LETTER TO LEE H. HAMILTON FROM JOHN L. HELGERSON RE LETTER REGARDING ALLEGATION

Created: 3/22/1988

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

8

The Honorable Lee H. Hamilton Chairman

Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East Committee on Foreign Affairs House of Representatives Washington, D.

Dear Mr. Chairman:

The enclosed information responds to your letter of8 regarding allegations about CIA connections to death squad activities. ave enjoyed and benefitted from our recent discussions. Please contact me again if there is anything we can do.

Enclosure

- The Honorable Louis stokes

UNCLASSIFIED WHEN SEPARATED FROM ENCLOSURE

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SUBJECT: Response to Chairman Hamilton's Oucstions fon,

the anuary8 New York Times "rfcU? of CIA connections to theSquads in

jm^IlWl: Is it accurateormer Honduran Army sergeant, who has testified that heember of an army death squad was trained by the CIA as an interrogator'

2: is it accurate that Mr. Caballero triedhis death squad activities from the CIA, butand the CIAwell aware or

ANSWER: we have no evidence to substantiate Mr. Caballero's claim that he participated in death squad activities or that he tried to conceal these alleoed activities from the CIA. The Agency was not aware of his involvement in such activities.

QUESTION.3: Was Lt. Colonel Alexander Hernandez, untileading official in the Honduranormer commander of army death squads in Honduras?

.ANSWER: Wc have no evidence to confirm allegations that Honduras involved in death squad activities in

QUESTION A: Were American Embassy officials in Honduras afterward?5Squad activicies at the time or at any time

ANSWER: 2 Agency officialsre of allegations concerning Lt. Colonel Hernandez' involvement in the oisappeSrance of several Central American leftists. harges apparently originated with former colonel Leonidas -Torres Anas who, at that time was involvedowr strugcle with then Commander of the Honduran Armec Forces, Gustavo Alvarez Martinez.

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QUESTION 5: Is it accurate that Lt. Colonel Hernandez erly comnandedthn intelligence unit

When hor. end a t. Colonel Hernandezonduran police intelligence unit which was the precursor toth military intelligence battalion. The Honduran Areed Forces converted thisilitary intelligence, rather than police unit, and placed it under the supervision of the military intelligence division of the Honduran Armed Forces general staff

QUESTIONid this unit conduct death squad activities?

ANSWER: We are not aware of any death squad activities conducted byth battalion.

QUESTION 7: was the CIA aware of such death squad activities?

ANSWER: CIA is not aware of any death squad activities byth HI Battalion, nor of any allegations of such activities byth HI Battalion or its predecessor organization other than those ultimately originating with Colonel Torres Arias, described in the reply tobove. The thrust of available intelligence on death squad activities in Honduras limits such activity to ime frame and places responsibility for it with the Honduran police plain-clothes detective force, the MX. The DNI organization and its personnel continued to functionon-official auxiliary (but without engaging in d< activities'

QUESTION 8: what was the role of the CIA in promotions which Lt, Colonel Hernande2 received?

ANSWER: CIA was not directly or indirectly responsible for promotions received by Lt. Colonel Hernandez.

Original document.

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