Thursday, April 22, 2010

Now no one can tell who is police and who is a criminal: Police will now stop wearing uniforms as a "solution" to criminals wearing their uniform shirt


by RNS, 

Sometimes Honduras is surreal.

In the 1980s the only way you could tell someone was part of the investigative arm of the police (the Dirección Nacional de Investigación or DNI) was that they openly carried guns in public. They didn't wear a uniform, but did openly carry weapons at a time when you needed a permit from the military dictatorship to have a weapon. Thus when men in street clothes carrying guns stopped you on the streets to question you, you were obliged to assume they were police and obey them. There was no way to distinguish them from the criminals, who also had guns and often openly carried them in public.

Fast forward to now. As part of the modernization of the National Police everyone got uniforms. The Dirección General de Investigación (DGIC) or Dirección Nacional de Invesitgación Criminal (DNIC) which replaced the DNI has a simple uniform. Their uniform shirt, as I recall, is either a dark blue or black shirt with the name of the DGIC written on the back. Its simple, modeled after what FBI agents wear in many TV shows when out on a "bust".

Maybe its too simple a uniform, though. Anyone with silkscreening equipment, say a t-shirt shop, can copy it. The DGIC complains that criminals are impersonating them by wearing their uniform shirt. You can't tell the criminals from the real police. Shades of the 1980s.

So, how do they propose to solve this problem? La Tribuna, in its minute by minute column, tells us the solution is simple; they're going to stop wearing uniforms, or at least, the uniform shirt. Its the obvious solution, isn't it?

Lets see, the problem is that the criminals are wearing police uniforms, which the police wear so that citizens can tell they're the police and not criminals. So now, the police will stop wearing the uniforms, so you won't be able to tell them from ordinary citizens or criminals with guns. So once again, we're back to the 1980s, you can't tell the police from the criminals.

The DGIC says this will stop the delinquents from passing as police.


Without a uniform, once again, there is no way to tell the police from the criminals. This seems like a transparent attempt to reduce the number of human rights abuse claims against the DGIC, by making it harder to ascertain who committed the abuse. Can the COBRAS be far behind? 


So often it is reported that men "dressed as cops, police, COBRAS, or military"  are the ones committing crimes and murdering people.  According to how newspapers want to put it, they "steal the uniforms", discarding the inconceivable possibility that it is the police, cobras, and military the murderers themselves.
Media were exploiting a crime a couple of weeks ago, repeating what Calidonio, the Vice Security Minister said regarding a particular crime " they were maras(gangs) in a drug conflict", without giving any evidence whatsoever. It seems they want to justify all murders and all future crackdowns, crimes against the opposition, by reporting they are all either "narcos" or  "mareros". 
Here are only some of the cases reported by media, where either police, the military, or Cobras have been the ones seen by witnesses committing crimes:

Armed group slaughters  9 people in Honduras

Calidonio said that the "attackers were of the Mara Salvatrucha and the house was inhabited by members of the rival band M-18, but he didn't present evidences that sustained what he indicated.
 The Associated Press
 A team of four men armed with rifles and automatic guns,
ltheir face covered with ski masks and dressed with police uniforms killed on Saturday night nine people in the Honduran capital city.

Security Minister, Armando Calidonio, attributed the slaughter to "two bands of mareros (youth gangs) who confronted each other shooting in a fight for drugs".
According to the minister, four of the attackers came to a house in barrio Arnulfo Cantarero López located Northeast of Tegucigalpa, whose inhabitants also shot against the aggressors.

The bodies of three men lie on the floor of a house in San Pedro Sula, ONDURAS; ON Saturday April 10th, 2010. Authorities said that nine people died in collisions between rival gants in San Pedro Sula.(AP Foto/Fernando Antonio)
The action left 7 dead men and two dead women. None of the victims belonged to the squadron that came to attack.

Calidonio said that the "attackers were of the Mara Salvatrucha and the house was inhabited by members of the rival band M-18, but he didn't present evidences that sustained what he indicated.

Both are  rival gangs which also commit crimes and violent acts in Guatemala and El Salvador.

"This is a lamentable example of what happens in drug sale and distribution in Honduras... it is a difficult situation the one we confront," added the official, without any more details.

Violence in Honduras has left around 20, 590 deaths in five years, according to official data.

Witnesses informed that two hooded men and with the uniform and  badge of the DNI arrived in a white double cabin car and two motorcycles, they broke with a sledgehammer the door of a house to start shooting with 9mm guns, what is a ground to think that it wasn't a confrontation.
         Horror in Colonia Felipe Zelaya, 5 dead

A contingent of men dressed with the uniform of the Special Command of Operations "Cobras" of the Preventive Police, executed five men inside a house, in Colonia Felipe Zelaya, where they simulated for almost 15 minutes a police operation, which alarmed neighbours until they shot more than a 100 times  against victims they had forced to lie facing the floor in the dining room of the house.

Dressed as Cobra, they forced 3 people out of a car and shot them

 Nine men dressed with uniforms of the Command of Special Operations, Cobras, with bulletproof vests and their face covered with ski masks, shot  yesterday two brothers and a rapidito bus helper in Lomas del Carmen when they came back from the Yojoa Lake inside a truck. .

Youth executed near the Main Seminary 

A young man was executed yesterday afternoon in the community of Nueva Aldea, close to the Major Seminary of the Catholic Church, while in another event, that might be related with the first, heavily armed men and dressed as police kidnapped a youth for unknown reasons.

Dressed as Police they steal a car 

A criminal band who dressed uniforms similar to the ones used by police agents, stole yesterday a vehicle from a house located in Colonia Mangandy in El Progreso.

 Mechanic killed in his workplace

The chief of the Tela police, subsheriff Nelvin Sauceda, informed that  6 men dressed like Cobra agents killed mechanic Angel Antonio Sánchez Martínez, 28-years-old.   
He indicated that the men arrived in a single cabin vehicle, white colour, arrived to his workshop where Sánchez Martínez worked, located in San Alejo, and they killed him.

 They raid houses to kidnap and kill two men

A group of men dressed with the uniform of the National Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DNIC), came to community El Naranjo, located at the llegaron hasta la comunidad de El Naranjo, located in the basin of River Cangrejal, supposedly to execute a house search yesterday at about 5:10 in the morning and ended killing two residents.

Supervisor of a Maquila is blindfolded before being killed 
In front of his wife, a maquila supervisor was killed by several shots by men dressed with police shirts, who intercepted them in a vehicle.

 Other four dead in Gualaco, Olancho

Another massacre took place on Sunday evening in Gualaco, Olancho, after  men dressed like police and soldiers of the army killed a cattle raiser and his son, and they kidnapped another relative of the former, amidst a strong shootout that killed two of the uniformed men.

Bus assaulted in Lempira leaving two dead and one wounded

  Two dead and one wounded was the result of an assault perpetrated on Saturday afternoon  by several men dressed as police against the passengers of a bus in a community in Concepción, Lempira.

Two car salesmen were kidnapped and killed 

Two car salesmen were found dead yesterday morning in kilometer 40 of the road that drives to Danli, El Paraíso, who last friday were kidnapped by  men dressed as police, in the capital city's Colonia San Carlos.

 Three men murdered in a house

Three men were shot with AK 47 and 9mm guns inside a house in Colonia Flores del Paraíso, by several men who wore military uniforms.

Eight Dead in Gualaco, Olancho 

Eight people were shot  last Monday afternoon and yesterday at dawn in Gualaco, Olancho, after a group of heavily armed assaulters, dressed like police and hooded  looted several houses in the place and kidnapped five people, who they killed hours later with AK-47 and M-16.

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