As our biggest concern is the protection of the victims, testimonies have been edited slightly to eliminate any possible identification of the interviewed or people mentioned during the interview. No content unrelated to possible identification has been changed in any way.
During the attack, she was in the boat and lost her 14 year old son.
Q What happened?
A I was on a trip back home from Rotan. We started to see the helicopters flying around. The boat was close to the landing. They shot from above. I couldn’t find my son. I was like a crazy person. I was screaming and crying to God to help. Then I jumped in the river and swam to the landing. When I got to the landing, there were a lot of soldiers, and they grabbed me and asked where I was coming from. I said “you killed my son.” They pointed their guns at me. I said “Don’t shoot me.”
Q Did they speak English?
A No Spanish.
Q Did they have an accent?
A I saw some tall ones, but they pointed at me with their guns. I didn’t see their faces. But I do have the handcuffs that they used on my family member was there to help me with my cargo. He was handcuffed with plastic.
Q They handcuffed him?
[Delegate 1] Yes. Plastic zip tie
[Delegate 2] She cut them with a knife.
Q Why did they handcuff him?
A They had just arrived there and he was waiting. He started running when the helicopter landed, and they grabbed him and handcuffed him. They asked what he was doing there in the middle of the night. He told them he was there to help me with my things.
Q Were they Americans or Hondurenos?
A Gringoes were there, tall, big men. When I got there and they pointed at me with guns.
Q But were Hondurans there?
A They didn’t speak. They were Indians. They were yelling at me and threatened to kill me, and I said “You killed my son.” I told them “Don’t kill me.” I went through a war there. I blessed that I’m still alive and God protected me. They didn’t talk to me much. They just pointed guns at me, asked me what I was doing and then told me to get lost. I didn’t know how many were there, and I was crazy; I saw a lot of them.
Q Could you get your belongings?
A No I couldn’t get anything. They killed my 14 year old son.
I will never see my 14 year old son again (crying)
Delegates express sympathy and ask about her son.
A He loved sports a lot. Only sports. He had a lot of American friends in Rotan and West End. They bought sports gear and taught him English.
Q They asked her about the burned houses.
A I don’t know anything about that. I haven’t spent much time here. I’ve been in Rotan.
Q Did you see the other boat as you approached the landing?
A I didn’t see anything. Just helicopters that shot from above.
Q How many helicopters?
A There were 4. And two planes called toucans.
Translation by Judy Ancel