Honduras’ former police chief has implicated government officials in the murder of his son, who was shot outside a food stand earlier this week.
Ricardo Ramirez del Cid, who served as Honduras’ top police commander for about six months between 2011 and 2012, said he had information police officials had ordered gang members to kidnap his 17-year-old son, reported the AP.
“The hardest part is that it’s the security forces that have done me this great harm… the military and the police,” Ramirez del Cid told newspaper El Heraldo. He accused the police of being largely “absent” in terms of investigating the case.
Del Cid’s son was shot along with his two police bodyguards on February 17 in Tegucigalpa. According to El Heraldo, intelligence sources say the attack was carried out by gang members and was directed by at least three inmates in the national penitentiary.
In the interview, Del Cid appeared to imply that he did not believe this theory, stating that the “mareros” (gang members) had no interest in harming his son, but were ordered to do so by “authorities.”
InSight Crime Analysis
Despite Del Cid’s insistence during the El Heraldo interview that he “already knows” who was behind his son’s murder, it is doubtful he is able to see the case objectively. It is true that Honduras’ widely corrupt police force are well-known for participating in crimes themselves. In one noteworthy 2011 case, police officers murdered the son of the leader of Honduras’ largest university, Julieta Castellanos. The killing happened while Del Cid commanded the force, and arguably played a role in why he was later replaced with controversial commander Juan Carlos Bonilla.
It remains to be seen whether the murder of Del Cid’s son will increase pressure on the government to move forward more quickly with police reform, as happened with the Castellanos case. During his time as Honduras’ top cop, Del Cid was not a strident voice for reform: as blog Honduras Culture and Politics points out, he is among a group of high-ranking police officers who have failed to fully collaborate with police clean-up efforts.