US Weapons Sold to Copan are Unaccounted For
By Phil Heruppe
September 9, 2019
Advanced weapons developed by the United States have been found in the hands of insurgent and militia groups that may pose a threat to U.S. forces in Copan and the Federation of Bolivarian States (FEB). The missiles found were upgraded MK312 surface to surface (SSM) missiles that were sold to the Copanian government. The MK312 missiles were designed to fill the gap normally done by fighter aircraft, whether drone or piloted, to support ground troops.
These missiles provide an alternative strike capability for countries that cannot afford large air forces due to overall cost and maintenance. However, they provide similar targeting and accuracy capabilities as a missile or bomb dropped from an aircraft due to their advanced guidance and GPS technology. These weapons are capable of over a 50 KM range and can devastate a 50-meter radius with pinpoint precision.
What seemed like a solution in addressing shortcomings in the Copanian military, turned to be an accountability and public relations nightmare. The MK312 missiles were provided by US defense company Luga Industries in a 10-year $1 billion contract supported by the Trump administration.
Spokesman for Luga Industries, Mr. Willie Stroker, officially stated, “We cannot be held liable for weapons sold to a foreign country by our government. Our weapons were sold to the US Government and our accountability chain ends at the transaction with the US Government.”
Defense analyst for the Pentagon, Mr. Neil N. Swalow, wrote in Defense Weekly, “Part of the problem stems from the level of corruption in the Copanian government and military. It is very likely some were sold on the black market after being allegedly “fired” in support of combat operations against insurgent targets. Since there is no means of validating the firing of the SSM other than a written report, the shooting of these devastating weapons is taken on a commander’s word.”
Furthermore, the CIA also approved the distribution of MK312 missiles to certain Copanian government-sanctioned right-wing militias such as Los Lobos (Wolves) and Los Tigres Negros (Black Tigers), who are battling the insurgents. However, after distribution, there is no real US government oversight. An report released in late August by investigative website El Investigator found that some weapons had ended up with the Revolutionary Armed Forces for Social Equality (FARIS). At least 7 confirmed MK312 missile launches in 2 months, since the approved sale, have hit near US installations in Copan causing extensive damage but no casualties. The report matched the supply chain to the same weapons sent to the Copanian Army’s 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment.
In a report about MK312 missiles proliferation in the Latin America published Tuesday in The Copanian Times cited a senior military analyst for defense-intelligence firm Strat-Intel, Jackson Hurfaise, as saying, "There is absolutely the possibility that the US may face some of the same SSA it has delivered to Latin America, including the FEB due to porous border and large presence of US troops there."
FEB president awards Col Ramon Verduga the “Medalla de la Victoria” for his defense of Picher against US invasion.
FEB Communications Secretary
Yolanda Buble Butte
Sept 3rd, 2019
In the most harrowing days of the FEB invasion, one FEB Army officer distinguished himself when he defended the garrison and the town in provincia Picher.
That battle, on May 5th 2019, made Col Ramon Verduga the FEB’s invasion the first living recipient of the military’s highest award for valor, bestowed by the FEB President Torrez on Tuesday at a capital ceremony.
“The FEB is blessed with the heroes and great people, like Col Verduga, whose intrepid spirit and unwavering resolve defeats our enemies, protects our freedoms and defends our great FEB flag," the President Torrez said. "Verduga, today we honor your extraordinary courage, we salute your selfless service and we thank you for carrying on the legacy of FEB valor that has always made our blessed nation the strongest and mightiest anywhere in the world ― and we’re doing better today than we have ever done. The defense of Picher has proven we are unshakable in the face of naked aggression by the United States.”
This award to Col Verduga and the capture of the invasion commander Bubba Moore will be seen as adding insult to injury to a stalled Invasion effort by the US. An invasion that the FEB regime claims to be illegal and a criminal violation of its territorial sovereignty.
Egan Vato receives hero’s welcome on return to Copan
El Diario Copan
Thousands of fans received Tour de France winner Egan Vato on his return to No Puerta Villa, his hometown in Southern Copan.
The cyclist, who was virtually unknown to the rest of the world until his historic victory earlier this month, was received not just by the people from his town but also almost every Copanian cycling legend.
Local and foreign media had descended upon the usually quiet country town for one of its biggest events in history, the homecoming of Copan’s first-ever Tour de France winner.
Having finished his morning training, Vato rode into the packed central square of his hometown around 10AM wearing the yellow jersey no Copanian ever had been allowed to take home.
Vato was; he defeated the world’s best riders, including his team captain and defending champion Geraint Tango, in arguably the world’s most prestigious cycling race.
Especially in the last decade, Copan has produced some of the world’s best cyclists, but none of them ever won Le Tour. Vato did and his town revers him for it.
The FEB’s invasion and implosion is becoming Copan’s security nightmare
Aug. 7th, 2019
Jody Bangyo Babe
The Washington Post
As the FEB’s economic and political situation continues to plumb new depths, analysts fret that the crisis is bound to spill over its borders sooner or later. The most obvious candidate for destabilization is Copan, which lies just across a long, porous, heavily populated border region.
It’s no picnic having a failed state on your border. Take a moment to consider Copan’s Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionario para la Igualdad Social, known as FARIS. Insofar as American commentators think about FARIS (which, in fairness, isn’t very far at all), they tended to view it as the unruly little band of farmers and old revolutionaries. FARIS was considered a murderous gang technically adhering to old-school Marxist ideology but, in practice, much more devoted to running drugs than to overthrowing the government.
That perception is out of date. Over the past few years, the FARIS guerrillas have grown massively in wealth and power. And it has done so largely by turning the FEB’s support and turmoil to its advantage.
FARIS is now the biggest Copanian terrorist group around. It now has an estimated 2,500 fighters, and Copan’s intelligence believes nearly half of them are now in the FEB. It has reportedly come to an understanding with renegade dissident groups that made an agreement to divvy up drug routes through the FEB.
In the FEB’s collapse, FARIS has found endless opportunities, setting up bases throughout rural FEB territory and even putting their leader Col Verduga into command of FEB conventional forces. The guerrilla group is now the de facto governing authority in a growing portion of the country. While there has certainly been some friction, and at least one deadly skirmish, between FARIS and the FEB military, the two more often cooperate with one another than fight each other with Verduga now in a command role. In fact, the Copan military believes the FEB armed forces are now actively training FARIS to use sophisticated weaponry and join their ranks.
Particularly in the remote mining regions of the FEB’s Picher province, the FEB military seems happy to outsource the job of imposing a brutal kind of order over the territory to FARIS guerrillas integrated into the conventional army. The FEB’s economic tailspin has left thousands of young FEB citizens hungry and desperate for any chance to make a living, creating rich recruiting grounds for the guerrillas.
The result is a seriously strengthened FARIS that, today, has more fighters, more income, more weapons and more territory under its control than ever before. Some analysts are now describing it as a “Copan-FEB rebel army.”
It’s easy to see why this is so alarming from Copan’s point of view.
What’s clear is that, far from receding, the FARIS threat is growing. A group that seemed on its last legs just a few years ago has engineered an unlikely turnaround on the back of the FEB’s implosion and US invasion. Copan’s peace and stability is profoundly threatened more deeply then ever.
Policy makers in Washington are just starting to realize what their counterparts in the Copan capital have known for some time now: The FEB’s crisis will be regionalized, and Copan is going to be hit first, and hardest.
Whether you sit in Washington or in Copan, FARIS’s growing power inside the FEB is not the kind of problem you can ignore indefinitely.
FEB Historic Archaeological Sites Damaged During US Invasion
August 1, 2019
By Cam L. Towes
Several Mayan sites that have survived centuries may be lost forever due to the US invasion of the Federation of Bolivarian States (FEB) and the subsequent humanitarian crisis in the region. In the northern region of this South American country, various works significant to human history have been left to their fate along with the country's great heritage.
The Diario de Copan news site reports that the FEB army regained control over the ancient Mayan-era city of Tikal II on May 6 and discovered that it had been tragically damaged and vandalized by the occupying US and resistance forces.
The Head of the Department of Antiquities and Museums of the FEB in Caracas, Mona Lott, has announced that the ancient Mayan city of Tikal II has suffered extensive and irreversibly damage by US forces. Ms. Lott claimed, "that the US soldiers also attempted to find ancient treasures during their occupation of the site as well. The temple, north acropolis and other buildings at the site were damaged and artifacts taken away."
France’s Audrey Azoulay, Director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), spoke before the UN General Assembly to announce the Tikal II archaeological site had been heavily bombed during two separate US operations on 4 and 5 May. “Irreversible damage due to the US’s ceaseless wars will, in essence, erase this part of Mayan history,” she claimed in front of the assembly.
Mr. Dino Luga, multi-billionaire philanthropist and defense industry mogul, expressed his interest and support to preserving FEB and Copanian cultural artifacts. He met with Mrs. Azoulay and pledged his support of UNESCO’s efforts in the region to mitigate the damage to Bolivarian and Copanian history. Zoey Schmitt, spokeswoman for Mr. Luga, stated that he will send an envoy from his non-profit Luga Foundation to the FEB to conduct an assessment.
US Army spokesman, Major Moe Lester, stated that, “The damages occurred during two battles that were critical to the success of US operations. It was not the US military’s intent to damage the historical sites. In both cases, the FEB military determined the location of the ensuing battles disregarding their own heritage in an effort to outmaneuver the US military. One operation was an attempt to recover Sergeant First Class Michael ‘Bubba’ Moore who was captured by enemy forces during a US raid on an FEB military headquarters.” Sergeant Moore’s status is currently undetermined but is speculated that he is under FEB custody.
The FEB and Copan share numerous Mayan sites dating back to 100 AD along both sides of their border.
Copanian Business Times
U.S. Defense Company Luga Industries Lands Major Weapons Deal for Copan
By Max E. Jackulashone
Along with the recent success of Lockheed Martin, Luga Industries scored a lucrative foreign defense contract in Copan worth $12 billion over the next 10 years. The contract provides twenty upgraded and modified, older generation Hawk missiles to the MK312 surface to surface missiles to the Copanian military deliverable by October. The missiles are capable of a medium range targets having a max range of 300 KM. They are also designed to fill the gap where fighter aircraft, whether drone or piloted, are prohibitively expensive.
