But a former army commander and a former member of Battalion 316 remember him differently.
Col. Mario "El Tigre" Amaya, former head of the Honduran special forces, knew Caballero before he transferred from the regular army to the intelligence unit.
"Sometimes he killed because he was ordered to," Amaya said. "Other times, because he wanted to do it."
Fausto Reyes, a former member of Battalion 316, recalls him similarly.
"Florencio Caballero was one of the most violent interrogators of 316," he said.
Caballero said he cooperates with investigations into the crimes of Battalion 316 as a way to atone.
"I don't want people to think my heart is pure, but what I'm expressing comes from my heart," he said. "The truth is, this caused a lot of harm to Honduras."
The early days
BATTALION headquarters was a flat, gray cinder-block building that once housed the Francisco Morazan athletic club, in the 21st of October neighborhood of Tegucigalpa.
The battalion was organized by Col. Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, commander of the Honduran military police, and remained under his authority after he became head of the Honduran armed forces in 1982 with the rank of general.
Alvarez appointed Capt. Alexander Hernandez to run the battalion. Caballero said execution orders came down to the battalion from Alvarez and Hernandez.
Caballero recalled the order to kill Angel Manfredo Velasquez, a 35-year-old graduate student, teacher and political activist. The father of three was abducted by Battalion 316 on Sept. 12, 1981.
"By order of Alvarez, to be sure that no one would ever find his body, they took him from Tegucigalpa and stabbed him to death," Caballero said. "Then they cut his body to pieces with a machete and buried the pieces in different places along the road from Tegucigalpa to Progreso de Yoro."
Hernandez, now a colonel in the Honduran military police, denied any involvement with disappearances or murders.
"There is no proof against me," said the tall, thin man, sitting erect with his arms across his chest in his office in Tegucigalpa.
In interviews with The Sun, and in court testimony, Caballero described the CIA role in training members of Battalion 316, most of whom never attended high school but had basic reading and writing skills.
He said that he and about 25 other Hondurans were taken in a Honduran air force plane in 1980 to what he thought was Texas.
"We went to a military base. It was so private. There was no TV, no cable, only videotapes," Caballero recalled. "The [Honduran] officers knew where we were. They would say, 'here in Texas.' It was like a college. We had everything we needed -- food, drink, a swimming pool."
The CIA instructors, Caballero said, taught that torture rarely achieved desired results. Instead, the instructors showed the students forms of psychological pressure: how to study prisoners, discover what they loved and what they hated, and then to use that knowledge against them.
Unearthed: Fatal Secrets