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Military police outside of a juvenile detention center where clashes broke out, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Jan. 15, 2015 (AP photo by Fernando Antonio).

Police Scandal in Honduras Could Lead to Even More Militarized Policing

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Documents recently released by Honduran newspaper El Heraldo revealed what many Hondurans had long suspected: the presence of a hit squad within the police tasked with carrying out assassinations of law enforcement officials.

In December 2009, Honduras’ anti-drug chief, Gen. Julian Aristides Gonzalez, was killed in his car in front of his daughter’s school in the capital, Tegucigalpa. His assassination came just days after he revealed the discovery of clandestine airstrips in Olancho, the country’s largest department and a hub for drug trafficking. His associate and former head of the anti-narcotics commission, Gustavo Alfredo Landaverde, was killed two years later after he accused the police of being infiltrated by criminal elements. The documents produced by El Heraldo, followed by a report in The New York Times, implicated high-ranking police officials in their murders—a fact known to police investigators within weeks of Gonzalez’s murder. The documents also exposed a major cover-up perpetrated by high-ranking police officials. ...

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