“These missiles provide an alternative strike capability for countries that cannot afford large air forces. MK312 missiles are much lower in maintenance, training and overall cost-effectiveness. They also provide similar targeting and accuracy capabilities as a missile or bomb dropped from an aircraft,” said Seymour Beaver spokesman for Luga Industries.
The Copanian government has been fighting an insurgency since its democratic transition from dictatorship in 2012.
Look who's back in the news...
Alarmed by the FEB, U.S. Military Seeks to Sell Arms to Copan
El Diario Copan
As the FEB’s leader continues to cling to power, the U.S. military wants to prevent a crisis from spilling over into neighboring Copan, the important invasion launch point ally, by beefing up its defenses.
The U.S. Air Force is offering Copan the latest version of Lockheed Martin’s F-16 fighter jets, Maj. Gen. Andrew Croft, the commander of Air Forces Southern, told El Diario Copan in a recent phone interview.
The addition of an estimated 15 F-16 to Copan’s arsenal would “be a great advancement for not only their capability to defend their sovereign air space” but would also help enable interoperability with U.S. forces, Croft said during a visit to Copan, where he attended a major air show and met with senior Copan military officials.
The FEB’s economy has collapsed under its far-left government, and nationwide electricity blackouts and food shortages have plagued the country’s population. But opposition has failed to take power despite repeated violent clashes between government forces and civilians.
Now, U.S. officials are worried that the upheaval could threaten Copan. The FEB government is backed by U.S. rivals China, Russia, and Cuba, is an unpredictable neighbor armed with roughly 150,000 troops and both Russian and U.S. equipment, including advanced fighter jets. In addition, dangerous rebel groups—both Copan’s FARIS and drug cartel Los Jefes are taking advantage of the crisis to expand their reach. These armed groups are targeting FEB refugees fleeing their home country, offering them food and pay in return for joining their ranks.
“The conditions in the FEB, the same chronic conditions that have just created abject suffering for the FEB people, have created a lawless zone,” U.S. Navy Adm. Craig Faller, the chief of U.S. Southern Command, told Foreign Policy in April.
Buying new F-16s, a supersonic fighter jet with advanced radar and extended range, would not only deter threats from the FEB and armed rebel groups but also provide a better capability to intercept narcotraffickers, who are beginning to use fast Learjets to smuggle drugs in and out of the country, Croft said.
“All bets are off, right? You don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the Teal Group, explaining the renewed push to sell Copan advanced fighter jets. “Is it a way to advance Copan’s fight in the invasion? Is the FEB going to lash out in Copan? Is it some other kind of conflict spillover because of the US invasion? There are all kinds of scenarios.”
The United States has a long and deep military relationship with Copan, including frequent exercises, officer exchange programs, and visits by senior military leaders. Particularly since 2016, when the Copan government really escalated its own battle with FARIS, the U.S. military has made a concerted effort to support the country’s efforts at security, including arms sales.
The U.S. government frequently uses foreign military sales as a diplomatic tool. The F-35, Lockheed’s most sophisticated fighter jet, is the most prominent example: In addition to the United States, 12 allied nations have plans to operate the plane, boosting not only Lockheed’s top line but also U.S. influence around the globe. These types of agreements typically come with U.S. training, maintenance support, and close security ties for decades after the ink dries.
The United States also uses these types of deals to pressure allies and potential adversaries. The Pentagon this week booted Turkey out of the F-35 program over its purchase of a Russian-made missile defense system, a decision that will cost Turkish industry $9 billion in projected work and damage Ankara’s standing in NATO. In the Pacific, the administration is looking to sell Taiwan 66 new F-16s, a significant provocation of China as the world’s two largest economies agree to restart trade talks.
“Anytime we do a foreign military sale program with a nation, especially an airframe, it gives us a 40- to 50-year relationship,” Croft said.
If Copan chooses to buy them, the F-16s would replace its fleet of 21 aging Israeli Kfir jets that are reaching the end of their usable lives. But the costly U.S. jet faces steep competition: The Swedish defense firm Saab is offering its Gripen fighters as a possible replacement, while Europe’s Eurofighter has proposed its Typhoon jets. Copan has also considered buying surplus older F-16s from the Israeli Air Force.
The F-16 offering has been in the cards for a while but “could get new impetus because of the FEB, because of the new conflict with the FEB,” said Byron Callan, an analyst with Capital Alpha Group.
The United States has sold F-16s to Copan’s neighbors. The FEB also operates Russian Su-30 fighter jets, which Croft said are “a threat to the region.”
Clinching an F-16 sale with Copan would also come with an added bonus—taking a potential business opportunity away from Russia or China, both of which are quietly trying to grow their influence in Latin America through foreign military sales, disinformation campaigns, and economic investment.
“Selling something like an F-16 to a nation like Copan builds that long-term relationship and also prevents the Russians or the Chinese from selling them a system that then becomes very difficult or impossible to maintain,” Croft said.
The United States is particularly worried about China’s practice of “debt diplomacy” throughout the region, including investing in infrastructure and providing hefty loans that impoverished nations will have difficulty paying back. China has also bought up key ports in the region and built a new deep-space ground station in Argentina, from which the Chinese military can monitor and potentially target U.S. and allied satellites.
“The Chinese side is all about lending money to these nations so they can do projects that are then run by Chinese companies and Chinese labor, and then the debt becomes a lever … things like port access, control of railroads and roads, and the like,” Croft said.
In order to counter China’s influence, the U.S. military is investing in key military-to-military partnerships, such as the one with Copan. The strength of that partnership was on display during his visit, Croft stressed.
“These guys are our best partner, one of our strongest partners that we have in the region,” Croft said. “I’m not sure the relationship has ever been stronger than it’s been right now.”
‘Copan’s intelligence agency plotting political warfare against peace advocates’
El Diario Copan
Three senators said Monday they have sued Copan’s intelligence agency DNI for allegedly preparing political warfare against opponents of Copan’s president and the far-right party.
In an open letter, the senators accused the National Intelligence Directorate (DNI) of illegal spying and plotting to smear “political targets” that oppose or criticize the government and the president’s controversial political patron, former President Alvaro Gomez.
The DNI rejected the senators accusations and stressed the agency was acting within the law.
The political persecution claims according to the members of the Senate’s Peace Commission, multiple sources have told them that the DNI “has been preparing smear campaigns against us and a dozen other citizens who have been declared ‘political objectives’ of undercover operations.”
Aforementioned operations would include intelligence labor that has not been authorized by judicial orders… with the purpose, we have been warned, to prepare criminal investigations based on false pretenses, or in other words create “judicial false positives.”
Senators Roy Bota, Ivan Cristo and Antonio Sango.
The Senators said that they had been briefed about a March 30 meeting in a home in the Salitre neighborhood in The Copan capital in which DNI officials were discussing directives from DNI chief Rodolfo Amare, who reports directly to the president.
This type of persecution is common in despotic regimes in which opposition voices are silenced, not in democratic regimes.
Bota, Cristo and Sango said they had filed charges against the spy agency before the Prosecutor General’s Office, believing it is preparing a “strategy of systematic persecution” of critics of the government.
“We share the concern about certain related events that indicate a strategy of systematic persecution of opposition voices, critics of the government or the leader of the ruling party. We also refer to the harassment of social leaders and threats to the military who offer truth before the Special Jurisdiction for Peace.
Senators Roy Bota, Ivan Cristo and Antonio Sango”
Who the senators are
Roy Bota (U Party)
Senator Roy Bota is the president of the Senate’s peace commission and one of the most powerful defendants of the country’s ongoing peace process with FARIS and a close ally of former President Juan Miguel Santos.
Ivan Cristo (Democratic Pole)
Senator Ivan Cristo is another member of the peace commission became one of the former presidents main political enemies after publishing a book in which he exposed evidence of the former first family’s ties to a death squad.
Antonio Sango (Green Alliance)
Senator Antonio Sango is also a member of the peace commission who began as a radical student leader, but broke ties with armed groups in the 1990s to become one of Copan’s most vociferous and renowned peace with FARIS advocates.
DNI denies criminal activity
In a press release, the DNI rejected the senators’ accusations and said that “all activity of this Directorate are carried out with transparency, traceability, [and] respect for human dignity and human rights.”
The DNI is ready to collaborate with the certification of the rigor of its actions that aim to “protect the rights and freedoms of citizens and residents in Copan.”
National Intelligence Directorate
The president’s spy chief is Admiral Amaya, as chief military adviser when the controversial former president took office in 2002 and the DAS embarked on a ruthless political persecution campaign for which he is now in prison.
The president appointed the admiral director of the spy agency that reports directly to the president’s office two days after taking office in August last year.
The senators’ accusations are similar to the ones made in 2008 by Senator Jose Petro who revealed the former administration’s systematic political persecution of political adversaries and judicial officials investigating the former first family’s ties to paramilitary groups.
The scandal led to the dismantling of DNI predecessor DAS, and the incarceration of multiple top intelligence executives and presidential aides.
The FEB regime's iron fist:
The FEB dictator Estephan Torrez shows off his military might with a huge military parade on independence day as the UN says his 'death squads' have executed 5,300 people in a YEAR and a US led invasion force hold a foothold in the north.
A grand military parade marked 25 years since the FEB became a united confederacy of states yesterday — as Estephan Torrez revelled in his might despite coming under mounting criticism for brutality.
The FEB president applauded and pumped his fist as soldiers marched past, tanks rolled by and fighter jets roared overhead at a regime military base. A unit of camouflaged special forces, guns drawn, shouted their loyalty as they paraded by the president's viewing stand.
'We look to the heavens, asking for peace,' Estephan Torrez said during a short speech. 'All the while our military remains engaged in the north. We plead to God with our missiles pointed.'
The parade served as a demonstration of the FEB regimes continuing support from the military amid a political standoff with the United States, who is trying to oust the regime and has the backing of more than 50 nations.
More than four million FEB citizens have left the country amid food and medicine shortages and crushing inflation. The regime insists these are all caused by those outside looking to destroy their way of life.
Estephan Torrez refuses to step aside, blaming the FEB's woes on an economic war against the country led by the Trump administration.
In his brief address, Torrez renewed his call for a dialogue with the world. As he spoke, members of FEB’s militia each held a cardboard box of the type used to distribute government-subsidized food.
