Sunday, March 20, 2011

Damning Statistics on the Police

The Honduran government held a press conference this weekend and gave out copies of the Human Rights report that Honduras filed with the UN this week. It has some damning statistics about how little crime is investigated in Honduras, and therefore why no criminals ever get caught. Remember that these are supposedly the numbers Honduras submitted; they are government sanctioned.

The government report said first that 80% of all crimes are never reported in Honduras. They then said that of those 20% of crimes that are reported, a further 81% are not investigated by the police. That means that only 3.8% of all of the crimes that happen in Honduras are even investigated by the police! The report goes on to state that the police also fail to carry out arrest warrants, that 80% of the arrest warrants issued are never executed by the police! One wonders what they are so busily doing that they can't do their job.

The same report asserts that Honduras has made progress or completed all 129 items in the November, 2010 as part of its Universal Periodic Exam. This includes resolving the case of the dismissed judges mentioned in the previous post. Amnesty International called them on obfuscating their position on the judges in their presentation to the UN this week (at about 18:30 into the video of the session). Almost every comment on the Honduran government's position paper mentioned the lack of any proposal to deal with the incredible level of impunity demonstrated above.

Today, Tiempo reports that the AsociaciĆ³n de Jueces por la Democracia demands Ana Pineda, Honduras's Human Rights minister, step down because she's been ineffective since she assumed office last November. She has not been able to moderate the human rights violations that continue to occur in Honduras.
"Minister Pineda should resign if she has dignity. The death of the teacher (on Friday in Tegucigalpa) is caused by the repression ordered by the government of Porfirio Lobo Sosa.....Minister Pineda is not being realistic. There are serious indications that the government of Honduras has done nothing,"

said the AJD spokesperson.

What it boils down to, is that Ana Pineda talks a good line when it comes to human rights. She's pushed changes in laws, supposedly established a hate crimes investigative unit in the police, and called on Honduran society to be more tolerant of gays, lesbians, and transvestites after the US Embassy issued a statement warning Honduras on its continued ignoring of these hate crimes.

But nothing has changed in Honduras, as the above crime statistics demonstrate. There has been no improvement in the actual lived experience of Hondurans when it comes to the human rights situations that Pineda claims to have resolved. There's still no investigation of hate crimes against the press, or LGBT people. She hasn't even spoken about the problem with paramilitary mercenaries imported by the land owners in Honduras, widely acknowledged as responsible for the majority of the deaths in the Bajo Aguan.

Its all talk; there's no action; Honduras may as well not have an human rights minister for all the effect her office has had on Hondurans.

Those statistics represent lawlessness, impunity. Until that situation begins to improve, all the fine words of the Honduran Human Rights minister mean nothing.

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