viernes, 12 de abril de 2013

Businessman shot dead outside general's house in Honduras

A businessman was shot dead in his car in Tegucicalpa on 12 April, outside the home of the head of Armed Forces Joint Command René Osorio Canales, Honduran media reported. The victim was identified as the owner of a chain of motels in the capital, and his killers chased him by car to the spot where he was shot repeatedly, the website Proceso Digital reported. This was one of the homicides most recently reported around the country, many or most of which appeared to be executions. Other victims of crime included a three-year old boy shot dead by a stray bullet from a shootout between police and criminals in the northern city of San Pedro Sula, and two boys aged 15 and 22 years, dragged from their homes outside the capital, blindfolded and shot, Proceso Digital reported. The bodies of three executed men were also found in plastic bags in San Pedro Sula on 9 April; two of them were tattooed and all three were strangled to death, La Prensa cited coroners as saying. The report did not specify if the tattoos indicated the victims' affiliation to a gang. On average 20 people were thought to have died daily in criminal incidents in Honduras in the first three months of 2013, Proceso Digital reported, citing the Observatorio de Violencia affiliated to the National Autonomous University of Honduras.

Chief prosecutor says Honduras overwhelmed by crimes

The head of the state prosecution service in Honduras (Fiscalía-General) told parliament on 10 April that 80 per cent of homicides went unpunished as the state was unable to investigate them all, while one of the country's crime observers said over 80 per cent of those killed in Honduras were shot dead. The chief prosecutor of Honduras Luis Rubí told Congress "the country is not prepared for this criminal wave and is totally overwhelmed. Investigating organs do not have the capacity to respond...we are faced with an 80-per-cent impunity in Honduras," the daily El Heraldo reported. Rubí was one of several officials summoned to parliament to account for the country's exceedingly high crime rates. Others who appeared were the Security Minister Pompeyo Bonilla, the national police chief Juan Carlos Bonilla and the jurist Eduardo Villanueva, a presidential appointee tasked with coordinating the purging of the police force of corrupt or criminal elements. Police chief Bonilla said investigations were "in a state of collapse." Separately 70-80 senior police officials including Bonilla may sit through confidence tests applied to other policemen in recent months, as part of President Porfirio Lobo's police purge and after Police agreed their chiefs should take the tests, El Heraldo reported on 11 April. The daily cited the jurist Villanueva as saying that the tests were being planned and could begin in a month. One of the country's crime and rights observer bodies separately revealed in a recent report that 84 per cent of homicides in Honduras were caused by firearms and that someone was shot dead there every 87 minutes, El Heraldo reported on 9 April. The National Commission for Human Rights (Conadeh, Comisionado Nacional de Derechos Humanos) urged legislation and effective mechanisms to reduce more than 650,000 illegal firearms it estimated were circulating in the country. The Conadeh's report counted 20,515 violent deaths in Honduras in the 2010-12 period, presumably from the start of 2010 to the end of 2012, of whom 17,190 were shot to death.