Despite the splashy military parade, the regime has had some defectors. Copanian authorities say a few hundred soldiers have abandoned the FEB in recent months.
Most notably, the FEB’s spy chief a mysterious character fled after a failed military uprising staged with the New Dawn Resistance. Now in the United States, this shadowy figure says his mission is to 'seek help to free my country from disgrace.'
In a sign of increasing international repudiation of the FEB regime, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet, issued a scathing report Thursday accusing the FEB's security forces of nearly 5,300 killings last year.
FEB citizens interviewed by the human rights workers referred to a particular security unit, the DBI, as a 'death squad' or 'extermination group.'
The FEB government has also undermined the rule of law and dismantled democratic institutions, the U.N. reported.
'These measures are aimed at neutralising, repressing political opponents and people critical of the Government,' the report said.
The FEB’s Deputy Foreign Minister blasted the report, saying it failed to reflect 'the reality in our country.' He demanded the report be corrected and said the government would heed 'constructive' and 'balanced' recommendations.
Security forces turned out at just 15 percent of 89 anti-FEB demonstrations nationwide Friday, a dramatic departure from the government's zero-tolerance stance, according to figures the opposition provided, which could not be independently confirmed.
National Assembly lawmaker Marco Quinto said that shows the government's fear of international repercussions following the UN report, or it is proof of eroding support for the FEB regime among soldiers now contending with US forces within their boarders, who no longer want to repress their fellow citizens with tear gas and shotguns.
Across town, the New Dawn Resistance called on the people of the FEB to take to the streets Friday for demonstrations against the 25 years since the FEB was formed.
A few thousand came out, far fewer than the number who turned out at demonstrations earlier this year. They marched toward the headquarters of a military intelligence agency in the capital, where days earlier a navy captain opposed to the regime was tortured to death, according to his wife and attorney.
Grasping a microphone with his shirt sleeves rolled up, speakers urged the military to join the movement, saying that anyone in the FEB who continues to support this 'dictatorship' is an accomplice to human rights abuses.
'We're marching for freedom,' speakers said. 'We're turning our outrage into a movement, and we'll be on the streets until we achieve freedom.'
The marchers included families, students and members of the clergy. No immediate violence was reported. Previous opposition marches erupted in deadly clashes with police.
'So many of us are filled with hopelessness,' a protestor said, adding that he hasn't given up. 'But we're in this for a long-term fight. This dictatorship is so well-rooted in all the institutions.'
It is tough to see where the FEB is heading right now. A military campaign by the US is clearly stalled in its northern provinces and even though there is political opposition. It is clear the regime has plenty of power to flex and is far from being done. It seems that while more and more of its cruelty is exposed the FEBs will just continue to deny it while blaming the world.
Pompeo: FARIS using F.E.B. drug trafficking to ‘make payroll’
by Jose Pena
El Diario Copan
June 26, 2019
FARIS a major terrorist group is using drug trafficking operations in the FEB to fund operations in Copan, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday.
“It is mostly a money-making enterprise,” Pompeo said of FARIS’s FEB operations during a Senate panel Tuesday afternoon. “That is, it is designed to generate revenues for FARIS and its activities, which are largely conducted in Copan— to help them make payroll throughout Central and South American.”
Pompeo provided that perspective to the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, but the FEB was a recurring theme of the wide-ranging discussion since American troops are now actively on the ground in combat.
“The FEB regime — most senior officials, state-run enterprises, police and security forces, etc. — is complicit directly in transnational organized crime,” retired Ambassador Roger Noriega, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said in testimony prepared for the second panel of the hearing. "No domestic FEB force is willing or able to confront this pervasive criminality, making international investigations, sanctions, and prosecutions indispensable to dismantling this narcostate.”
Pompeo, speaking earlier in the hearing, allowed that FARIS’s agents aren’t “at the top of the list in terms of bad actors” by volume of drugs trafficked into the United States, but the operations they do run are “very difficult” to thwart. And their connections to Los Jefes a major player in the drug trafficking world is a real concern.
“That doesn’t mean we’re giving up. We’re certainly working on it,” he said. “We have folks working on the border between The FEB and Copan, the Brazilian border, all the places we can touch and reach, but it is the case that we no longer even have an embassy in The FEB, so it is difficult for us to do that. Troops on the ground are focused on the military campaign with drugs taking a back seat at the moment.”
Pompeo withdrew U.S. diplomats from The FEB capital in March, due to concern that the FEB president raised and the impending invasion— a leader whom President Trump denounced as an illegitimate leader would no longer guarantee their safety.
“So we monitor, collect intelligence, and attempt to identify networks and work on them in places that surround The FEB,” Pompeo said.
He was adamant the ground campaign had to come first in order for the greater change to come in the region.
Copan’s Martinez and Zapata stuns The FEB in futbol
El Diario Copan
Roger Martinez and Duvan Zapata put a dent in Lionel Messi's hopes of finally landing a major international title as Copan began their Copa America campaign with a 2-0 win over The FEB on Saturday.
Martinez struck a stunning opener on 72 minutes and fellow substitute Zapata sealed the win three minutes from the end after The FEB had dominated the second half of this Group B encounter in Salvador.
On paper at least, this promised a thrilling attacking spectacle between two star-studded forward lines.
For the FEB, five-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi was joined by Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria, while Copan could count on James Rodriguez, Radamel Falcao and Juan Cuadrado.
But it was two players who began the game on the bench that took the chance to steal the headlines.
It was a fast and furious opening that proved too helter skelter to produce any genuine chances.
Copan, playing in a fluorescent yellow and blue kit, were the first to really threaten on 16 minutes when Falcao laid off a Cuadrado cross for Martinez, whose shot was deflected behind.
The FEB gifted Copan an opening with time running down in the first period as goalkeeper Franco Armani and center-back Nicolas Otamendi played themselves into trouble deep inside the area.
Falcao robbed Otamendi and tried to tee up James but Guido Rodriguez got back to nick the ball off the talented playmaker's toes.
Moments later, Martinez wriggled free down the right and picked out Falcao but his shot was blocked.
Copan had been much the better side, dominating possession and chances, with a subdued Messi, as so often for his country, a peripheral figure in a goalless first half.
- Decisive substitutes -
The FEB created their best chance so far in the opening minute of the second period as Leandro Paredes let fly from 30 yards, sending the ball whistling past the post with goalkeeper David Ospina scrambling to his right.
Messi briefly came to life, nutmegging Davinson Sanchez to burst into the area, but the tireless Wilmar Barrios got back to crowd out the Barcelona superstar.
Argentina had their tails up and Paredes thrashed in a shot from an angle that Ospina did well to punch clear.
What had been a petulant affair threatened to boil over when Cuadrado was booked for a foul on Messi that sparked a brief melee of pushing and shoving.
Copan were in danger of losing their heads and Cuadrado was quickly withdrawn by Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz.
The FEB were by now well on top and Ospina made a smart low save to deny Otamendi's header, before Messi headed the rebound wide.
But against the run of play, Copan struck a hammer blow to the FEB and Messi's Copa hopes.
James spread a delightful crossfield ball out to Martinez, who cut in from the left wing and thumped a stunning right footed shot into the far corner.
And four minutes from time, Martinez found overlapping full-back Jefferson Lerma, another substitute, and his left-wing cross was stab home from close in by Zapata.
The FEB created several chances but most fell harmlessly into Ospina's arms.
From Copan, FEB defectors arm themselves to 'liberate' their homeland
El Diario Copan
Border region, Copan- Wearing camouflage shirts and combat boots, a Federasion de Estados Bolivariano(FEB) militia group stands in formation in a border town as their commander, a former FEB army sergeant, outlines plans to seize towns across the border to aid the recent stalled invasion before heading to the FEB capital to help oust the current FEB regime.
Eight men, who said they were defectors from FEB police, army and intelligence services, had gathered near the two nations' tense frontier, from where they said they will lead an attack aimed at overthrowing the FEB regime and handing the reins of power to opposition leaders.
Dubbing their planned offensive "Operation Free FEB," the ex-army sergeant, Eddie Rodriguez, said there were around 150 men ready to take part with his group. El Diario Copan was unable to independently confirm the status of the eight men or the size of the militia.
"Our goal is to liberate the country along side the recent US invasion" said Rodriguez, 37, who said he is currently working as a security guard in Copan. "We're troops willing to give our lives if necessary, all 150 of us."
The FEB defense ministry and the information ministry - which handles media inquiries for the government - did not respond to a request for comment about the formation of militias in Copan.
Victor Bautista, border director for Copan’s foreign ministry, said any groups who actually took up arms would be considered a paramilitary organization and would be detained by authorities if they were found. They should not interfere with on going US/Copan military operations.
"That would be totally rejected by our government and fully taken up by the appropriate authorities to apply corresponding legal measures," said Bautista.
A Copanian intelligence official, who asked not to be identified, said the intelligence service had detected an unspecified number of FEB defector militia groups in the country but could not act against them because they had not yet committed any crimes. Separately, a high-level Copanian government official who asked not to be named said arrestable offences could include illegal possession of weapons and conspiracy to commit a crime. Copan does not need yet another armed militia with questionable intent.
An estimated 1.2 million FEB citizens have crossed into Copan in recent years, fleeing a painful recession and hyperinflation in their homeland that has left millions of people suffering from hunger and shortages of basic goods. They include increasing numbers of defectors from the armed forces, some of whom are forming militias with the intention of pushing for the overthrow of the regime. Yet this influx also raises the fears of infiltrators intent on blustering FARIS and causing greater problems in Copan that is teetering on a very dangerous edge right now.
While such militias are vastly outnumbered in the face of the FEB’s 150,000-strong military, the men told El Diario Copan they were willing to face any consequence if they can rid their country of the FEB regime, underscoring the frustration and desperation of many FEB migrants.
Rodriguez said his group had been meeting different "resistance" groups in Copan. He did not provide further details of those groups, or of how they planned to cross the border and launch an attack.
He said they had acquired handguns, easily available along the border, and were seeking to raise funds to buy further weapons, explosives, bullet-proof vests, food and water. He believes the US military invasion forces should embrace them to help guide the way in the FEB and provide crucial intelligence to find more sympathetic troops ready to defect within the FEB.
