Los Horcones massacre


Los Horcones massacre

The Horcones Massacre (Massacre Los Horcones) was a series of political killings centered around the Los Horcones ranch in Honduras in June of 1975 in which up to 15 religious leaders, campesinos and students were killed by government paramilitaries and interrogators under command of Enrique Chinchilla. Some of the bodies were found days later in a recently dynamited, 120 foot well on the Los Horocones ranch. The Los Horcones ranch was owned by Mel Zelaya, father of the current president of Honduras also named Mel Zelaya.

Among those killed were Father Ivan Betancourt, a visiting Colombian priest working in areas where agrarian reform cooperatives were organizing and Father Michael Jerome Zypher (Padre Casimiro), a priest visiting from Wisconsin, USA, who was killed during an interrogation.

According to journalist and author Wendy Griffin, "The Massacre of Los Horcones was seen as a clash between the interests of large landowners and the social activism of the church of the time." After the bodies were found the federal government ordered all priests, brothers and nuns to leave the area for their own safety.

Eight persons were arrested and sentenced for the murders and later released.

References

*Wendy Griffin - Honduras This Week - Monday, July 3, 2000 Online Edition 27 - http://www.marrder.com/htw/jul2000/national.htm
*Wendy Griffin home page - http://www.roatanet.com/ciudadblanca/griffin.htm
*A MECATE CORTO (Año 11, Numero 114, Julio de 2005) - http://portal.rds.org.hn/listas/hibueras/msg46975.html
*Time Magazine, Monday August 18, 1975 - http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,917730,00.html?promoid=googlep
*"Rebels with a Cause" assassinated in the Americas: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Thebes/8590/Rebeldes_asesinados.htm


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