Monday, January 23, 2012

Violence in Honduras - part 3

Monday, La Prensa's website had three articles on violence in the country, two of which appeared in the morning print edition.

One was a rewrite of the Miami Herald story from Sunday; the other on the situation in two municipalities in the department of Lempira. In Gualcinse, the ex-mayor was killed and the people asked the authorities to expel the police who failed to detain the perpetrators - something not uncommon here. The Police, if not involved in the crimes, doesn't respond. And so impunity reigns.

Some have suggested - and I tend to agree with them - that impunity has increased since the 2009 coup. The Miami Herald article noted that there were 580 complaints against the police in 2009, with nearly 1000 in 2011 by November. But only 28% went to prosecutors and many of these cases were dropped.

But the one article only in the La Prensa on-line edition was the finding of the body of a local Mennonite pastor, whose body was found this morning on the turn off to Dulce Nombre. It appears that he was missing since Sunday afternoon. I don't know the details of the case and I didn't know the pastor, but it hit home.

When I walk to Caritas, I often pass the Mennonite church, about three blocks from where I live. In addition, I know the turn off to Dulce Nombre well, since I pass there every time I go to the parish and yesterday I passed through there in mid-afternoon, returning from dropping off a friend in Copan Ruinas. (I took the back road.)

Yet I still feel secure. Don't worry about me. Remember the people who live here and have no chance to get out. They are the victims of what can only be called, using the words of Dorothy Day, "this filthy rotten system."

1 comment:

Charles said...

Thanks for monitoring this.

I'm afraid that anything to do with "drug gangs" in the Washington media is simply an excuse for deeper American intervention in Latin America.

What would be more correct is that Honduras is governed by drug gangs. While that's a gross oversimplification, it is simply not possible for criminal gangs to operate in a country with this sort of impunity without extensive government corruption and tacit support from the people.

I do not have hope for a resolution of the drug violence issue until the US stops using its military power to interdict drugs and starts relying on the decency and good will of the Honduran people.