Friday, December 30, 2011

Thunder and Lightning

So, what's with this name, Operation Lightning (Operación Relampago) anyhow?

Is Porfirio Lobo Sosa just copying Manuel Zelaya Rosales?

In August 2006 Zelaya initiated Operation Thunder (Operación Trueno) as his solution to the growing organized crime problem. It proposed to employ the 30,000 - 60, 000 private security guards as a paramilitary force deployed to put a stop to crime, along with the military deployment of 10,000 soldiers to the streets.

Operation Lightning, by comparison, has only deployed 3000 soldiers, in an operation intended to help stop crime.

Zelaya's deployment was marred by military shootings of innocent civilians. Lobo Sosa's deployment has been incident free-- so far.

Operation Lightning has only been deployed in the cities of Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, and the department of Olancho. The plan is to extend it to the departments of Copan and Atlantida in January 2012.

While Lobo Sosa claimed early success, with alleged reductions of 30 percent in the murder rate in Tegucigalpa, both the most recent journalist killed, and the assassination of Alfredo Landaverde, the former head of the Anti-drug taskforce, came after the Operation had been active for weeks.

And the question will still remain, even if demonstrated decreases in crime come from militarization, how much damage is done to civil society when the constitutional separation of civilian police and armed forces is so thoroughly compromised?

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