Remembering 25 Years Agoâ€”July 1981
Ãngel Rolando Padilla and JosÃ© Edelmiro LÃ³pez, who own a cattle business together in the rural town of San Esteban, are taken from their homes and illegally detained by members of Battalion 3-16, according to family members. Padilla is later seen in a military helicopter, with visible signs of torture, including a missing eye, and witnesses see LÃ³pez, his wrists tied, being thrown into a pick-up truck. The menâ€™s bodies are found on the banks of the Rio Grande de San Esteban on July 9, 1981. Both bodies show signs of torture: fingernails torn out, heads smashed and bullet holes in their backs. According to the Committee of Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH), the men had been executed and thrown from a helicopter.
COFADEH press release, July 6, 2006
â€œSepultan a dos comerciantes vÃctimas de la â€˜guerra frÃaâ€™.â€ La Tribuna, July 9, 2006
Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Enders instructs Ambassador Binns to stop using official channels to report human rights violations by the Honduran military because it could prejudice attitudes toward the administrationâ€™s policy in Central America. Binns refuses to honor this request.
â€œThe United States in Honduras, 1980-1981: An Ambassadorâ€™s Memoir.â€ Jack R. Binns. McFarland & Co. Inc.; 2000