Negroponte’s Nomination “Clouded” by Deportation of Witnesses

The Los Angeles Times reports that the nomination of John Negroponte as the US ambassador to the United Nations “is
clouded…by the sudden deportations [from the US] of several former members” of the Honduran military’s Battalion 3-16, a death squad that targeted leftists in Honduras during the early
1980s, when Negroponte was US ambassador.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the nomination of John Negroponte as the US ambassador to the United Nations “is
clouded…by the sudden deportations [from the US] of several former members” of the Honduran military’s Battalion 3-16, a death squad that targeted leftists in Honduras during the early
1980s, when Negroponte was US ambassador.

“The men, who had resided for years in the United States and Canada and could have provided evidence for [Senate confirmation] hearings [on Negroponte], were returned to Honduras within a few weeks of Negroponte’s nomination being announced” on Feb 17.

One alleged 3-16 member, Juan Angel Hernandez Lara, was deported from Miami on Jan. 17; he slipped back into the US but was
arrested on Mar. 28 and is now being held in a Miami detention center pending trial for illegal reentry after deportation.

Jose Barrera, allegedly an interrogator for Battalion 3-16, was expelled from Canada on Feb. 20. [Miami Herald 3/26/01 from Los Angeles Times Service; LA Times 5/7/01]

The highest-profile figure to be removed is Gen. Luis Alonso Discua Elvir, Battalion 3-16’s first commander. On Feb. 28 the US State Department cancelled his diplomatic visa; Discua was
nominally Honduras’ alternate UN ambassador. The visa cancellation was unusually quick.

“Human rights groups and Democratic Party opponents are preparing for a fight, making Negroponte the first Bush administration foreign policy appointee to kindle serious opposition from Congress, ” the L. A. Times notes.

Author: NICARAGUA SOLIDARITY NETWORK OF GREATER NEW YORK

News Service: Weekly News Update on the Americas #589, 5/13/01

URL: http://www.eco.utexas.edu/faculty/Cleaver/chiapas95.html