Thursday, November 11, 2010

Strange Coincidences

On Saturday, the Special Anti-Kidnapping Unit (GEAS in Spanish, Grupo Especial AntiSecuestro) of the National Police announced they had rescued a kidnapped cousin of Porfirio Lobo Sosa.

Mario Filberto Moya Lobo was kidnapped October 16, 2010 near Catacamas, Olancho. According to El Heraldo, Moya Lobo was being held on a hacienda in the mountains of La Zarzaloza, Ocotillal, in the Municipio of Patuca, Olancho. After being freed, he was returned by the police to Catacamas.

Also involved in the operation were elements of the Colombian Special Anti-Kidnapping unit of the Army, the Gaula, who are in Honduras to train its National Police. The Gaula groups specialize in breaking up criminal groups. El Heraldo reported that they have helped free 11 Hondurans kidnapped so far. The National Police spokesperson went to great lengths to explain that their role was only advisory, that this was a domestic operation.

According to La Tribuna, no one was captured during the rescue, but the Anti-Kidnapping Police were left there to "comb the countryside" to find those responsible.

Thursday morning, six bodies (seven in some reports) turned up in one small aldea in Olancho.

All six bodies were found in Ocotillal, Municipio of Patuca, Olancho, where the operation that freed Moya Lobo was carried out.

Every press account agrees they were some of those involved in the kidnapping of Moya Lobo. CODEH, the non-governmental human rights organization headed by Andres Pavon, has indicated the National Police are responsible for the deaths of these individuals. The National Police deny responsibility, explicitly stating they detained no one, and report they've opened a special investigation.

Its not the first time the Special Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the National Police has been embroiled in controversy. On November 1 a member of the unit, stationed in La Ceiba, was captured while kidnapping a San Pedro Sula businessman in San Pedro Sula.

The same officer's police-issued gun had been found in a car belonging to kidnappers "a few years ago", but "nothing came of it."

To hear the National Police tell it, it was just a coincidence that the Anti-Kidnapping Unit was combing the area where the six or seven bodies turned up, all on a single hacienda in the aldea of Ocotillal, Patuca, Olancho.

A coincidence that strains credulity, don't you think?

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