Billy Fernando Joya Améndola (known as Billy Joya) is a former Honduran military officer who worked in the controversial Battalion 3-16, national security adviser at Manuel Zelaya's government, a post in which he has continued.
One of four children, Joya enrolled in military academy at 14, but was expelled "when a teacher caught him cheating on an exam." He subsequently enlisted as a private and within two years had risen to become the youngest sergeant in the army. He joined the military police, and in 1981, along with a dozen other Hondurans, had 6 weeks' training in the US. He went on to become a member of Intelligence Battalion 3-16.
Joya fled legal proceedings in Honduras regarding allegations of torture and forced disappearances carried out by Battalion 3-16, and sought political asylum in Spain, which was rejected. In August 1998 a claim was filed against Joya in Spain requesting his detention, asserting universal jurisdiction under the Convention Against Torture. "Joya voluntarily returned to Honduras in December 1998 after receiving promises of special treatment. He was jailed but freed in August 2000 after a judge said there was not enough evidence to continue his detention."
In 1996 Joya told the victims of Battalion 3-16, "I ask pardon for having contributed to that history of pain and suffering that you experienced."
As of mid-2006, Billy Joya was a national security advisor to Alvaro Romero, another former Battalion 3-16 member, who was a government minister (Secretary of Security) during the presidency of Manuel Zelaya.
- Violadores de Derechos Humanos en la década de los 80`s - Billy Fernando Joya Améndola, Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras (COFADEH)
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- Declassification Request to the U.S. Government by Honduran National Commissioner for Human Rights, 31 July 1995, see ref for "In Search of Hidden Truths"
- CL Sriram (2002), "Exercising Universal Jurisdiction: Contemporary Disparate Practice", The International Journal of Human Rights
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- Associated Press, 20 February 1996, "Former Honduran Officer Admits Kidnapping"
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- (Spanish) Billy Joya, biography, including photo, by COFADEH
- Billy Fernando Joya Amendola, Trial Watch Profile, TRIAL