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Updated 10/22/2008

Remembering 25 Years Ago—October 1983


Oct. 1

Mario Mejía Mateo, a 22-year-old Honduran nurse, and his co-worker, José Melanio Valle Alvarado, age 20, disappear after being detained in Danlí, allegedly by members of the Nicaraguan Democratic Force, the Contras.


“Honduras: The Facts Speak for Themselves.” The Preliminary Report of the National Commissioner for the Protection of Human Rights in Honduras. Human Rights Watch; July 1994. 

Oct. 6

A member of the Nicaraguan Democratic Force who is captured by the Sandinista army after troops shoot down his U.S.-registered plane, says that CIA officers, along with some Honduran and Argentine officers, are directing rebel activities from bases in Honduras. The pilot, who says he is second in command of the rebel air force, had taken off from the El Aguacate air base in the jungles of the Olancho province, where he says operations are directed by a former U.S. Army major.

The Christian Human Rights Commission of Honduras, based in Olancho province, issues a denouncement alleging that prisoners have been tortured, interrogated and executed in two hidden basements at El Aguacate. It reports that campesinos in the Patuca River area of Olancho have witnessed North Americans leading task forces of the Honduran army against Nicaragua and in counterinsurgency exercises. It also claims that three campesino leaders were murdered by a task force led by Green Berets for resisting displacement from their land, which is being co-opted for the use of the newly established Regional Military Training Center, known as CREM. (See June 1983 edition.)


"Purported pilot claims CIA directs rebels." Boston Globe; Oct. 7, 1983.

"Denunca de la Comision Cristiana de Derechos Humanos de Honduras—CCRIDEHH." Juticalpa, Olancho, Honduras, Octubre de 1983.

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