Priest murdered in Honduras: What is Luis Posada Carriles hiding?
• U.S. priest James Carney, chaplain to a Honduran guerrilla column,
urged his compatriots to devote their lives to poor and humble Third
World peoples — an ideal certainly at a very far remove from the CANF
arch-terrorist’s dreams of violence and hatred
BY JEAN-GUY ALLARD (Special for Granma International)
LUIS Posada Carilles — CIA agent, explosives expert, author of a
horrendous number of assassination attempts, and drug trafficker in
the misnamed Iran-Contra scandal — has refused to reveal what he
certainly knows about the murder of U.S. priest James "Guadalupe"
Carney, who was thrown out of a helicopter in flight in Honduran
territory in 1983.
The terrorist, currently detained in Panama for attempting to
detonate an explosive device in an auditorium where thousands of
students had gathered to welcome Cuban President Fidel Castro,
categorically refused to talk to Jesuit priest Joe Mulligan, who has
been trying to contact him in order to finally clear up the mysterious
disappearance of the respected religious figure.
Mulligan has been investigating Carney’s death ever since his
"disappearance" and has assured the Panamanian media that he has
information indicating that Posada is fully aware of the circumstances
of the priest’s death.
In July, 1983, Carney entered Honduras from Nicaragua, as chaplain
to a Honduran guerrilla column belonging to the Central American
Workers’ Revolutionary Party (PRTC), led by Dr. José María Reyes
In a press conference in September of that same year, the Honduran
army, constantly advised by CIA officers, announced that it had
liquidated the rebel group. Meanwhile John Negroponte, another
member of the Company, was heading the U.S. embassy at
At the same time, officers from the repressive army forces assured
that they had no information about Carney’s fate...although they did
admit handing over some cult objects and a Bible "found in an arms
cache" to his family.
Most of the 96-strong guerrilla group disappeared along with Carney.
Some years later, an officer who deserted from the Honduran army
death squads confessed to The New York Times that he had taken
part in the interrogation of Carney, who had subsequently been
A refugee in Toronto, Florencio Caballero, a former member of
Battalion 3-16 specially trained by the CIA, recounted how he had
captured the priest and PRTC guerillas in an operation called Patuca.
He explained that he had later seen Carney in "a very bad state" in
an underground cell in a Nicaraguan Contra provisions camp set up
by the U.S. army at El Aguacate.
Caballero revealed that during a meeting with top Honduran officers,
headed by General Alvarez Martínez of the Honduran Armed Forces,
and in the presence of U.S. military personnel and a mysterious CIA
agent known as "Mister Mike", he had been ordered to kill the
According to Caballero’s allegations, in the following hours James
"Guadalupe" Carney was thrown out of a helicopter in flight into the
middle of the Honduran jungle.
Following an investigation by the Inspector General into the CIA, the
results of which were published in 1997, a large volume of sensitive
information on the violence and torture practiced in Honduras during
Negroponte’s appointment as ambassador was systematically
eliminated from reports to the U.S. Congress.
(In 2001, despite protests from various senators and human rights
groups, George W. Bush chose Negroponte — the accomplice of
terrorists and torturers — to represent the United States at the
In 1995, under a liberal government, the Honduran Human Rights
Commission asked the U.S. authorities to hand over documents on
Carney’s death, in order to bring the authors of the crime to trial.
They also asked for information on the disappearance of 184
activists apparently killed by Battalion 3-16 henchmen.
The CIA and the U.S. army proceeded to hand over a certain number
of documents...with 50% of their contents blacked out.
Upset by such a lack of respect, friends and relatives went directly to
the U.S. embassy in Tegucigalpa to ask for an explanation. Eight
members of the Marine guard brutally threw them out.
For 45 days those same people remained outside the embassy on
hunger strike, but the U.S. authorities refused to be moved.
Likewise, successive appeals to the White House and State
Department by Nobel prize winners Rigoberta Menchú and Adolfo
Pérez Esquival, as well as various U.S. senators who also asked for
the truth to be finally revealed, failed to produce any results.
On CIA instructions, Luis Posada Carriles, veteran mercenary of the
extreme right anti-Cuban mafia, and responsible for the dirty
operations of the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF),
worked as director of the Venezuelan political police (DISIP) before
being arrested on charges of sabotaging a Cubana Aviation aircraft in
full flight in 1976 that led to the death of 73 people. After escaping
from jail in 1985, he resurfaced in El Salvador and became a drug
trafficker alongside Félix Rodríguez, terrorist and friend of George
Posada was involved in many conspiracies. In 1994 in Honduras, he
worked with mafiosi Mario del Amico on an assassination campaign
(at the behest of the army, and doubtless the CIA) aimed at
counteracting President Carlos Alberto Reina’s plans to reduce the
role of the armed forces. Two attempts on the life of the Honduran
president took place: on January 28, 1995 and March 26, 1996.
In 1997, General Edmundo Orellano, Honduran attorney general at
the time, suspected that Raúl Ernesto Cruz León, the Salvadoran
captured in Havana after a series of attacks masterminded by
Posada, was also implicated in the assassination attempts in
At the same time, Posada Carriles’ links with CIA agents in Central
America, whom he was advising, and with extreme right camarillas —
in Miami as well as Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama and
Nicaragua — go back several decades, and there is no doubt that he
knows everything about the most degrading acts of repression in
that region of the Americas.
Like his CIA masters, Posada Carriles is refusing to reveal the
shameful secrets of his criminal activities.
James "Guadalupe" Carney was born in Chicago, Illinois, on October
29, 1924. He was a soldier in the U.S. forces in World War II, serving
in France and Britain. On his return to the United States, he became a
Jesuit novice in Florissant, Missouri. Once ordained as a priest, he
was assigned to a Jesuit Mission in Honduras.
A liberation priest, James Carney always identified with Honduras’
poorest sectors; for 18 years he preached on the need for political
and social change.
In 1974, he renounced his U.S. nationality and became a Honduran
citizen. However, in 1979, the government of General Policarpo Paz
García rescinded his Honduran nationality, expelling him from the
country on account of the subversive ideas he expressed in his work
Carney took refuge in Nicaragua, was fired by the Sandinistas’ work
in the fields of health and education, and decided to join the nascent
Honduran guerrilla movement.
In 1985, his autobiography To Be a Revolutionary was published
postmortem by Harper and Row. The book urges his progressive
U.S. compatriots to devote their lives to the poor and the humble.
That ideal is certainly at a very far remove from Luis Posada Carriles’
dreams of violence and hatred.