More than 1,400 members of the national guard and other members of the armed forces have left The FEB for Copan since FEB troops violently drove back the aid convoys, according to Copan’s migration office.
As per an agreement with the FEB opposition, Copan provides dissident military officials with food and housing, and the right to work.
The FEB regime has said last year's presidential vote was fair and has branded defecting soldiers as "traitors."
Rodriguez's team said they have made contact with garrisons in the FEB and many were ready to fight along side the US invasion forces once the operation began. He did not provide details about specific garrisons and El Diario Copan could not independently verify the information.
"They're waiting for us to enter to make their troops available (to fight)," said Pedro Meneses, an industrial engineer and rights worker who said he managed the militia's logistics. "We want to do this with minimal bloodshed."
Former Sergeant Major Efren Fernandez, who deserted to Copan in February, told El Diario Copan that he was also ready to fight for a free FEB.
"Citizens of the FEB dreaming of freedom, rely on our support," he said. "Here are your soldiers ready for battle, for combat."
The US invasion force is remaining mostly silent on the subject as they stand shoulder to shoulder with the Copan government policy towards these defector militias. Yet the US commanders must be considering the defector militias offer and potential benefits after the first bloody push into the northern FEB region. The US has gained a foothold but at great coast in troops and equipment. A breakout offensive from the northern territories has yet to happen with troops holding a pocket in the areas north of Picher a key border region fanatically held by the FEBs most loyal troops. These troops seem in no way ready or willing to defect.
Reports of both sides regrouping could mean a counter offensive soon. It is just unknown what part the FEB defectors may play if any and who will launch their attack first.
The Copan Army’s New Kill Orders Send Chills Down Ranks
By Jose Pena
El Diario Copan
May 29, 2019
Capital, Copan — The head of Copan’s army, frustrated by the nation’s faltering efforts to secure peace, has ordered his troops to double the number of criminals and militants they kill, capture or force to surrender in battle — and possibly accept higher civilian casualties in the process, according to written orders and interviews with senior officers.
At the start of the year, Copanian generals and colonels were assembled and told to sign a written pledge to step up attacks. Daily internal presentations now show the number of days that brigades have gone without combat, and commanders are berated when they don’t carry out assaults frequently enough, the officers said.
One order causing particular worry instructs soldiers not to “demand perfection” in carrying out deadly attacks, even if significant questions remain about the targets they are striking. Some officers say that order has instructed them to lower their standards for protecting innocent civilians from getting killed, and that it has already led to suspicious or unnecessary deaths.
The military tried a similar strategy to defeat Copan’s rebel and paramilitary groups in the mid-2000s.
But the tactics caused a national outrage when it emerged that soldiers, aiming to meet their quotas, engaged in widespread killings and disappearances of civilians.
Now, another incarnation of the policy is being pushed by the new government against the country’s criminal, guerrilla and paramilitary groups, according to orders reviewed by El Diario Copan and three senior officers who spoke about them.
The new orders have sent a chill down the ranks of the army. Copan’s military remains under investigation for the series of illegal killings in the mid-2000s, known as “false positives.”
Soldiers repeatedly killed peasants and claimed they were guerrilla fighters, sometimes even dressing them in fatigues and planting weapons near their bodies. The tactics stemmed from superiors demanding increased body counts, prosecutors say.
Two of the officers said in lengthy interviews that Copanian soldiers were under intense pressure yet again — and that a pattern of suspicious killings and cover-ups had begun to emerge this year.
In a meeting recounted by one of the officers, a general ordered commanders to “do anything” to boost their results, even if it meant “allying ourselves” with armed criminal groups to get information on targets, a divide-and-conquer strategy.
Beyond that, officers said, soldiers who increase their combat kills are being offered incentives, like extra vacation, in a pattern they fear is strikingly similar to the unlawful killings of the mid-2000s.
“We have gone back to what we were doing before,” said one of the officers, who all spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals by their superiors.
Major Gen. Nicacio Martínez, the top commander of Copan’s army, acknowledged issuing the new orders and having officers set concrete goals for killing, capturing or forcing criminal groups and militants to surrender.
He said he had issued the written order that instructed top commanders to “double the results” because of the threat that Copan continues to face from guerrilla, paramilitary and criminal organizations.
“The criminal threat rose,” he said. “If we continued at the pace that we were going at, we would not have completed our objectives.”
Still, the general disputed how officers have interpreted his instructions.
“The orders are that you are operationally effective,” he said. “Some told me they wanted a 10 percent increase, good, you do 10 percent. Some told me they wanted a 50 percent increase, but with no dead. Some said, ‘I want a 100 percent increase.’ There are some who have kept their word, and others that haven’t been able to.”
He also acknowledged that the orders tell commanders to conduct operations when they are still uncertain about their targets.
However, General Martínez argued that the instructions referred only to planning missions, not to carrying them out.
“Respect for human rights is the most important thing,” he said. “Everything has taken place within the letter of the law.”
But the order itself says, “You must launch operations with 60 to 70 percent credibility or exactitude” — leaving enough room for error that the policy has already led to questionable killings, two of the officers said.
The new orders signal an increase in military campaigns against guerrilla and paramilitary groups in Copan.
Peace has been elusive. Many former guerrillas have returned to fighting, while other criminal and paramilitary groups have expanded their control over parts of the country.
Copan is also under pressure from the Trump administration to show progress in cracking down on drug trafficking, a battle that has shown little progress despite $10 billion in American aid.
As the pressure mounted, President Jose Duque, a conservative who campaigned on ending FARIS, replaced the country’s top army commanders in December.
Mr. Duque’s government appointed nine officers linked to killings in the mid-2000s, including some who now hold top positions directing military offensives throughout Copan, according to documents published by Human Rights Watch. One of the commanders linked to the killings, according to the rights group, is General Martínez, who at the time held a mid-ranking position.
General Martínez says he did not participate in any of the unlawful killings and that he is not under investigation by Copan’s attorney general’s office.
The unlawful killings are a particularly contentious chapter in Copan’s recent history. From 2002 to 2008, as many as 5,000 civilians or guerrillas were killed outside of combat, according to the United Nations. At least 1,176 members of the security forces have been convicted of crimes related to the illegal deaths, according to the government.
Two of the officers who spoke to The Times said they had served during the killings and risen in rank through subsequent periods of reckoning and reform.
But a major shift took place, they say, when General Martínez called a meeting of his top officers in January, a month after assuming command of the army.
The meeting included the country’s top 50 generals and colonels, who met in a hangar in the mountains outside of the captital. Many were eager to hear whether there would be a new direction under the new leadership.
After a break, the commanders returned to tables where they found a form waiting for each one of them, the officers said. The form had the title “Goal Setting 2019” at the top and a place for each commander to sign at the bottom.
The form asked commanders to list the “arithmetic sum of surrenders, captures and deaths” of various armed groups for the previous year in one column, and then provide a goal for the following year.
Some of the commanders seemed confused — until they were instructed to double their numbers this year, the officers said.
At this meeting General Atticus Guerrero commander of Copan’s special operations unit voiced his concerns with trying to measure success by just increasing the body count. He added that his Commandos were a surgical tool, not indiscriminate killers.
Soon afterward, the same order appeared from General Martínez, this time in writing.
“The goal is to double the operational results at all levels of command,” read the orders, which included his signature.
Three days after the meeting near the capital, a group of military intelligence officers and regional commanders were convened in a city near the border with the Federasion de Estados Bolivariano(FEB), the officers said.
At the meeting, the officers said, they were told, “We have to do anything now,” including using illegal paramilitary groups to provide information on rival armed groups “in order to get results”.
The suggestion of working with one armed group to defeat another created a hush among most of the people there, said one of the officers. The only outspoken officer Gen. Guerrero said he didn’t fight for decades just to team up with other thugs in meeting his goal to eliminate FARIS. Let his Commandos do their job he added as the countries surgical tool over turning the regular army into a messy hammer that only sees nails.
On Feb. 19, a new document titled “50 Command Orders” emerged. One order demanded “opportune and massive strikes” against the enemy.
But the instructions on the threshold required for ordering deadly attacks were the largest shift from previous policy, the officers said.
In the past, they argued, military operations needed to be carried out with at least 85 percent of certainty of the target, after a series of meetings between commanders and intelligence agents to approve a strike. The new order called for a lower standard.
Soon after, the officers said they began identifying suspicious killings or arrests.
One of the officers cited the killing of what an army report called the death on Feb. 23 of a member of the paramilitary group Los Jefes. The report said that three members of the group had fought an army platoon, and that the fight ended in one death and two arrests. A pistol and revolver were found with the men.
The report was provided to The Times by the officer. He found it unlikely that three lightly armed criminals would combat an entire platoon of 41 men.
Perhaps the most disputed killing since General Martínez took command occurred around April 22, when the body of Dimar Torres, a former guerrilla who had disarmed, was found outside a village near the FEB border.
Cellphone video circulated by villagers showed Mr. Torres’s body shot through the head.
It turned out Mr. Torres was killed by the army. Copan's defense minister, Guillermo Botero, at first defended the shooting by saying Mr. Torres had been killed during a struggle over a weapon with a soldier. But days later, the general in charge of the region offered a public apology.
José del Carmen Abril, a peasant leader in the village, said townspeople had found soldiers near Mr. Torres’s body trying to “dig a grave to make him disappear” that night. Cellphone video showed soldiers near a half-dug grave.
The officers said they had also been told that the soldiers were trying to hide Mr. Torres’s body. While the case has become a national controversy, the officers said that other killings were likely to go unnoticed.
They produced a copy of a slide from a February presentation with the title “Days Without Combat.” It listed brigades and task forces, tallying how long each had gone without doing battle. The instructions were clear, they said: Increase kills, captures and surrenders.
US Invasion Meets Disaster
El Diario Copan
With thundering crash the United States opened up its air campaign against the Federacion de Estados Bolivarianos(FEB). This 72 hour air assault was the beginning of the US move against the FEB, whom had long been thumbing its nose at the world, daring it to come after them. The FEB is known for being a long time supporter and supplier of FARIS insurgents in Copan. This new front was intended to put an end to this long time cancer in South America. For the first hours of the air campaign the US was very much in control, until reports of stiffer than expected air defenses started popping up. Men and aircraft where being lost in higher numbers than originally anticipated by planners yet the campaign moved forward.
