DGIC Blames Murder on Hooligans

December 19th, 2009
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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.

  • Alan Campbell

    I applaud the investigators for doing their job, even if it means breaking the president’s face. I also applaud the president for not interfering with the investigators in order to save his own face.

    I don’t have an accurate picture of the situation in Honduras. However, I think crime persists because of the distrust between people and officers. People don’t help officers with investigations because they don’t trust the officers (or their abilities) to protect witnesses. Officers aren’t diligent with their duties because they don’t trust people to provide them with political support.

    More communication is needed between the people and the officers in order to break the distrust. Politicians should step in to do this. They mastered this field to get elected.

  • When corruption is as pervasive as it is here, and police are so used to bribes, no one is safe. The Narcos are used to buying cooperation from everyone, and killing those who refuse to be bought.

    Honest people become targets and victims in the bureaucracy (or kleptocracy).

  • Alan Campbell

    It is very sad to see an entire country trampled by drug cartels. I hope it won’t get as bad as Mexico.

    When I lived in SE Asia, I went to museums built to educate the public about the danger of drugs. Many must-read books in school were memoirs of former drug addicts. Drug warnings were very frequent on TV. There were also large scale funerals for officers, held about once a year, where people could see coffins stacked high.

    I wish more like that are done here in the US. Instead, we have days of national coverage for the balloon incident but only a few minutes of local coverage for officers killed.

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