DGIC (the Honduran FBI) investigators reported to the press yesterday that the murder of Nicolle Rodriguez Cabrera may be related to gang violence and/or soccer hooliganism. Apparently there were members of a soccer fans association inside the car with Nicolle when she was murdered. The DGIC report forced President Michelleti to apologize for blaming her death on Zelaya’s supporters. (I would like to see other presidents apologizing, I haven’t seen one in a very long time.)
Although soccer hooligans are very violent in Honduras, where rivalries between Olimpia and Motagua fans and have caused many deaths in Tegucigalpa, I find it very unlikely that Nicolle’s murder was related to soccer. Why was there a second murder the next day, also from a motorcycle, of another pro-Micheletti victim? I admit that it could be coincidence, but the probability is very low.
Even if it were soccer-related, this incident points to a very important problem, the murder rate in Honduras. Circumstantial evidence would lead us this way or that. But without a professional and full investigation, we may never know who killed the people who Zelaya’s supporters claim as martyrs to their cause. It seems that this case is recieving a little more attention than most murders in Honduras. Maybe we can expect the DGIC to do a better job than it has done in the past with countless unresolved cases?
The sobering truth is that the justice system in Honduras doesn’t do it’s job very well: bring criminals to justice. The DGIC is just a part of the wreck. Prisons are battlegrounds and drug marketplaces. Those without money to game the system cannot expect to know who murdered their loved ones, or who stole their belongings, or have adequate protection for their homes, or even a transit police that will help them instead of fleece them for bribes. And even when a culprit is found, how can we know they weren’t framed? Many people believe that many criminal confessions in Honduras are extracted through torture.
Who murdered Nicolle? We may never know.