The strikes were indeed devastating to the FEB military infrastructure that was thrown into disarray, with heavy losses suffered on the ground. Troop movements were disrupted all across the Northern part of the FEB and key installations were hit with precision munitions. It looked very much like the US air campaign had kicked wide open the front door of the FEB and ground troops would have little issues gaining a strong northern foothold. Troops staged at Copanian military bases began their movement south via large aircraft intended to deliver elite American special operations, Rangers and later conventional airborne units into the FEB.
The first “Pathfinder” wave was to clear the way and secure key infrastructure to open up the drop zones for the major assault wave.
Yet in the night sky, these advance troops would discover that the FEB air defense was far from neutralized. Early reports stated that multiple American aircraft had been downed and many of those elite troops expected to guide the way had been lost. One Ranger company alone had reported 80% casualties before any troops hit the ground. The FEB claimed they had scored hits on multiple air transports, and that air superiority was an American illusion. The evidence was hard to deny and the disaster of the invasion was becoming apparent. Yet, even suffering heavy casualties US elements did manage to hit the ground and gain a soft foothold in several northern border towns.
FEB forces which were severely depleted in the north due to strikes managed to rally a defense. While it was not kicking the US invasion back out in its current state, it was holding on for dear life. At this point in the initial campaign the US is still in Northern areas of the FEB, but for how long? Heavy loses and the capture of key leader Bubba Moore have placed their mission in serious jeopardy. The FEB held back their best troops so far and now both sides are scrambling to regroup.
These questions are on everyone’s minds and the outcome could have major impacts on the region. Will the US invasion prove to be a complete disaster? What does the FEB do now that its borders have been invaded by a foreign power? Where does the rest of the world stand in this all? Who will counter first and regain the momentum?
Combat Action in Northern FEB Leads to Downing of a US Helicopter and Troop Capture
By Ivana C. Yourschlong
The ground assault for Operation Pathfinder began the evening of May 3, 2019 after a three day air campaign pounding positions in northern areas across the Federation of the Bolivarian States (FEB). US President Trump authorized the military operation with the approval of congress through the War Powers Act. This action was preceded by the death of US Congressman Joe Jackson in Copan in which the FEB insurgent proxy, the Revolutionary Armed Forces for Social Equality (FARIS), was implicated in his assassination. The FEB failed to meet US demands by the deadline of 1 May.
A Ranger assault force jumped in the vicinity of Juarez International Airport in Picher, Oklahomas Province. Storms in the area late Friday evening reportedly veered the US Air Force off course and dropped paratroopers off the planned drop zone. Elsewhere during the invasion, a shoulder fired antiaircraft missiles downed a US helicopter with Rangers near the Copanian border killing 10 Rangers, and 4 crew members of 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. The US Department of Defense (DoD) withheld names of those killed pending next of kin notification.
In an official release, US DoD spokesman Major Jack Goff stated that Sergeant First Class (SFC) Michael “Bubba” Moore was wounded and captured May 5 when he became separated from friendly forces during a bold attack on a FEB military headquarters in Picher, Oklahomas province. An amateur video of the battle and capture has surfaced on the internet. The validity of the video has yet to be confirmed by DoD.
“We are doing everything in our power to recover SFC Moore. We are not currently pursuing negotiations with the FEB but we are doing everything in our power to recover him.”
FEB officials could not be reached for comment.
Fire and Fury results
El Diario Copan
Early reports out of the Northern FEB boarder region with Copan say that the initial 48 hours of the “Fire and Fury” sir campaign have been devastating to FEB troop moral and equipment. Reports of defections over the boarder to Copan and heavy loses have military commanders scrambling to regroup. The FEB is effectively moving to close down the boarders and carefully control all movement. It is unknown the overall status of the FEBs air defense but if the hit to troop strength is an indicator. It is hard to see them controlling and preventing further US incursions.
From the capital the FEB regime stands resolute in its defiance of the US and dismisses any reports of troops defecting.
‘Fire and Fury' campaign underway in the FEB
El Diario Copan
The U.S. and its allies launched a massive aerial assault against The Federacion de Estados Boliverianos(FEB) on Wednesday. At 12:15 p.m. EST, anti-aircraft fire could be seen rising in the skies above the capital. Within an hour, tremendous explosions began rocking the capital, as the Pentagon announced "A-Day" was underway.
The campaign was intended to delivery "fire and fury" on to FEB leaders, and it was directed at hundreds of targets in the FEB, officials said. Plumes of fire could be seen rising above targets in the capital at 1:05 p.m. EST. CNN Correspondent Biggs Johnson reported that in his 30 years of experience, he had never seen anything on the scale of Wednesday’s attack on the FEB capital.
The attack was not limited to the capital. Targets were struck in Picher, the FEBs second-largest city, which lies in the north of the country. And anti-aircraft fire lit up the sky over the southern city of Chancla as well.
The Secretary of Defense held a news conference at about 6 a.m. EST. He announced that the air war had begun, and he listed some of the coalition objectives in Operation Freedom Bolivariano. Those objectives included defending Copan against the FEBs influence through FARIS, preempting the FEBs future attempted to annex the fledgling democracy, liberating the freedom seeking FEB people, and ending the socialist regime of the FEB.
The Secretary of Defense said that the strike had taken place "on a scale that indicates to FEB citizens" that the socialist regime and its leadership were finished. He added that the allies would work to search for, capture, and drive out terrorists like Col Verduga who had found safe harbor in the FEB, as well as to deliver humanitarian relief to the FEB people.
FEB leaders are "starting to lose control of their country," the Secretary of Defense announced on Wednesday. He added that the confusion among FEB generals was growing, and he speculated that those close to the FEB leadership would question where they stood in terms of their support for the regime.
The Secretary of Defense also advised FEB military officials not to obey orders to use weapons of mass destruction, not to use innocent people as human shields around military forces or equipment, and not to destroy oil wells or blow up dams. He said that those who did not follow this advice would be punished.
The full-scale strike came after the FEB regime defied the deadline to withdraw its support of FARIS in Copan, which President Trump imposed. Operation Freedom Bolivariano comes as a coalition effort to force the FEB to stop its forceful expansion in South America.
US Starts Air Campaign Against the Federation of Bolivarian States
By Oliver Hertitz
The US military has launched an offensive air campaign against the Federacion de Estados Bolivarianos (FEB) by attacking military targets in the northern part of the country. Several targets were against the FEB's air defense systems, air force and armored divisions.
A US Department of Defense official released a statement; "Authorization by the President for the DoD to begin an air campaign against the FEB was granted this morning in preparation for further military offensive operations. Special precautions and contingencies were planned well in advance in order to mitigate civilian casualties. We have no further comment on ongoing operations."
Current estimation on casualties, military or civilian, are unknown at the time of this report.
FEB envoy to UN says US preparing for ‘military invasion’ of the FEB.
El Diario Copan
Tue April 30, 2019
The FEB(Federacion de Estados Bolivarianos) envoy to the United Nations says the United States is preparing for a “military invasion” of their country, amid Washington’s recent move to impose sanctions on the state-owned oil firms in its harshest financial challenge yet to the FEB regime.
Jorge Valero, FEB permanent ambassador to the UN, made the comment at the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in New York on Tuesday, questioning whether US President Donald Trump’s administration had the moral authority to “impose a diktat” on the FEB.
Valero’s remarks were in direct response to the US deputy ambassador to the UN, Cynthia Plath, who said minutes earlier that Washington was “committed to holding accountable those responsible for the tragic decline in Latin America.”
US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on Sunday revealed in an interview with HBO that Trump had asked about his opinion about “using military force” against the FEB.
The South Carolina Senator added that he had urged Trump to be cautious since the military intervention in the South American country “could be problematic.”
Ultimatum Deadline 1 May 2019.....
Russia completes delivery of multiple S-300 systems to the FEB(Federasion de Estados Bolivarianos)
(Reuters) - Russia has delivered multiple S-300 surface-to-air missile system to the FEB, it said on Saturday, in defiance of Copanian and U.S. concerns that the arms sale would embolden the FEB and escalate the conflict on all sides in South America.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin during a meeting broadcast by Rossiya 24 TV: "The work was finished a few days ago," adding that the system would improve the security of the region and help deter the infringement on the FEBs sovereignty by any foreign power.
Russia decided to supply the system after Moscow accused the US of causing the instability that now threatens to engulf all of Latin America in war.
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert could not confirm reports that the S-300 had been delivered.
"I cannot confirm that that is accurate. I hope that they did not," she told a press briefing. "That would be, I think, sort of a serious escalation in concerns and issues going on in Latin America, but I just can't confirm it."
Border-towns Become Havens for Spies
By Haywood Jablowme
April 9, 2019
Three spies for Federation of Bolivarian States (Federacion de Estados Bolivarianos- FEB) have been captured near in the border town of Baxter Springs, Kanzas Province Copan.
The arrests and convictions, announced in an annual report released Monday by Copan’s Internal Security Service (Direccion de Inteligencia de Copan, known as DIC), means ten FEB spies have been caught and convicted in Copan over the last two and a half years.
One of spies caught last year was an FEB intelligence agent who had sought political asylum and freedom in exchange for the identities of the three recently captured. His identity remains protected by DIC.
The DIC report highlights the increasing activity of FEB’s intelligence service, the Bolivarian Directorate of Intelligence (Direccion Bolivariano de Inteligencia- DBI), and the growing interest in FEB operatives finding people with access to government data and any information on the Americans working in Copan.
Copan has been a target for FEB’s intelligence agencies for years. Nevertheless, Copan has also been accused of spying on the FEB. In October last year, Copan and the FEB took part in a spy swap that went horribly wrong near the countries' border in Blakley, Georgias province in Copan. The Copanian spy, COL Fredrico Santiago was later executed by FARIS insurgents while FEB spy MAJ Manuel Banderas was able to escape with the help of Los Jefes drug cartel members.
Last September, a Copanian Times investigation revealed the DBI had begun recruiting cross-border smugglers and human traffickers — mainly small-time criminals smuggling cheap cigarettes and gas who collaborate with the DBI. However, as the investigation progressed, it was discovered that as recent as January 2019, the DBI expanded their spying operations by working with the drug cartel La Mano Roja (the red Hand).
