A U.S. District Court judge said yesterday that he would rule "promptly" on a request by an American citizen who wants U.S. officials to stop using portions of his ranch in Honduras as a training camp for Salvadoran troops.
Judge Charles R. Richey said he considered the request by Temistocles Ramirez de Arellano, a resident of Puerto Rico, of "extreme importance."
Ramirez has charged that U.S. officials and Honduran army officials are destroying his $13 million ranching and meatpacking business by taking over more than 7,400 acres of prime grazing land on the northern coast of Honduras.
Some 100 U.S. military advisers have been assigned to set up a 1,000-man tent camp on the ranch near Puerto Castilla and train thousands of Salvadoran troops fighting guerrillas in their own country.
Ramirez said U.S. and Honduran officials selected the site last April apparently thinking it was Honduran government land. He said that after he notified U.S. officials that the land was his, he agreed to the takeover of 1,500 to 2,000 acres in return for compensation.
Ramifez has complained that another 5,000 acres are being used by U.S. officials and that his business will soon be destroyed.