[private] This is to be the second and final part of the lesson I have learned about the judicial system of Honduras. In my last article I presented information concerning my personal case and learning about the judicial system the hard way.
My case was dismissed by the office of the Fiscal hiding behind the 24 hour processing law on the books. It is one thing to follow the law word for word and another to follow the spirit of the law. I could continue to harp on the wrongs of the particular Fiscal and how she should have done things but keep in mind they are our future law makers. We can only hope such individuals learn from each mistake and use it to further their education so when the time comes for them to step into the lawmakers box they will do so with wisdom learned from their past.
To follow the spirit of the law one would simply ask, “Why hasn’t the other party been able to present themselves?” Why was an eye witness not allowed to properly present what they saw? The girlfriend has created her own blog about what transpired from her point of view. In her blog she stated the amount it cost to get her boyfriend released and the names of the individuals who helped. She stated my witness was my sister in law rather than my lead bartender.
If the witness would have been my sister in law, a licensed lawyer in Honduras, things would have gone in a different direction. She believes in the laws of Honduras and the way they should be used to protect the victims. On one side we would have those fighting to make the laws work and on the other side those wanting to use the law for their own financial gain. Instead she was with us paving the way to make sure I was taken care of properly by the doctors.
The interesting part of this all was how the medical examiner apologized for not being able to do her job properly due to the Fiscal’s office pressing her to make my examination fast. She did not order the test she normally would have consistent with a head injury. Since my case was officially closed so quickly and all the payoff handled properly, everything was OK under the laws of Honduras. On the other hand I am out Lps. 40,000 with no way to recover any of the costs since the offender has returned to his home country.
These costs are so predominant in all cases handled in Roatan. To prosecute and convict a would-be-rapist and woman beater required Lps. 60,000. The family of the victim had to put up all the money. Presently, one of Utila’s biggest thieves is in Roatan awaiting trial, but the people of Utila have to come up with Lps. 75,000 to get this individual locked up and away from Utila.
What I have learned is something simple, but embarrassing for the people of Honduras. Victims of crimes in Honduras have to pay the price on the front end and on the back end, or the law simply slaps them across their faces.
As an owner of a bar and restaurant I speak to tourists daily. I have listened to many of the conversations of the locals concerning returning to the old ways of Islanders taking care of islanders. This would be a step backwards, but those sitting in the positions of power concerning the laws of Honduras need to understand by not protecting the victims of crimes the general public will only take it for so long then they will set things right in a different manner. Right or wrong this is a strong possibility and one that requires attention.