One of the men identified by DIC that also worked for la Mano Roja is Julio de Jesus. He worked as a trucking firm owner in Miami, a small town in northern FEB, close to the border with Copan. He was arrested while delivering fentanyl hidden in produce from FEB farms. During the sting, Copanian agents found that de Jesus had been receiving electronic data stored on external hard drives from another FEB agent in the spy ring, Jose Angel Forra, who was also arrested during the sting. The third FEB spy remains anonymous.
The annual DIC review said the cases, “clearly show that DBI intelligence activities against Copan have intensified in recent years. Baxter Springs and other border towns on both sides seem to be at the heart of all the cloak and dagger activity.”
FEB Police and Military Forces Bring Peaceful Resolution to Civil Unrest
By Oliver Hertitz
March 31, 2019
NUEVA CARACAS- Opposing groups of protesters and federal forces clashed in the capital of the Federation of Bolivarian States (FEB) today. Supporters of the Nueva Madrugada (New Dawn) Resistance and recently outlawed political party Los Centralistas staged an unauthorized counter-protest against the Movimento Bolivariano (MB) which held a rally protesting US threats of invasion and in support of FEB Presidente Estephan Torrez.
The MB rally started peacefully down Guevara Boulevard when an angry mob of Centralistas and Nueva Madrugada confronted them. Things quickly turned violent when the unauthorized protesters started throwing rocks at the peaceful MB marchers. FEB police forces intervened and separated the two groups arresting 25 Centralistas and 10 suspected Neuva Madrugada. Two suspected Nueva Madrugada suspects were killed during the exchange by rubber bullets.
“These protests are paid goons by the CIA. We will not stand idly by as they foment unrest among the good people of our nations. Their meddling masters are the reason why our Federation is in this predicament. Not one step back!” said a MB spokesman Sal E. Vate at the closing comments for the rally.
New Dawn Resistance Attacks FEB Check Points
By Mary A. Stripper
March 27, 2019
PICHER- The New Dawn Resistance (NDR) attacked a military checkpoint last night. Four Federation of Bolivarian State (FEB) soldiers were killed and two were injured during the small arms and mortar-fire attack. Locals reported it was in response to recent alleged government heavy-handed attacks on the village.
FEB Officials were quick to dismiss such unfounded accusations. “These CIA-paid clowns are doing it for money. The villagers are happy with the security we provide them. Recently, we conducted a raid which produced great results. We arrested the deputy commander, Fidel Durango, of the New Dawn Resistance (NDR) that is largely responsible for the unrest in our area. These rabble-rousers have been stealing from the locals, extorting them, and forcibly recruiting young fighters against their will. We have been working with the DBI to arrest them. Despite last night, we have seen a significant drop of criminal activity,” said Lieutenant Coronel Mateo Sanchez the FEB battalion commander of the Picher Province.
New Dawn Resistance could not be reached for comment.
OECD Finds FEB Military Officials Deeply Involved in Corruption
By Dick Hertzer
March 23, 2019
The Latin America and Caribbean Anti-Corruption Initiative of the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) concluded their investigation of the Federation of Bolivarian States’ (FEB) governmental institutions Thursday. Its lengthy investigation found several of the military’s senior officers are involved in the illicit drug trade and human trafficking. By investigating business fronts which were used for money laundering, the investigative team found leads to the incriminating charges. Additionally, there were indications of senior government officials, politically appointed by FEB President Estephan Torrez, that were also involved though there was no incriminating evidence or charges.
US Secretary of State, Mr. Michael Pompeo, called for further sanctions against the FEB. “That an internationally recognized nation-state at this level of modernization is involved in such illicit activity at the higher levels of government is outrageous,” he said in front of the UN Assembly on Friday.
Minister Plenipotentiary to the FEB, Juan Tuhavsex, also spoke at the UN Assembly stating, “The capitalists sent their investigative team. They were given full access and welcomed as guests. In truth, they found nothing and concocted a story on behalf of their avaricious governments.”
Member of the investigative OECD team, Ms. Mona Lott, stated, “We found an extensive network of cutouts, false business fronts and top cover that hid hundreds of millions of dollars for an elite few. Most of whom had some sort of previous or current connection to Presidente Torrez. There are no other means of gathering that amount of capital through their existing businesses especially in light of the current economic crisis gripping the FEB.”
Among those named in the corruption scandal are: General Jorge DeJesus, Coronel David Sierra, and Leftenant Coronel Mateo Herrera Sanchez.
The findings of the investigation were handed to the FEB’s Attorney General’s Office, yet no charges or arrests have been made in the FEB. The OECD Anti-corruption investigative team is looking to admit evidence to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
FEB Secret Police: The key to Torrez’s oppressive hold on power
By Frank Lee Im-Hung
March 15, 2019
Tyrannical regimes generally employ repressive domestic intelligence directorates to keep the opposition at bay. In the Federation of Bolivarian States (La Fedaración de Estados Bolivarianos -FEB), the Directorate of Bolivarian Intelligence (Direccion Bolivariano de Inteligencia— DBI), is an agency that operates in the shadows and is President Estephan Torrez’s preferred tool of repression.
Established in 2001, the DBI is to the FEB a combination of what the CIA and FBI are to the United States. Its mandate is to detect, predict and combat external and internal threats that may affect the FEB’s national security. Unlike the US agencies, however, the DBI, with extensive guidance from skillful Cuban intelligence officers, persecutes, threatens, arrests, tortures and eliminates political dissidents.
Latin America’s dictatorial regimes have been notorious for adopting lethal methodologies. The Dominican Republic’s former Intelligence Military Service — SIM — under dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, assassinated political opponents on and off Dominican soil; it tortured, kidnapped, threatened and incarcerated those not aligned with Trujillo’s directives. Under Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile, secret police — the National Intelligence Directorate, or DINA) — was responsible for more than 3,000 assassinations during that era.
Similarly, DBI takes on matters that the FEB government sees as threats to its stability. It eavesdrops on anti-government groups, infiltrate and divides them and, sometimes, eliminates them. More than 100 people have died in the FEB since April 2018, protesting Torrez’s dictatorship.
In Picher, Oklahomas Province, DBI’s headquarters, there are dozens of political prisoners held without medical treatment or access to visitations. Its cells are the sites of cruel treatment, torture, corruption, poor ventilation, overpopulation and lack of food and water. The DBI does not need a warrant to hold people at “El Dormatorio”; it has the authority to keep people there even if a judge rules against it.
The arrests of Centralistas (minority center-left political party) opposition leaders Antonio Forro and Jose Luis Lopez in August 2018 are examples. They were removed from their homes and thrown in jail by the DBI, based on accusations of spreading anti-government propaganda. Similarly, local and foreign journalists have been arrested for pursuing the truth.
Fidel Durango, an accused member of the New Dawn (Nueva Madrugada) resistance, was arrested in last week by unidentified individuals in a secretive DBI paramilitary unit called the 'Black Berets' (las Boinas Negras). Durango’s arrest was later confirmed by a senior government official, who accused him of carrying explosives. His wife later revealed that the DBI had planted grenades and military uniforms in his car during his arrest.
Since the change to the FEB Constitution last year allowed Torrez no term limits and extended executive powers, corruption-stricken FEB has rapidly descended into anarchy. FEB possesses the largest oil reserves on the planet — 300 billion barrels — however, it is one the most poverty-stricken nations in the Western Hemisphere. Bolivarianism continues to be the catalyst for the tyrannical narco-state that FEB has become.
Former CIA operations officer Ivana B. Ontopp blames socialism for FEB’s critical situation. "The political environment indicates that the nation is on the brink of a barbaric civil war. Based on the human rights abuses perpetrated by the DBI, if political disagreements escalate between the government and the opposition, the Western world could see one of the bloodiest civil wars of our time.
It is imperative that the international community unite in efforts to reestablish democracy and the rule of law in FEB. The first step, however, is to generate consensus on the departure of dictator Eshephan Torrez."
Economic Crisis in FEB Causing Greater Unrest
By Jack Hymoff
March 11, 2019
The situation in the Federation of Bolivarian States (FEB) has grown worse since US President Trump’s congressionally-backed ultimatum was released two weeks ago. Mr. Trump’s inference in the use of US military force have caused the FEB’s currency, the Bolivar, to precariously drop. Congressman Joe Jackson’s (R-NC) death during an IED attack in Copan by suspected FEB-backed insurgents was the catalyst for the US’s ultimatum. The US’s threats have caused other further unrest and worry inside the Federation.
Once a wealthy country, the FEB is suffering the collapse of its economy amid corruption, failed socialist policies, hyperinflation and maladministration. Then there is the ongoing standoff between FEB President Estephan Torrez- who remained in power following an election and a constitutional power grab- and the minority opposition party leadership of Los Centralistas.
The political duel has spilled into the international arena with the United States and more than 50 other countries backing the Centralistas while Russia, China and Cuba firmly support Torrez. It has also included massive street demonstrations, violent clashes with police and military forces and dozens of detentions of Centralista supporters as well as journalists.
One such clash occurred on a night raid conducted by the Boinas Negras, a secretive paramilitary element inside the FEB’s intelligence agency, Direccion Bolivariano de Inteligencia (DBI), against a previously unknown anti-government resistance known as la Nueva Madrugada or New Dawn. Three members of the resistance were killed and four captured. One of the members that was captured, known as Fidel Durango, is a currently-serving FEB military officer and is being charged with treason. The others have been charged with organizing rebellion for recruiting additional members and leading riots in numerous villages in northern FEB.
Trump Issues Ultimatum with Congressional Approval
February 28, 2019
By Anita Dick
After an emergency session in congress, President Trump warned the Federation of Bolivarian States- Federacion de Estados Bolivarianos (FEB), rulers yesterday that they have until May 1, 2019 to end all overt and covert support of the insurgency inside Copan. The administration moved towards preparations for war, including setting military and covert strategies for offensive operations in the FEB.
Trump, who spent the day at Mar a Lago, said in his radio address that the FEB’s regime has turned the nation into a "sanctuary and training ground for international terrorists -- terrorists who have killed innocent citizens across Copan, including our own."
"The FEB is being given the opportunity to cease all operations in Copan in support of FARIS," Trump said. "Full warning has been given, and time is running out."
