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Updated 02/04/2008

Remembering 25 Years Ago—January 1983

Jan. 22
Pedro Jose Amador Meza, a Honduran campesino, is detained along with his wife, Nery Estrada, in Namasigue by a group of men dressed in khaki uniforms and carrying heavy weapons. Estrada is released shortly thereafter, but Amador Meza is never seen again. According to a confidential military report obtained by the Committee of Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH), a combined operation of Honduran military intelligence Battalion 3-16 and the Nicaraguan Democratic Forces (Contras) is responsible. On Feb. 20, 1983 COFADEH files a habeas corpus petition on behalf of several detainees, including Amador Meza, but without result.

Sources
“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

Comité de Familiares de Detenidos-Desaparecidos en Honduras Web site, Desaparecidos en 1983.

Jan. 29
Hermino Deras, a labor union leader and a leader of the Honduran Communist Party, is shot to death on the street in San Pedro Sula by members of Honduran military intelligence Battalion 3-16. According to José Barrera Martínez, a former member of the battalion, Deras was supposed to have been kidnapped but officers instead shot him when he resisted arrest, leaving his body in the street. In 1998 Regalado, along with Col. Alexander Hernandez and Capt. Rafael Canales Nunez, are charged with Deras’s murder. After nearly a decade in the court system—including a conviction, an aquittal, and numerous appeals—the Appellate Court of San Pedro Sula in June 2005 finds Regalado guilty and sentences him to 12 years in prison. The other two men remain at large.

Sources

"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

“Honduran court convicts former Battalion 3-16 member for murder of activist.” Honduras News in Review; June 24, 2005.