An Occupied Country

October 17th, 2011

v9-10-Our IslandsIn recent times not one week can pass that the media is not full of reports of violent crimes in this nation. When all this violence began it was mostly due to territorial disputes among the gangs in the major cities; but of late the killing has spread like a plague to all parts of this beautiful country and no one is exempt.

The murders include professional people and ordinary people alike. The latter are being killed like flies with never a proven motive for such extreme measures and such prejudice against the most precious of human values, the life of a human being.

The police action in solving low profile cases is almost always limited. It’s not known whether it is due to the lack of resources, lack of training or just indifference to the murder of common citizens. Their most common conjectured motivation for the extinguishing of a human life is that it was a “settling of accounts.”

This statement in itself implies that there is a second set of laws that permits taking the law into your hands in order to settle accounts over a grievance. The police are also quick to suppose that a high percentage of the murders are related to illicit drug trafficking and/or retailing. In these times in which a simple expression is reason enough for a miscreant to end your existence, we need to understand the reason for all killings. In this way we can take every precaution to avoid being murdered, to refrain from any action that may cause killing unrelated to gangs or drugs.

Whenever a delinquent child as young as 14 is killed, the child’s mother takes to the TV to lament her lost and swear that the kid could never be involved in delinquent matters. The delinquency problem in Honduras should be the job of the parents–to control these kids, to know at all times where they are and what they are doing–not a police matter.
In a recent television interview the vice-minister of security admitted that at least forty percent of the police force is corrupt, a shocking revelation. There is no way that the police force can combat delinquency if members within their own ranks are part of the problem.

In other countries the law is very severe on criminals who murder policemen as well as on policemen who commit crimes. Maybe this should be tried in Honduras.

In the barrios and colonias of our cities with heavy crime rates, everybody knows who the criminals are and sometimes even when a crime is being committed. But the simple and honest people of this country are afraid to report a crime because they cannot be sure that the police will not divulge their name and address to the criminals.

The solutions to these problems are manifold. In the area of prevention the government must extend mandatory education to the ninth grade and employ truancy officers to enforce the new law. The parents of young kids and adolescents must be held responsible for the actions of their children, and a 10 pm curfew must be imposed on all children under the age of eighteen.

In regards to reporting crimes, the caller ID feature of the state-owned telephone company Hondutel must be eliminated, Then citizens must be inculcated to only report crimes to Hondutel numbers. In this way the police will never know the number or ID of the person calling.

The populace is in a state of constant alert and fear. Nobody can afford the luxury of trusting a neighbor or even a friend. Not unlike an occupied country, the millions are being held hostage by a few hundred criminals.

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