Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Operation Lightning Backlash

The first backlash against Porfirio Lobo Sosa's Operation Lightning is getting press coverage in Honduras. The 150 members of the town council and residents of the town of Ocotillo shut down the main road through town, blocking it with burning tires, to demand that the 105 Infantry Brigade remove the 300 troops they have stationed in the town as part of Operation Lightning because the troops are violating their rights and abusing their authority.

They report that the soldiers are doing too much identity checking, making everyone, men, women, children, and even the aged, get out of the bus twice as it passes through town. They are also torturing the young men who are on public buses, bending and twisting fingers to get them to confess gang membership. One town councilman says they are even forcing ministers and priests to disrobe to check for arms. They take your cell phone if you aren't carrying the receipt for it.

So, Miguel Ángel Guifaro, the head of the town council, is asking the 105 Infantry brigade to withdraw its troops because they feel the town police post is sufficient.

However, the commander of the 105 Infantry Brigade, coronal Carlos Discua Valle, rejected the complaint alleging the 150 people who protested (out of a population of 11,000) were just relatives of those arrested over the weekend for possession of drugs and a stolen motorcycle. Coronal Discua said:
"Every operation is supervised by officers and non-commissioned officers and nothing is outside the law"

So no investigation, no review, just outright rejection of any claims of abuse. Didn't happen.

Isn't that the epitome of abuse of authority?

No comments: