The history of Honduras is full of actions contrary to the rule of law. Multiple coups (the last on June 28, 2009), who have broken the precarious legality in the country. Despite this extreme fragility, the current National Party government (led by Porfirio "Pepe" Lobo and presidential candidate Juan Orlando Hernandez) is breaking records in terms of authoritarianism and lack of attachment to any kind of legal procedure. All with the goal of controlling every one of the key state institutions, promoting projects that benefit powerful groups and to ensure the electoral victory of Juan Orlando Hernandez. Let's analyze the trajectory of this government since 2009.
In a capital city accustomed to daily bloodshed, the man in charge of enforcing the law is more feared than the criminals themselves. As a quote from the Associated Press on Nov. 1 puts it, "few dare speak his name above a whisper."
Nearly a decade ago, five-star General Juan Carlos Bonilla was accused of leading Honduras death squads. He is now in charge of the police department who is suspected in the beatings and murder of their detainees.
A video shared by the online publication El Heraldo claims to verify the existence of the Honduras death squads. The video, which was taken at random by a security camera in a store, is chilling. Five young people are walking down a quiet street in Tegucigalpa, Honduras when a large black SUV, which was followed by another vehicle, stops.
Two masked men (allegedly from a Honduras death squad) wearing bulletproof vests quickly jump from the car and proceed to point AK-47's at the suspected gang members. The two young people who are closer to the vehicles see that they have no chance to escape, so they freeze and put their hands up. The other three run and are chased by the suspected Honduras death squad members. Miraculously, one managed to escape, however he was wounded. The other two weren't so lucky. They were forced to lie face down on the floor and while facing the camera, the two students, who were brothers of 18 and 20 years, were rapidly shot to death in the back of the head. In less than 40 seconds after their arrival, the murderers fled away, never to be found.
This high level of professionalism and the modus operandi of the murderers, have led many observers to conclude that it was a government operation. The video was published by the newspaper El Heraldo last month, and the murder took place in November last year. There have been no arrests.
Currently, the Obama administration is being criticized for their suspected role in financing and arming of the Honduran police murder in violation of U.S. law. Under the "Leahy Law," named after Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, the U.S. Government is not allowed to provide military assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights with impunity.
Honduras Police Chief, Gen. Juan Carlos Bonilla is highly suspected of being involved in these so- called death squads, and thanks to excellent investigative reporting from the Associated Press over the last couple of weeks, the Honduras death squads may soon be brought to justice.