Honduras: Iraq mercenaries recruited
On Sept. 19 Honduran defense minister Federico Breve ordered an investigation into a camp the Chicago-based firm Your Solutions was running in the community of Lepaterique to train security personnel for work in US-occupied Iraq. The Honduran daily La Tribuna revealed the training camp's existence, apparently based on evidence from a disgruntled sergeant identified as Wilmer Ruiz.
The company reportedly contracted to send 600 men to Iraq in or before October; it had already sent 36 Hondurans and was planning to send another 353 Hondurans, along with 211 Chileans. Benjamin Canales, Your Solutions director in Honduras, told the recruits they would be paid $900 to $1,500 a month during their six-month tours in Iraq. They were reportedly being trained by US and Chilean teachers in facilities of the state-owned Honduran Forest Development Corporation in a mountainous region 30 km northwest of Tegucigalpa. The instructors "explained to us that where we were going everyone would be our enemy, and we'd have to look at them that way, because they would want to kill us, and the gringos too," an unidentified trainee told the AFP wire service. "So we'd have to be heartless when it was up to us to kill someone, even it was a child."
On Sept. 20 the Honduran government ordered the expulsion of 105 Chilean trainees within 72 hours on the grounds that they lied about their purpose when entering the country on Sept. 8 on 30-day tourist visas. They were bused to the Nicaraguan border at Las Manos on Sept. 23, but Nicaraguan authorities refused to accept them. Governance and Justice Minister Roberto Pacheco extended the time for the Chileans to leave another 72 hours "for humanitarian reasons," he said on Sept. 24. (El Diario-La Prensa, NY, Sept. 22; El Nuevo Herald, Miami, Sept. 24, Terra Honduras, Sept. 25)
Your Solutions has also been recruiting in Nicaragua, according to a report in the Nicaraguan daily Nuevo Diario. The company is represented by a man named David Godoy, who told the paper that he had talked to about 100 potential recruits. Similar recruitment is going on in Peru, according to the Peruvian daily La Republica. The Peruvian company Gesegur SAC ran ads for retired commissioned and non-commissioned military officers from Aug. 21 to Sept. 18; it evaluated applications and then sent them on to 3D Global Solutions in Indiana. (ED-LP, Sept. 23, 25) (The text of an Aug. 15 press release entitled "3D Global Solutions Expands Operations into Latin America and Opens Offices in Lima, Peru" has apparently been removed from the company's website.)
From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Sept. 25