legality for calling it “non-binding”, but these charlatans show the opposite with their actions. And they care nothing about the poor.

  9. I lived in Columbia near two years. The so-called “paramilitaries” were no more official than FARC, but activists getting money to spread disinformation don’t let facts interfere. They were just people with a bit of property that fought back at the brutal Communist thugs who extorted, killed, tortured anybody who got in their way.

  10. axerator, were you dealing drugs in Colombia?

  11. I weep for the 2 million citizens who are in jails in the USA, and I weep for all the suffering that the psychopathic leaders of ‘global slavery’ under one world government are causing as they trample individual goodness and freedoms under their iron heel.

    I pray for Gods’ strength for the Hondouran people.

    These murders of innocents are LOCO!
    They are grand criminals and must be subdued.

  12. Asking about the evidence for this report is a far cry from suggesting that Emanuelsson or Andres Pavon made the whole thing up. I’m aware of the role of Israeli “private” military contractors and the IDF itself in training many foreign militaries and paramilitaries. Sometimes, as in the Colombian paras case, the training is received in Israel. Sometimes, as was the case with the Georgian military that clashed with the Russian army a year ago, Israeli advisers travel to do the training on site.

    The post title, and Emanuelsson’s phrasing, seem to make a specific claim that that’s what’s happening now: that there are Israeli commandos in Honduras contracted by the coup regime to train Honduran police, military, and/or paramilitary. If this is true, I would expect there to be some evidence for their presence that CODEH is prepared to cite or present, and I’m asking what it is.

    hcvanalysis: there is only one state-sponsored terrorist force in the world that routinely harasses and kills mourners at the funerals/wakes of people they have murdered and that is the Israeli Defense Forces.

    The police inserted two members in plainclothes into the crowd at Vallejo’s funeral, who were outed by those attending. There is every indication, since the crowd had to be stopped from assaulting them, that the men were there to spy on the crowd, rather than to harass, much less to kill, anyone. The presence of security forces at funerals for their victims is not unique to the IDF; it was a regular occurrence in South Africa and in El Salvador in the 1980s, and is probably a standard technique of repressive occupation forces or governments.

    • Nell,

      Since you have taken the trouble to write to me privately and ask that your comment be “released” from moderation, I am publishing it here, along with the reply that I did not have time to give you when the comment appeared in my in-box, and an explanation about why the comment was not approved.

      First of all, I don’t approve every comment that comes in. I used to set the bar really low and approve practically anything, even hostile garbage, as long as there was some evidence of a thought process and the syntax was reasonably correct. I became more discriminating over time. I’m not going to publish comments that are a rehash of whatever meme is circulating in the mainstream press, even if they are syntactically acceptable. It’s an issue of balance – in a world awash in disinformation I don’t feel obliged to lend support to that, even just by airing it, much less waste my time on those arguments. But I also have issues with picayune comments that accomplish the same thing by planting the seed of doubt. It’s the action of a provocateur, and I don’t feel any more obliged to support that kind of speculation, as innocently as it may be presented.

      You would argue, I’m sure, that asking Emanuelsson and Pavón for the factual evidence for their claims is not a trivial question; that it’s essential that they offer proof if their reports are to be believed. This is the school of thought peddled by Al Giordano. I happen to disagree with it. I know from experience that sometimes the proof that would satisfy certain people is difficult or practically speaking, impossible to obtain, while the effects of the malfeasance are clear. Does that mean it should not be reported? Or translated? (I don’t mean to suggest that Emanuelsson and CODEH have no proof of their claims either – frankly I haven’t asked and I’m not planning to do so – I’m guessing that CODEH has more urgent problems to deal with right now than answering questions like this from commenters at Machetera.)

      Another good example of this is a discussion that is taking place elsewhere about whether or not the IDF are bodysnatching Palestinians to harvest their organs. It’s impossible to prove because in an autopsy, organs are removed regardless, and the Israelis claim to do autopsies on everyone as a matter of routine (who gave them that right, by the way?). Yet Palestinians have claimed for many years that the organ harvesting is going on, and other Israeli activities in the black market organ trade do not speak in the IDF’s favor. The Israeli answer is, “We’re not doing it. It’s impossible to prove a negative.” (Actually their response is a bit more hysterical but we don’t need to go into that now.) In the absence of a full investigation, I believe the benefit of the doubt must rest with the Palestinians, as in this case, it must with Emanuelsson and Pavón. Basically, their word is good enough for me.

      Lastly, I don’t think what happened in South Africa and El Salvador thirty years ago is very relevant. There is no-one today besides the IDF who sends agents to funerals of people they have killed, and the main point is that they have no business being there at all, whether or not they provoke the mourners.

  13. I have asked around, and there is no support for this claim that Israelis are in Honduras. I have found one person who advocated it, though, but even he said that he had heard nothing about it. He is an example of the well-off who hire private guards to protect their property, since the police and military are unable to in the face of widespread hooliganism by paid “brownshirts”. Furthermore, the whole idea is absurd on its face, since a large part of the industrialists in Honduras themselves are Palestinian refugees who have fled from the Zionist oppression of their occupied homeland.

    • Well well, a Honduran coup-supporting Swede.

      It would be interesting to know who you asked, in your asking around. Not Andres Pavón or Dick Emanuelsson, I imagine.

      I’d love to hear more about the Palestinian refugees who make up a “large part” of the Honduran oligarchy. Do tell.

  14. Thanks for your response, Machetera, and for making my comment visible.

    I’ve given CODEH respect and credibility in word and deed for many years. My question was not intended as a provocation.

    It is true that in the case of this particular claim, and others, you and I place the burden of proof differently. At no point did I criticize you for translating or posting this interview. In my first post I asked a question. In my second post I clarified that I was not doing so to act as a provocateur, and responded to specific points raised by other commenters in reaction to my question.

    I’m not a stranger to the difficulties of doing human rights work. Andres Pavon clearly believes it’s worthwhile to raise this warning, and, given his and CODEH’s track record, I believe that it must be based on something. If it’s difficult or impossible to provide the evidence for it, so be it.

    Given the scale and gravity of the many fully documented abuses of the coup regime, I don’t find undocumented claims necessary or useful. But I was not criticizing this post, only trying to determine if this particular claim was documented or not.

    Making strong claims without providing any of the evidence has the potential to undermine the credibility of those making them, which is particularly risky when those same people and organizations are invaluable, crucial documenters of undeniable crimes.

    I’m not in the business of doing that kind of undermining, but you have no way of knowing that and I wouldn’t try to convince you here. I can understand why your reaction to a question is to assume the worst motivation. Thanks again for taking the time to address it, and thanks for all the work you’ve done here to support the resistance to the coup.

    • Nell,

      Once again, I return to my original answer to your original question which is that you will need to ask Andres Pavón and Dick Emanuelsson. I don’t feel particularly motivated to do so. I hope you’ll also mention to them that you feel they may be undermining their own credibility – I’m sure they’ll appreciate the lesson.

      If on the other hand, you do believe that based on Pavón’s record, “it must be based on something,” I don’t understand why you continue to ask about it here, if not to plant the seed of doubt I mentioned earlier. It’s not that I react to a question by assuming the worst motivation, it’s that I cannot see the positive motivation behind this one, especially when I have made it clear that I do not have the answer. I have never said that the proof of Pavón’s claims does not exist or that it is difficult to provide (I have no way of knowing either way), just that you will not find satisfaction here by continuing to ask about it.

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