Eugene Weekly exposes abuse & torture of accused ELF member

Slow Burn: From Seattle to Syria, from Russia to an arrest in Cuba, an ecosaboteur and 12-year fugitive now awaits sentencing by a Eugene judge.

En route to Havana, Cuba, on May 21, 2018, a man identifying himself as “Yousef Deba” was stopped by El Salvadorian authorities after he showed his passport and travel documents. He was photographed, his eye was scanned, he was twice fingerprinted and his electronics were searched. 

His biometric data matched information on an outstanding warrant from Oregon for a Joseph Dibee. He was allowed to board a plane to Havana, where he was arrested by Cuban agents, who contacted the U.S. and agreed to turn him over to federal authorities.

The U.S. had finally captured one of the last remaining fugitives from the Northwest ecowars of the late 1990s, an outbreak of fires and other sabotage that gripped the region’s attention. In previous years 15 other people surrendered or were caught by federal agents who branded the young activists as “terrorists,” though they never injured or killed anyone.

This is the story of Dibee’s years on the run, a complex tale of international intrigue and betrayal. Except where noted, it’s based on court documents obtained by Eugene Weekly.

Finish the rest of this story, by Ardeshir Tabrizian at

For more information on Joseph Dibee, see