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Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Welcome to Iraq, John Negroponte. And welcome back to the public eye!

On our new ambassador in Iraq...

In 1982, Sister Laetitia Bordes met with John Negroponte, then U.S. Ambassador to Honduras. She was on a fact-finding delegation to investigate the 1981 disappearance of 32 Salvadoran "nuns and women of faith," who had fled to Honduras to escape Contra death squads after the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Bordes, who worked as a nun in El Salvador for nearly ten years, describes the little that was known about their fate: a few months after the women (among them Romero's former secretary) arrived in Honduras, they were "forcibly taken from their living quarters in Tegucigalpa, pushed in to a van and disappeared." Bordes presented this information to Negroponte, but he denied having "any knowledge of the whereabouts of these women. He insisted that the U.S. Embassy did not interfere in the affairs of the Honduran government and it would be to our advantage to discuss the matter with the latter."

Bordes received no answers until 1996, when Negroponte's predecessor to the Honduran ambassadorship, Jack Binns, spoke with the Baltimore Sun. Binns, who had been removed from his post for repeatedly protesting the human rights violations occuring in Honduras, explained "how a group of Salvadorans, among whom were the women [Bordes] had been looking for, were captured on April 22, 1981, and savagely tortured by the DNI, the Honduran Secret Police, before being placed in helicopters of the Salvadoran military. After take off from the airport in Tegucigalpa, the victims were thrown out of the helicopters. They were turned over to the Salvadoran military and their whereabouts are unknown. Binns told the Baltimore Sun that the North American authorities were well aware of what had happened and that it was a grave violation of human rights. But it was seen as part of Ronald Reagan's counterinsurgency policy."

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.