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Home About Us Equipo Sur Stories of Honduras Impunity for Police Abuse of Anti-Coup Demonstrators
Impunity for Police Abuse of Anti-Coup Demonstrators PDF Print E-mail

On Monday, August 26, 2013, a judge conveniently ruled to definitively dismiss the charges against Honduran Police Comissioners Hector Ivan Mejia and Abraham Figueroa Tercero for their role in the violent repression of demonstrators on August 14, 2009.  On that day, as demostrations against the June 28, 2009 SOA-graduate led military coup in Honduras continued, the police violently repressed anti-coup demonstrators.  High ranking police officials Hector Ivan Mejia and Abraham Figueroa Tercero are accused of spearheading the repression. People were shot at and beaten by the police so badly that they required hospitalization, as shown in the photo here from Comun Noticias.

Human rights laywers filed charges against Police Commissioner Hector Ivan Mejia, who has since been promoted to the Director of the Preventative Police, and Police Commissioner Abraham Figueroa Tercero. They were accused of illegal detention, torture, and abuse of authority.

Four year later, on August 20, 2013, the initial hearing in the case was finally held.  Less than a week later, on August 26, 2013, a judge conveniently ruled to definitively dismiss the charges. This a perfect example of how impunity works in Honduras.  Charges are allowed to be filed but dismissed. Cases are delayed so long that they no longer are high in the public consciousness. High ranking police officials enjoy complete impunity.  Police and military officials are so rarely found responsible for anything that people lose all hope in the justice system.  An english translation of an article by Radio Progreso with more details follows:

Definitive Dismissal for the repression in Choloma

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 10:33

Héctor Iván Mejía, Abraham Figueroa Tercero and Nelson Osorio, all high ranking Police officials,  were definitively acquitted by the San Pedro Sula Criminal Court.

The officials presented themselves at an initial hearing last Tuesday, accused of illegal detention, torture, and abuse of authority during the August 14, 2009 repression of demonstrators against the coup d'etat, which the officials spearheaded.  

The legal representative of the victims, Omar Menjívar, explains that the judge who heard the case decided to definitively dismiss the charges by establishing that the demonstrators behaved in a violent manner, that they threw rocks and sticks at the police, and that in defense, the police used necessary, proportional force to neutralize the demonstrators. 

"This is not true because a video that was submitted as evidence demonstrated that the protest was peaceful and at no time did the demonstrators attack the police.  Instead, the police arrived with tear gas.  This was sufficient for the demonstration to disperse," he explained. 

Menjívar explains that with the system of impunity that rules the country this resolution was to be expected, although there was the hope that based on the law, a detention order would have been issued, especially because the defense did not present evidence.  

Now there is one day for an appeal to this ruling to be submitted.

"This confirms that the justice system is part of the circle of complicity in the culture of impunity that exists in the country, because they are telling these officials that they can continue doing what they did and what they have done and that there's no problem," expressed Gustavo Cardoza, a Radio Progreso reporter who was attacked during the repression. 

Original in Spanish:


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