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Updated 12/18/2008

Remembering 25 Years Ago—December 1983

Early December

José Luis Dubón Marín, of Santa Rosa de Copán, reports that he and a neighbor, Enrique Pavón, were abducted by agents of the National Investigations Directorate (DNI) wearing black masks and hats, who then shot the men and threw their bodies into a ravine. Pavón did not survive.


"Asegura vecino de Santa Rosa de Copan, agentes de 'DNI' lo secuestran y lo dejan por muerto en barricada." El Tiempo; Dec. 7, 1983.

Dec. 12

The government of Honduras denies allegations by the Netherlands of human rights violations in the country. The Honduran mission to the United Nations claims "great surprise" that such assertions would come from a fellow democratic nation that has been informed of the actions Honduras is taking to build "a strong social and economic structure, particularly in the area of fundamental freedoms."


"Honduras niega que se violen en el pais los derechos humanos." El Tiempo; Dec. 12, 1983.

Dec. 15

Juan Bautista Canales, a Honduran electrician and a member of the Communist Party of Honduras, disappears after being detained outside his home at 7:15 p.m. in the Satélite neighborhood in San Pedro Sula by three armed plainclothes agents driving a Toyota van. His wife immediately files a complaint, but the authorities deny they have him in custody. In 2004, the Honduran Public Ministry reveals that Canales is alive, having taken refuge in the United States with the help of journalist Gabriel García Ardón. Nevertheless, no action has been taken to investigate the crime and prosecute those responsible nor to indemnify the victim. [Editor's note: No further information was available regarding Canales' whereabouts today.]


"Otro desaparecido en San Pedro Sula," El Tiempo; Dec. 17, 1983.

"Situación de los Derechos Humanos en Honduras, Resumen 2004." Cofadeh; 2005.

"Fiscal da nombre de tres "desaparecidos" que están vivos." La Prensa; Sept. 1, 2004.

Late December

Sixteen young men who work as car washers in a San Pedro Sula parking lot file a complaint that they were imprisoned and brutally beaten by DNI agents after being accused of stealing a car.


"Golpeados 16 negritos por 'DNI' Sampedrana." La Tribuna; Dec. 26, 1983.

To read past editions, go to the Remembering 25 Years Ago archive.