To calm any concerns, I am not out of control, nor do I feel in danger. I am as committed to being here as I ever have – and perhaps more so. I am seriously looking forward to moving out to the countryside so that I can work more in the parish of Dulce Nombre.
But the “authorities” here are out of control. As a result the people, especially the poor, suffer.
Yesterday I wrote on the blog of my experiences with police and soldiers, here.
This morning I told a priest friend of mine about my encounter with the armed police. He told me that last night, returning about 6:30 pm from Mass in a village a car pulled over in front of him blocking the road and three guys jumped out with guns pointed at the car.
They were police. And even though the car had red and blue flashing lights on the top of the cabin, they were not illuminated. Who would have known they were police, especially in the dark?
A policeman told him to get out of the car. He told them that he was the priest of the parish and they let him go.
That is not the way to promote confidence in the police or give people a sense of security. It provokes fear, since one doesn’t know if they are police or robbers, or police who will rob you. This is no way to provide for greater security for the people of Honduras. It is another way to inculcate fear – in the common people, not in the criminals.
But that’s now the only way the country is out of control.
Someone told me that someone in Dulce Nombre denounced car thieves to the Fiscalía – the prosecutors office. The men were arrested and put in jail. But they were released shortly – after money exchanged hands, perhaps 50,000 lempira ($2,500). But what’s worse is that the name of the person who made the denunciation was given to the thieves who were released.
What a great way to undermine any hope for denunciation of crimes in the future. Who will have the courage to denounce a crime when the authorities will give the criminals your name?
All this is happening as Holy Week begins. As Padre German said at Mass this morning, the Passion of Christ is continuing in the suffering of the people here - and in many parts of the world: "While a man or woman is suffering, Christ is still suffering His Passion."