The FEB’s intelligence agency, Direccion Bolivariano de Inteligencia (DBI), played a crucial role in fostering the insurgency in Copan by supporting the Revolutionary Armed Forces for Social Equality (FARIS) and other nefarious actors such as transnational criminal organizations like Los Jefes.
The FEB regime offered yesterday to assist in finding eight international aid workers, including two Canadians who have been held since December in Copan, if Washington would stop threatening military action. The FEB also offered finding the bomb maker culpable in the killing of US Congressman Joe Jackson (R-NC) who was killed in an IED attack during a speaking engagement on Feb. 17th in Blakely, Georgias Province Copan. It is still undetermined if Jackson was the intended target. The attack also wounded a US citizen and acquaintance of Trump, billionaire Dino Luga.
In Trump's address to Congress on Feb. 27, his demands also included: "Release all foreign nationals, you have unjustly imprisoned. Protect foreign journalists, diplomats and aid workers in your country, and cease all heavy-handed attacks on your citizens who peacefully assemble in protest."
FBI Finds IED material that Killed US Congressman Joe Jackson was made in FEB
February 24, 2019
By V. J. Banger
US FBI bomb forensics teams conducting the investigation on the possible assassination of US Rep Joe Jackson (R-NC) in Copan found the improvised explosive device (IED) material originated from the Federation of Bolivarian States- Federacion de Estados Bolivarianos (FEB).
The latest incriminating report from the FBI comes after multiple previous accounts of FEB involvement in the Copanian civil war coming from other US intelligence agencies. “FEB involvement in Copan is now without a shadow of a doubt. We have seen numerous incidences of FEB involvement from indirect support such as arming FARIS with modern weapon systems to direct support such as training. The FEB intelligence agency, Direccion Bolivariano de Inteligencia, is the FEB’s arm that assists their FARIS proxy in destabilizing Copan,” said FBI spokeswoman Lisa Durham.
The investigation, conducted jointly with Copanian Federal Police, has also concluded that the bomb which killed Mr. Jackson and Copanian citizens seems to have also killed suspected FARIS operatives. “We identified two unclaimed bodies of known and wanted FARIS Escuadron Rojo operatives. No bomb making materials, video or forensic evidence link the operatives to the bomb. FARIS has not claimed responsibility for the attack, something FARIS historically has done in the past, thus the questions that remain are; whether FARIS was involved in the bombing, and was the assassination intentional or a target of opportunity? What we are sure of is that the FEB provided the material,” said Hector Ramirez, lead investigator for the Copanian Federal Police.
The FEB conducted a press release shortly after the news of the investigation’s findings, “The FEB does not condone terrorism, or any violence on behalf of its interests. The US military industrial complex and intelligence agencies have a history of destabilizing and exploiting Latin America. The world will see them as what they are; imperialists who sow the seeds of destabilization and reap the benefits from the chaos.”
US President Trump and congress has called for an emergency session to debate the way forward.
El Diario Copan
Where did this weapon system come from?
by Jose Pena
After careful analysis by military experts the missile system sold to FARIS and later recaptured by US Advisors in Copan was indeed an F13 Flexible Fire Missile System. This weapon system is designed and produced my Fort 13 Airsoft & Training Center weapons development. They are a major international exporter of armaments all over the world. This system has the ability to take on ground to air targets and ground to ground targets. This makes this very dangerous weapon system extremely dangerous in the wrong hands.
It has shocked Copan and the world to think FARIS had such a weapon in their possession. This is far from the norm of what your traditional armed insurgents made up of farmers would have. This a bold sign of significant funding and sophistication that points to a strong surrogate funding FARIS. But who is this surrogate pulling the strings behind the scenes? Who has been funding FARIS when it seemed like the drug money was drying up?
Documents have been obtained that trace back the origin of this weapon system all the way back to the manufacturer. Indeed as mentioned before this weapon was sold by Fort 13 Weapons Development. The exportation documents show the FEB Defense Ministry as the intended buyer. The weapon system was sold and shipped to the FEB where it was never documented as received. The FEB secretary of imports and the Defense Ministry reported it as a shipping error. They claim the F13 was never sent. While the FEB says one thing Fort 13 Weapons Development continues to claim delivery of the cargo.
Now the FEB is left to answer for a weapons system that was said to be delivered and found in the hands of FARIS fighters. For a long time the FEB has sat quietly on the sidelines claiming no responsibility for FARIS’s actions. Now the growing mound of evidence is painting a picture that the FEB might have to answer for. A massive influx of funds to FARIS, the capture of a FEB sophisticated weapons system in FARIS’s hands and the assassination of a major American political figure by a still underdetermined assassin.
It would seem like the ground is shrinking under the FEB who may be forced into the spotlight soon.
US Congressman Joe Jackson Killed by IED in Copan
February 18, 2019
By Don Johnson
BLAKELY, Copan- US Representative from NC (R), Joe Jackson, was killed in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack at a speaking event. Amid tight security, the congressman suffered irreversible blast injuries and was pronounced dead at a clinic minutes away. Along with the congressman, twelve Copanian citizens, who were protesting US presence in Copan, were killed with sixteen injured. Eight US servicemembers were also among the injured. Shots were fired after the initial explosion but it was not clear if security forces were overreacting in order to extract the congressman.
Mr. Jackson, a long-time hawk and supporter of US involvement in Copan, was visiting to meet US troops and various Copanian powerbrokers in search for ground truth on the effects of US presence there. As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr. Jackson, voiced his strong opposition to US President Trump’s sudden decision to end US involvement and presence in Copan in which the US President Tweeted two weeks ago.
Also in attendance were various Copanian officials, and Dino Luga. Mr. Luga a prominent American billionaire and philanthropist, suffered minor injuries, was released from one of his own clinics the same day. Mr. Luga’s personal assistant and spokeswoman, Chloe Wilson, released this statement; “Mr. Luga is doing fine, and his survival is a testament to the capabilities of these fine clinics. He hopes to return soon so that he can personally finish what he started. Right now, Mr. Luga is taking some much-needed rest and recuperation at Mar a Lago.”
Mr. Luga, whose family’s fortune was made in US military industries, was there to promote his latest philanthropic exploits. His charity, the Luga Foundation, established twenty-one clinics to support locals who live in austere and war-torn areas of Copan.
US FBI bomb forensics teams are on site conducting the investigation with the help of Copanian Federal Police investigation teams. The FBI would not comment on the ongoing investigation but did state they are treating this investigation as an assassination. It is not clear if the attack was a deliberate attempt at killing Mr Jackson. Movements of US VIPs in war-torn countries are often held secret.
FARIS spokesman, La Vos de Revolucion, stated that, “FARIS was not involved in the cowardly attack that killed Copanian citizens. We specifically target US military and Copanian puppets not poor innocent civilians. We are also conducting our own investigation. As of now we strongly suspect the CIA and the US military industrial complex are behind the attack.”
Unbelievable unfolding of events in Copan... Large scale ramifications are likely.
2nd news release today....
US and Copanian Troops Killed by IED
February 11, 2019
By Dick E. Recter
BLAKELY, Copan — two U.S. troops were killed and four Copanian Commandos were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded Sunday in Southern Copan, marking the deadliest day for U.S. forces in the country this year.
The wounded were evacuated and are receiving medical care. The names of the US troops killed are being withheld pending next of kin notifications, a military statement said.
The blast occurred near Blakely city when a convoy of U.S. and Copanian forces sent to help battle FARIS struck the bomb, said Rafael Fernandez, spokesman for the governor of Georgias province.
FARIS quickly claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was targeted at “American invaders and their puppets.” The group has stepped up activity in Blakely district in recent months.
If it wasn’t for U.S. military support, the province would fall to the FARIS, Fernandez said.
U.S. troops are fighting terrorism side-by-side with us. If they suffer, we suffer,” said General Atticus Guerrero, commanding general for the Copanian Commandos. “Today we are sad that we lost our partners.”
An FBI bomb forensics specialist, name withheld by request, stated that, “The level of sophistication of the IEDs have grown exponentially in recent months. We believe FARIS is getting the material and expertise from an experienced and well trained bomb maker.
Indirect fire attacks have also increased in other parts of the country, a US contractor was injured in FOB Gunner near Tygart Valley Oeste Virginas province this weekend.
El Diario Copan
Oil Tycoon Kidnapped in Copan
February 9, 2019
By Jose Pena
Oil Tycoon Diego Sierra was kidnapped after Saturday night after returning to port in Puerto Castilla, Copan after a deep-sea fishing trip. The executive was prospecting for oil in neighboring Copan’s gulf region after losing his shares in PetroBol due to the nationalization of his company by the Federation of Bolivarian States – La Fedaración de Estados Bolivarianos (FEB)
The Revolutionary Armed Forces for Social Equality- Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias por la Igualdad Social (FARIS), has claimed responsibility and is demanding a $15 million ransom for his safe release.
La vos de revolucion, spokesman for FARIS, stated, “We are holding this capitalist pigdog for ransom to make reparations for the riches that were stolen from Copan and to show that the free people of Copan will not sit idly by as the bourgeoisie rape our land and our people.”
Diego Sierra was a former citizen of the FEB. Latest picture of Diego Sierra before the fishing trip.
American influence is pushing hard on Copan.
Trump is running out of patience for the FEB but the FEB isn’t Iraq or Syria. It’s basically the whole South American continent and a major combined armed force.
El Diario Copan
US Advisors Assist in Series of Successful Drug Cartel Raids
January 30, 2019
By Jose Pena
A series of raids concluded Tuesday night at various locations in southern Copan against the Los Jefes drug cartel. The raids netted over $50 million worth of cocaine, synthetic fentanyl, and methamphetamines, $25 million in US dollars and Copanian colons, and hundreds of weapons to include five anti-armor missiles. It also led to the capture of three capos and the head sicario.
There were some missed chances in this large-scale operation. The operation, named “Relampago” by the Copanian government, targeted the network of drug caches and safe houses. One raid which targeted Los Jefes’ lead sicario (assassin) Jesus ‘Rubio’ de la Villa ended up coming across the cartel leader by chance.
