TEGUCIGALPA – The chancellor of the National Autonomous University of Honduras (Unah) reported Monday that at least 149 people have been murdered by members of the National Police over the past 23 months.
“Some 149 people have been murdered in the last 23 months by the Police,” Julieta Castellanos said during the presentation of a report by Unah’s Violence Observatory.
Of the total number of people who have died at the hands of the police, 92 perished in 2011, among them the chancellor’s son, Rafael Vargas Castellanos, and a friend of his, and the other 57 have died so far in 2012, she said.
“It’s an alarming figure that the Police themselves are those who are murdering people in this country, Castellanos said, demanding that authorities continue the process of purging the Police begun in November 2011 after the murder of her son and his friend.
Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, the two largest cities in Honduras, have the highest rates of violence against the public by the police, she said.
Last Wednesday, the constitutional panel of the Honduran Supreme Court declared the internal confidence tests that police are practicing as part of the housecleaning process.
However, President Porfirio Lobo said that the purging of the Police will continue.
“Those who oppose the purging of the Police must explain to us how the public is going to be protected from a criminal institution ... which has been incapable of exercising its own internal controls,” Castellanos said Monday. EFE