DAY AFTER DAY, for 78 days, Ines Consuelo Murillo was tortured by a secret Honduran military intelligence unit called Battalion 316.
Her captors tied the 24-year-old woman's hands and feet, hung her naked from the ceiling and beat her with their fists. They fondled her. They nearly drowned her. They clipped wires to her breasts and sent electricity surging through her body.
Murillo is one of hundreds abducted and tortured during the 1980s by Battalion 316, a unit trained and equipped by the CIA to gather intelligence about subversives, at a time when Honduras was crucial to the Reagan administration's war against communism in Central America.
Many of those kidnapped were later murdered, their bodies discovered in fields and along riverbanks. At least 184 people are missing and presumed dead.
From interviews with Murillo, her parents, battalion member Florencio Caballero and others involved in the case, The Sun has pieced together the story of her days and nights in captivity.
Information about Murillo's ordeal also was obtained from secret testimony by a high-level CIA official before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. In that June 1988 testimony, Richard Stolz, then the CIA deputy director for operations, confirmed that a CIA officer visited the jail where Battalion 316 held Murillo.
She and her captors recalled the visits by the American, a man they knew as "Mr. Mike."
The CIA's visits to the jail are significant because U.S. officials in Honduras repeatedly claimed at the time that they had no evidence that the Honduran military was engaging in systematic human rights abuses.
In his testimony, Stolz said: "I have no facts to contradict Ms. Murillo's statement that she suffered physical abuse at the hands of the Honduran military interrogators."
Stolz also confirmed that two battalion members, Florencio Caballero and Marco Tulio Regalado, were trained by the CIA. Murillo accuses those battalion members of being among her torturers. The two men graduated from a CIA interrogation course on March 13, 1983. It was the same day that Murillo was seized by Battalion 316.
Ines Murillo was abducted that evening as she walked with a friend along the dusty road from Choloma, a small town near the northern coast of Honduras.
She and her companion, shoemaker Jose Flores, were taken away by men who drove up in two trucks. The men beat them, she says, and threw them in the back of a truck.
Murillo said she felt Flores trembling. "Although they will tell you you are guilty of something, and they will tell you that I said you are guilty of something, do not fall into this madness," she says she whispered. "You are completely innocent."
By all accounts, Murillo was not innocent. She refuses to comment on any alleged subversion. But she has been identified as a member of the Lorenzo Zelaya Front, an armed leftist group that robbed banks and businesses and stole weapons from police. Her participation in the group was confirmed by one of its former leaders, Efrain Duarte.
Murillo acknowledges having used false names, carrying fake identification and sleeping in different places to avoid capture.
After their abductors drove for about an hour, Murillo and Flores were hauled from the truck, through a house and into a damp, chilly basement.
She says the men stripped her, then tied her hands and feet.
When they asked who she was, she told them she was Maria Odelia Duvon Medrano, an acquaintance whose name she had used to get the false identification she carried.
Unearthed: Fatal Secrets
A survivor tells her story
Treatment for a leftist: Kicks, freezing water and electric shocks. In between, a visitor from the CIA.
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