Copan’s most notorious drug lord and head of the Los Jefes cartel, Miguel Armas, better known as El ‘Macho’, escaped capture following an intense firefight between Copanian Comandos and Macho’s goons in Southern Copan near Blakely, Georgias Province. The comandos stormed the house, and in the ensuing firefight five cartel gunmen were killed and six were injured. One Comando was also injured. During the firefight, Macho escaped through a series of tunnels and then fled in a stolen vehicle. Federal agents caught sight of him near a road block but were not able to find him. Sources say he escaped by using a network of safehouses and locals sympathetic to Macho.
Although Copanian officials claimed that the entire operation to capture Macho was planned and executed by Copanian Comandos, multiple sources report to that American advisors were directly involved in the operation. Copanian Comandos are often the preferred force for counter-drug and counter-insurgency operations in a country where public officials and departments are often hopelessly corrupt. It is interesting to see how, around 2017, the comandos suddenly became very effective at direct-action (DA) raids.
This action will most likely help a rival Copanian drug cartel, La Mano Rojo (the Red Hand) gain a stronger foothold on the illicit drug markets in the US and Western Europe.
Since 2015, over 100,000 people have been reportedly killed or disappeared in Copan amid the ongoing war between country’s drug cartels and incessant insurgency.
Tough Times in the FEB Grew Worse in 2018
January 28, 2019
By Hugh G. Johnson
The Federation of Bolivarian States-La Fedaración de Estados Bolivarianos (FEB) once had Latin America’s richest economy, buoyed by oil reserves larger even than Saudi Arabia’s and Iran’s. Yet under President Estephan Torrez the FEB’s economy spiraled into mismanagement, corruption and backbreaking debt.
Hunger is killing the federation’s children at an alarming rate, doctors say, as stores have run out of food and children are suffering severe malnutrition.
The country’s hospitals are “like something from the 19th century,” one doctor has said, collapsing under chronic shortages of antibiotics, food and other supplies.
The desperate conditions have led to mass, sometimes violent demonstrations, and skyrocketing crime that has forced Bolivarianos to create ever-evolving countermeasures, like decoy cellphones and armored cars.
Inflation has ballooned to 1 million percent, making Bolivars all but worthless. The FEB black market trades in Copanian colon and US greenbacks.
Mr. Torrez has also held on by stifling dissent: Human rights groups say he has arrested more than 12,800 people. In 2018, he won a widely criticized re-election, with reports of coercion, fraud and electoral rigging. Most recently he has managed to get Parliament to pass an amendment effectively eliminating presidential term limits. Parliament is overwhelmingly dominated by the democratic socialist party. The same party as the president.
Mr. Torrez has also cracked down on the press — including regional papers like the Copanian Times, kicking a correspondent out of the country in 2018.
Thousands of refugees have fled by land and sea to Brazil, Copan and other nations, increasing tensions.
The United States, long at odds with Mr. Torrez, has become increasingly vocal under President Trump, whose administration has imposed a series of sanctions and held secret meetings with rebellious military officers from the FEB. Much of the friction between the two nations involves the insurgency in neighboring Copan in which the US has repeatedly blamed the FEB for supporting it as well as undermining Copanian politics.
Mr. Torrez has accused the United States of plotting a coup, and he claimed that unknown enemies used an improvised explosive to attack him during a military ceremony last year. Mr. Torrez was over a kilometer away from the discovered explosive.
It appears that President Trump is standing with Bubba Moore and looking into the charges he is facing.
This may frustrate many in Copan that believed Moore would see justice in the eyes of many Copan citizens.
El Diario Copan
Former Copanian Commando Joins FARIS
January 17, 2019
By Jose Pena
A former Copanian Comando known as Antonio has defected the ranks of the Copanian Army to join the Revolutionary Armed Forces for Social Equality- Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias por la Igualdad Social (FARIS); the insurgent militia fighting in southern Copan. He not only brings combat experience, he has deep knowledge of the tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) the Comando’s have been taught by their US Special Operations advisors.
Also known by his nom de guerre, Chinaman, he says he became disillusioned by the Copanian military after participating in raids that targeted Copan’s natural resources. “In Ciudad Tabor we fought for legal coca. In Valle Tygart we fought over oil fields. In Blakey we fight over diamonds. I realized this is a fight over Copan’s national treasures and the imperialists are using Copanians to get it for them. In the end the rich get richer and the poor people of Copan stay poor. Meanwhile our resources are drained. It is sickening. Everything has a price.”
There are other motives as to why FARIS receives support by those that have worked or continue to work for the Copanian government. “Juan”, is a Copanian police officer in southern Copan. “We live under constant threat. Our lives, our jobs, our livelihood are all under attack by the government, the cartels and the insurgency. We have to hedge our bets in order to survive physically and financially,” he said. “Sure, I want peace and prosperity in my country. But I am one man. What good is one man against an army of spies, informants, and killers. I do what I can for the government but if FARIS comes around wanting something I must help them. Plus, they pay well.”
Spokesman for FARIS, la Vos de Revolucion stated, “Surly, people of Latin America will wake up and see the lies of the imperialists. More and more Copanians that have worked for the government have been joining our ranks. We welcome them as fellow countrymen fighting for freedom to break the capitalists chains that enslave our peoples.”
Attempts to Negotiate Release of FARIS Held Canadian Hostages Fail
January 13, 2019
By Buster Heimann
The Canadian consulate to Copan has thus far failed to negotiate the release of their aid workers, Philip James and Gerard Helms. They are accused of being spies by the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias por la Igualdad Social (FARIS) and were taken hostage in No Puerta Villa on Christmas Eve. FARIS, an armed political party inside Copan, kidnapped the two Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctor Without Borders) workers and have held them in an undisclosed location. Canadian intelligence analysts not authorized to speak with the media said they fear that the two doctors have been smuggled across the border into the Federation of Bolivarian States (FEB).
Spokeswoman for the Canadian Consulate in Copan, Jane Figgins, stated that they “are seeking to get a proof-of-life established as well as a way forward to negotiate a release. We are also working with our US counterparts in the country to assist, eh.
Additionally, a formal request by Doctors without Borders asked the Canadian Military to remove any hostage rescue attempts off the table. Doctors Without Borders do not want any violence committed on their behalf as it would diminish their neutral stance and therefore ability to work in war-torn areas.” Canadian Special Operations Forces (CANSOF) would normally take on such tasks.
Southern Copan has been ravaged in the three-year-old ongoing civil war between the US-backed Copanian government forces and Federation of Bolivarian States (FEB)-backed socialist insurgency. Kidnapping by both FARIS and drug cartels are common place.
Rep. Jackson sends letter asking Trump to reconsider withdrawal from Copan
January 9, 2019
By Mike Hunt
A North Carolina lawmaker said the timing of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Copan and reduce the size of the U.S. force in Afghanistan by half came as a huge surprise.
Trump said Monday that he plans to pull all 2,000 ground troops from Copan, and on Tuesday, he ordered the Pentagon to formulate plans to bring home about 7,000 of an estimated 14,000 military personnel based in Afghanistan.
U.S. Rep. Joe Jackson (R-NC), is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and subcommittees that target Latin America and world terrorism. He backed widespread reports that claimed the decisions were made hastily and without consulting advisers.
“Congress and everyone in the administration was surprised,” Jackson said. “No one was notified – we didn’t see this coming.”
Although Trump has shown glimpses of isolationist policies of late, Jackson said he thought the president would stay committed to the war on the FARIS insurgency based in Copan.
There are rumblings that other protest exits from the administration are in the works.
Opposition to Trump’s national security actions formed quickly on both sides of the aisle.
“Our foreign policy decisions must be thoughtful and deliberate – but too often, the president’s decisions have been impulsive and erratic. National security experts and military leaders have expressed grave concern with the president’s strategy – or the lack thereof – in Latin America,” Jackson said.
“I was critical of Obama, and in fairness, this is exactly what I criticized him for,” Jackson said. “When Obama did this, it gave FARIS a chance to strengthen, and in just a few years, they were able to take back a large amount of land in Copan. The situation is eerily similar to President Obama’s decision to withdraw from Iraq seven years ago which gave rise to ISIS.”
Jackson said his heart breaks for U.S. allies in the region and for the Copanian people who the U.S. troops had been supporting. US Military advisers work with the Copanian Military Forces, as well as militias that has led the war against FARIS and the hegemonic aspirations the Federation of Bolivarian States (FEB); a staunch US antagonist and destabilizing factor of Copan. The withdrawal of U.S. troops puts the budding democracy in jeopardy and susceptible to the regional influences of the FEB.
When asked whether he fears the U.S. will fall deeper into isolationism, Jackson said he would have quickly answered “no” four days ago.
“We’ve been hawkish against Russia, pushed back against China’s and the FEB’s expansionism, and strengthened our forces in Europe, but in the last few days, we’ve sent a really bad message to our allies and emboldened our enemies,” Jackson said.
On Monday, Jackson and Pennsylvania Democrat Brendan Boyle sent a letter to Trump urging him to reconsider the withdrawal of troops from Copan. They are co-chairmen of the Friends of a Free, Stable and Democratic Copan Caucus in the House.
Bolton attempts to clarify US’ next step in Copan, troops could stay for a while
January 8, 2019
By Harry Balz
John Bolton, the national security adviser for President Trump, said Sunday that U.S. forces will remain in Copan until key benchmarks are met, which could mean troops could stay in the country for years, a report said.
The New York Times reported that that adviser said that FARIS must be completely defeated and the Federation of Bolivarian States (FEB) must promise that it would discontinue support to FARIS.
The paper reported that Bolton and other officials in the White House have been working “behind-the-scenes” to slow the president’s order which appeared on a Twitter announcement yesterday. Initial plans that were obtained from an anonymous US military source not authorized to talk to the press stated that the US Military plans to pull all 2,000 troops.
President Trump’s decision to pull out troops was met with resistance and took many off guard. Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., said at the time that he was “blindsided,” but then said he felt “pretty good” about Copan after having lunch with Trump.
Graham said an early withdrawal by the U.S. would embolden FARIS, jeopardize Copan's budding democracy. and risk losing influence in the region to the FEB.
Trump insisted that he did not give a timeline on when he’d pull the troops in his announcement yesterday.
Bolton, who was in Israel, said he expects American troops to eventually leave, but “the timetable flows from the policy decisions that we need to implement.”
Shocking developments with big implications for the future of Copan.
Did Trump just hand over Copan to FARIS?