Friday, August 26, 2011

Honduran Justice

One thing that is universally complained about in Honduras is the lack of the ability of police to act against criminals.  It seems as if they let them escape without any consquences, even when they know who did the crime.

The latest gaff of the police turned deadly, actually there has been two deadly instances in the past few days...but the first one I am going to discuss is centered in Juticalpa, Olancho and the type of justice merited out there when  the police do not act quickly.  Olancho has a reputation for vigilante justice and this is of course no exception to that rule.

On Monday, a woman was murdered by her son, who is a deaf mute and a drug addict as well as an alcoholic.  Several failures occurred here.  The first being that society did not address the addiction problems as well as the disabilities of this man who was obviously in need of assistance before things got so out of control.  His mother was visiting Honduras for a funeral from the US.  She was terrified of her addicted and disabled son.  She expressed her fears to several neighbors and asked if she could stay with them, all of the neighbors refused.  So the neighbors failed her as well as failing to address the issues the man had. Who are we as a society if we don't protect and help others who need our help?  What happened? Well he cornered her in a room, raped her and murdered his own mother.  He ran obviously and the police did not capture him...a few days later he appeared at the steps of the municipal building hacked to death and castrated in an extremely grotesque fashion.

The second failure is in training the police adequately, again a police officer from Juticalpa, but he was assigned to Tegucigalpa.  He caught a criminal in the capital stealing wood from a woman's house.  However, he wasn't frisked for weapons when they took him into custody and the criminal shot him in the back, killing the officer instantly and escaping arrest.  What causes a police officer to fail to check someone under arrest for weapons? A lack of adequate training and a lack of education and skills.  That failure led to the death of a police officer that was actually acting according to his duty to serve.  The failure of the police led to the death of a man who was disabled and addicted to drugs and society failed his victim by not assisting with the problem that she had in being protected from her own child.

It is sad and I wish it didn't happen in Honduras, but it does, everyday.

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