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Police Corruption in Honduras

The Honduran National Police is notoriously corrupt and has been known to engage in murder and narcotics trafficking. In April, 2016, the New York Times ran a series on how 3 police generals orchestrated the assassination of a fourth general because he stood in the way of their selling a little over a kilo of cocaine. Numerous police assisted these generals. Despite the well documented case the New York Times presented, no one was ever prosecuted and all continued with their careers, which included an ambassadorship.

Un informe revela nombres y hechos relacionados con asesinatos cometidos por la policía en Honduras  4/15/2016 NYT: "La revelación de la responsabilidad de la cúpula policial hondureña en asesinatos de alto impacto sucede la misma semana que se ha instalado la Misión de Apoyo Contra la Corrupción e Impunidad en Honduras (MACCIH). Creada por la Organización de Estados Americanos con el permiso del gobierno, la misión busca responder a la presión ciudadana que durante meses el año pasado pidió en las calles que la comunidad internacional interviniera el sistema de justicia del país."

Tres generales y un cartel: violencia policial e impunidad en Honduras  4/15/2016 NYT: "Al General Arístides González lo mandaron a matar dos directores generales de la policía de Honduras que dirigieron la institución entre 2010 y 2013, los generales José Luis Muñoz Licona y José Ricardo Ramírez del Cid, que según la investigación de la propia policía, trabajaban para el Cartel del Atlántico junto con más de dos docenas de oficiales de diversos rangos. Recibieron la orden, organizaron el asesinato, lo ejecutaron y lo encubrieron. E hicieron lo mismo con el político de la Democracia Cristiana Alfredo Landaverde, que también había sido titular de la Dirección de Lucha contra el Narcotráfico."

Files Suggest Honduran Police Leaders Ordered Killing of Antidrug Officials  4/15/2016 NYT: "Behind the scenes, according to the case files, the police investigators took just three weeks to solve the murder. The chief suspects were a cell of high-ranking police commanders working hand-in-hand with drug traffickers. The conspiracy reached all the way to the chief of police."

Articles/Artículosarriba

Honduras Indigenous Leader Under Police Protection Arrested  1/11/2017 teleSUR: "The arrest, which was denounced as “illegal” by the PMSPH, lasted about 30 minutes, according to the activist, and occurred despite the Garifuna leader being placed under police protection at the request of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, or IACHR, just like Berta Caceres was before she was assassinated. In October, Miranda was awarded the "Carlos Escaleras" environmental prize for her 30 years of activism in defense of the Garifuna community's land rights, which are threatened by major development projects in the country."

Down Where the Death Squads Live: the “New” Police in Honduras  7/8/2016 Counterpunch: "On June 22 Honduran Defense Minister Samuel Reyes published a response to the Guardian article, claiming that the Military Police did not have a seventh battalion, that the FBI had not trained military forces in Honduras and that the TESON (Troops Specialized in Jungle and Nocturnal Operations) training course did not have U.S. military trainers. However, the Honduran military has reported to local press that the Military Police is in the process of creating a series of ten battalions, each with slightly under 500 soldiers. In December 2014 the military reported that the fifth and sixth battalions had graduated, and by January 2016 it reported that there were 4,000 active Military Police, making it clear at least eight battalions are in operation."

Un informe revela nombres y hechos relacionados con asesinatos cometidos por la policía en Honduras  4/15/2016 NYT: "La revelación de la responsabilidad de la cúpula policial hondureña en asesinatos de alto impacto sucede la misma semana que se ha instalado la Misión de Apoyo Contra la Corrupción e Impunidad en Honduras (MACCIH). Creada por la Organización de Estados Americanos con el permiso del gobierno, la misión busca responder a la presión ciudadana que durante meses el año pasado pidió en las calles que la comunidad internacional interviniera el sistema de justicia del país."

Tres generales y un cartel: violencia policial e impunidad en Honduras  4/15/2016 NYT: "Al General Arístides González lo mandaron a matar dos directores generales de la policía de Honduras que dirigieron la institución entre 2010 y 2013, los generales José Luis Muñoz Licona y José Ricardo Ramírez del Cid, que según la investigación de la propia policía, trabajaban para el Cartel del Atlántico junto con más de dos docenas de oficiales de diversos rangos. Recibieron la orden, organizaron el asesinato, lo ejecutaron y lo encubrieron. E hicieron lo mismo con el político de la Democracia Cristiana Alfredo Landaverde, que también había sido titular de la Dirección de Lucha contra el Narcotráfico."

Files Suggest Honduran Police Leaders Ordered Killing of Antidrug Officials  4/15/2016 NYT: "Behind the scenes, according to the case files, the police investigators took just three weeks to solve the murder. The chief suspects were a cell of high-ranking police commanders working hand-in-hand with drug traffickers. The conspiracy reached all the way to the chief of police."

