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Mistaken Identity

On July 12, 2009, Milko Durán Céspedes, a Colombian national born in Venezuela, was in a hotel in downtown Tegucigalpa. He had been in Honduras for a number of days vacationing with his girlfriend. Milko decided to leave the hotel in the late afternoon, believing that day’s protest to have ended. He was quickly detained by police.

Police said that he matched the description of a suspect charged with assault on a Congressman. Upon arriving at the police station it was discovered that Milko possessed dual Venezuelan-Colombian citizenship. Police claimed that he was an “agent of Chavez” and a member of the FARC sent to Honduras to cause disturbances.

Milko was held in jail for one week and charged with “acts of terrorism.” While in jail he was tortured: officers beat him and threatened to use electric shock or cut off his fingers if he refused to sign a confession. Milko signed and is currently on restricted release that does not allow him to leave Honduras.

Taken from testimony given to International Team member Galen Cohee Baynes on September 25, 2009.


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