Excerpts from interview with the Ex Director of Internal Affairs for the National Police, Commissioner Maria Luisa Borjas following the “honorable” and multimillion dollar “retirement-expulsion” of several high ranking, veteran and questionable National Police officers.
1. The police have largely become a huge band of delinquents. The honorable and conscientious members that remain, take no action because they are afraid to.
2. The current President makes dictatorial decisions, gives no attention to the input, advice nor experience of people who have expertise in these areas. He is a frustrated military man and the only thing he offers is greater repression.
3. There is no true political will to clean up the police. This is just managed at the level of discourse and promise. At no moment have the actions necessary to purge the police in order to be able to take subsequent actions to strengthen and train police. 40% of the police force could be saved if a true clean up were carried out.
4. The TIGRES troops and the Military Police (PMOP) are replicas of the deadly 3-16 Battalion which specialized in persecution, kidnapping, torture and execution of people. For me, these units represent a threat to the population, the rule of law and rights and freedoms guaranteed by the constitution of Honduras.
5. What is coming is low intensity warfare. The TIGRES and the Military Police (PMOP) are soldiers trained in counterinsurgency and low intensity warfare combat who have been placed on the streets.
6. The creation of these units and the strengthening of the Armed Forces is in order to fortify and protect the dictatorship. We will soon see political persecution directed against opposition parties and anyone who dares to speak the truth and defend the human rights of citizens.
7. In the face of these threats, she recommends people to organize so that they are not responding as individuals and to lessen vulnerability. She emphasized the importance of building networks and communication in order to raise awareness regarding the situation, denounce irregular situations before human rights organizations with well known trajectories, learn what people’s rights are and which laws contain them, among other actions.
8. At this moment 40 army officials are being trained in criminal investigation in Chile which implies that these military officials will be occupying criminal investigation positions within the national police force.
9. The million dollar “honorable retirement” of many officials who should be in jail sends a bad message to officials who are acting according to the law and points to an increase in insecurity.