Honduras: When Will the US Stop Funding Death Squads?  6/4/2013 Al Jazeera: "A resurgence of death squad activity targeting suspected gang members and others is exacting a mounting toll in Honduras, a country already wracked by violence and impunity. As documented in a series of AP investigative reports, it is increasingly apparent that US-funded Honduran National Police are dispatching summary justice to gang members, in a policy of "social cleansing", with complete impunity. Since evidence has surfaced linking the Honduran police to death squad activity, US support for the police would violate the "Leahy Law", which mandates withholding aid to foreign security forces when credible evidence exists that they have committed human rights abuses."

U.S.-funded/trained police going on witch hunts  9/2/2012 Quotha: "Last week police raided a woman's house in Choloma and found evidence of a traditional Garifuna medicinal drink, Guífiti (El Tiempo, whose reporters went along for the raid, puts "guífiti" in scare quotes), which they confiscated as evidence of witchcraft along with, allegedly, pictures with pins in them. And something that is presumed to be marijuana. They also arrested a suspected witch. For allegedly being a witch."

Honduran President Puts “Tigers” Police Force on the Streets  8/7/2012 IPS: "But Yuri Sabas, a lawmaker with the opposition Liberal Party, told IPS that the creation of the Tigres should be studied in depth. “A few years ago, we created another elite force in the police named Cobra, which has now been implicated in criminal activities,” he said."

Will Gutting Honduras’ Police Force Get to the Root of Corruption?  6/15/2012 COHA: "Ironically, Bonilla has been accused of the same iniquity that he pledges to eradicate from the police force. In a report released 10 years ago by former State Prosecutor Maria Luisa Borjas, Bonilla was accused of killing three people and named as a suspect in the murders of 11 others. Bonilla was formally charged in only one of these cases, but legal action was halted when law enforcement officials refused to cooperate with the prosecutor. All charges against Bonilla were subsequently dropped after Borjas’ husband was attacked and Borjas received multiple death threats from unknown assailants thought to be operating on behalf of Bonilla."

In Honduras, a Mess Made in the U.S.  1/26/2012 NYT: "When prominent figures came forward to charge that the police are riddled with death squads and drug traffickers, the most famous accuser was a former police commissioner, Alfredo Landaverde. He was assassinated on Dec. 7. Only now has the government begun to make significant arrests of police officers… Why has the State Department thrown itself behind the Lobo administration despite brutal evidence of the regime’s corruption? In part because it has caved in to the Cuban-American constituency of Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Republican chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and her allies. They have been ferocious about Honduras as a first domino with which to push back against the line of center-left and leftist governments that have won elections in Latin America in the past 15 years. With its American air base, Honduras is also crucial to the United States’ military strategy in Latin America."

Billy Joya cranks up the killing machine in Honduras  7/27/2009 Machetera: "Before Alegría and Tomé brought the two agents to the police station barely 200 meters away, the agents were disarmed and their badges and documents were registered. The police truck was set afire by indignant family members, neighbors, friends and companions who said “The can’t even leave us in peace for the burial, even though they are the ones who murdered him. We should have set fire to the murderers inside the car.” It was an expression of indignation that is a common feeling among the Honduran people right now."

Honduras: 'Homies Were Burning Alive'  6/2/2004 Alternet: "In first-ever interviews, representatives of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS) gang in Honduras this week described how security forces were to blame for the May 17 prison fire that killed 105 of those they call their homeboys. In addition to starting the fire, police and prison guards allegedly kept the facility's gates locked for over an hour while trapped inmates were burnt alive or died from smoke inhalation. Human rights observers, children's advocates, and MS members say the tragedy is a direct consequence of Honduras' mano dura (strong fist) policies. These policies employ suppression tactics based on New York City's "zero tolerance" police strategies of the '90s, and were instituted on the advice of the Manhattan Institute think-tank and the Giuliani Group, which have exported the New York model to Latin America."

Honduras: Murdered with Impunity  5/29/2003 Guardian, UK: "Casa Alianza claims that many of the murders are a form of "social cleansing" whereby vigilante groups and police regard the deaths as others might regard the removal of vermin. The Honduran government believes that most of the killings are gang-related. Both human rights groups and government agree that the numbers of deaths amount to an epidemic of violence, with a murder rate 50 times that of the UK."

Police Attack Garifuna leaders in Honduras  11/9/2002 Garinet: "Coming on the heels of an arson in Vallecito, a police attack on a national march, and the government's filing charges against 35 community leaders, there is more news of repression against the Afro-Honduran Garifuna. In Triunfo de la Cruz, 3 Garifuna leaders were actually arrested and thrown in prison November 3, over a land conflict. It regards 3 actes of land which fall inside the land which belongs officially and traditionally to the community of Triunfo. The official Community Title was awarded by INA, (National Agrarian Institute) the relevant government body, in 1992, encompassing 380 acres. Six years ago, the municipality of Tela (nearby larger city) sold those 5 acres to the "Asociacion de Pueblos Franciscanos de Muchachos," APUFRAM, (Association of Franciscan Boys Towns) who planned to build a high school. In the document, it is explicit stated that they must build a school within 2 years or lose their right to the land."

 

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