U.S-trained Honduran military is hunting down anti-government protesters in Honduras, according to the Intercept's report published Tuesday.
Against Honduran law, U.S.-trained and supported special forces agents, TIGRES, have been conducting overnight raids to arrest people.
“They arrived at three in the morning,” a woman's whose home was recently raided and her husband arrested told the Intercept. “My kids were frightened and crying."
The Honduran Secretariat of Security said the arrests were made within the legal course and arrest warrants were issued, along with a prosecutor on spot, and were carried out within the hours allowed by the law.
Per the country's law, search warrants can only be executed between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., but ever since protests against the right-wing incumbent, Juan Orlando Hernandez's which have thrown the country in chaos, numerous cases of night-time raids by the security forces have been reported.
In protests against Hernandez, so far, nearly 35 protesters have been killed by the security forces and others, with hundreds injured, and over 1,000 detained. At least 22 people are reported to be behind bars throughout the country on protest-related charges, according to the Intercept.
According to a report by the Washington Office on Latin America, WOLA, it was revealed that operations carried out by U.S. forces like the Green Berets, the Navy SEALs, and the Army Rangers, tripled in Central America between 2007 and 2014.
The report which analysed a trove of U.S. state department documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act, FOIA request, also stated that in 2007, some 560 foreign troops were trained by 12 JCET members as part of the U.S. Joint Combined Exchange Training, with most of these operations being carried out in Latin America, including Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
Of the 21 registered training events, Honduras attended the largest numbers, occurring between 2011 and 2014, a period marked with "serious allegations levied against Honduran security forces—murder, torture, rape, and extortion—went uninvestigated and unpunished," Sarah Kinosian and Adam Isacson, who co-authored the WOLA report also said in the report.
"During JCET training, US forces in Latin America held joint military drills with local forces and taught combat skills, intelligence gathering and riot control techniques, the documents state. At the same time Americans familiarized themselves with the countries they worked in "with a minimal footprint," learning local languages, culture, and terrain," the report detailed.
"With civil affairs and psychological operations among their chief missions, their purpose is as political as it is military," the report stated. "[JCET] activities often enhance US influence in host countries."
Aside from Latin America, the United States Special Operations Command reach and influence could be found in countries such as Russia, Iran, North Korea, and China, which the Ussocom's commander, Raymond A. Thomas, justified in a 2017 statement saying they had "identified five current and enduring threats in the new National Military Strategy (NMS).
"Although constituting only 2% of the Department's budget and about 2% of its manpower, as a Combatant Command with global responsibilities, USSOCOM plays a critical role in the campaigns against each of these," Thomas added.
According to Tom Dispatch which quoted US Socom spokesman Ken McGraw, in 2017, U.S.' most elite forces conducted missions in nearly 138 countries, roughly covering 70 percent of countries in the world.
"Special Operations Forces are the main effort, or major supporting effort for US VEO-focused operations in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, across the Sahel of Africa, the Philippines, and Central/South America—essentially, everywhere Al Qaeda (AQ) and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are to be found…"