Follow-up to HND38009.E of 4 December 2001 on the Patriotic Revolutionary Front (Frente Patriótico Revolucionario, FPR); Follow-up to HND38010.E of 4 December 2001 on whether Battalion 3-16 continues to operate; whether a death squad known as Group 13-16 operated at any time between 1990 and 1992; whether Colonel Alvarez Martinez or General Regalado Hernandez commanded either of these groups (1990-December 2001) [HND39467.E]

The following information was provided by the Coordinator General of the Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras, COFADEH) in correspondence dated 9 January 2002.

Research Directorate (RD): Could you confirm if Battalion 3-16 is still operating?

COFADEH: Battalion 3-16 has undergone various changes since 1979. It was first called the Group of 14 (1979-1981). In 1982-83, it was the Special Investigations Branch (DIES), whose commander was known as Señor Diez (Mr. Ten). In 1984, it was the Intelligence Battalion 3-16. In 1987, it was the Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence Branch, a name it still keeps with some variation or sections rumoured to be called "Los Pica Piedras" (the stonecutters). Its principal activities include developing profiles of people and institutions, ideological infiltration of institutions and directing a group of civilians and agents from 3-16 to execute presumed criminals. Many retired or active 3-16 agents have been included as intelligence advisors in the National Prevention Police.

RD: Do you know of a death squad called Group 13-16?

COFADEH: COFADEH was never aware of a paramilitary group called 13-16 in the periods mentioned [1990-1992] or since then.

RD: Could you say whether Colonel Alvarez Martínez or General Regalado Hernández was at any time commander of Battalion 3-16?

COFADEH: With the support of the United States and Argentine advisors, Division General Alvarez Martínez organized Battalion 3-16, but officially he was never its commander. At that time the command of the land army lay with the top brigades. He was only General Commander of the Army, and at the time the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces was General Gustavo Alvarez Martínez.
General (ret.) Regalado Hernández was commander of Military Brigade 101, which Battalion 3-16 served. Its name comes from its services to three military units and sixteen battalions of the army, but he was not commander of 3-16.

RD: Do you know of a group called Revolutionary Patriotic Front (FPR)?

COFADEH: COFADEH knows of the existence of the Morazán Patriotic Front (FPM), many of whose militants were killed by death squads and Battalion 3-16. In the first half of the 1990s, it was very active against government policies and produced an underground protest bulletin. On several occasions, it placed explosives targeting government institutions, but it is also credited with explosions that were the work of paramilitary groups of the Armed Forces.
At the time many paramilitary groups arose to discredit human rights organizations and other civil society institutions. These groups include the Rolando Vindel Popular Demand Front (RPR). Rolando Vindel was a labour activist who was kidnapped and disappeared in 1984. His name was taken by the paramilitaries to discredit him. The right-wing Morazán Patriotic Front, Froylán Turcios Command, also arose, with similar objectives to the previous group. Another one is the Democratic Constitutional Civic Committee to oppose the actions of a citizen's group that was fighting compulsory military service and called themselves the Popular Christian Civic Committee. Three other similar fronts also arose. One of their purposes was to delegitimize the unearthing of the human remains of victims of state terror in the 1980s. These recovery efforts began with a scientific protocol in the early 1990s, supported by COFADEH.

This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras (COFADEH). 9 January 2002. Correspondence with General Director. Translated by the Multilingual Translation Directorate of the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada.