HomeNewsBriefHonduras Police, Sacked For Corruption, Shot Dead
BRIEF

Honduras Police, Sacked For Corruption, Shot Dead

HONDURAS / 4 MAY 2012 BY CHRISTOPHER LOOFT EN

Two Honduran former police officers have been gunned down in Tegucigalpa, in a crime variously attributed to gang disputes or to a cover-up of corruption in the force.

The two ex-policemen were reportedly shot dead by six men driving a pickup truck on Wednesday in Tegucigalpa. Their bodies were found in another pickup truck, without license plates, that had more than 50 bullet holes.

According to La Tribuna, the victims, Inspector Rossel Armando Najera Hernandez and Deputy Commissioner Dorian Martir Sobalvarro Bueso, were sacked in November 2011 in a purge spurred by the October killing of two university students.

Najera was stationed in La Granja, a neighborhood in the south of the capital, which was the focus of controversy when police based there were accused of murdering the students. An El Heraldo investigation revealed that officers in the area had formed a criminal network dealing drugs, carrying out contract killings, and selling stolen cars, which it called the "Cartel de la Granja." Najera and Sobalvarro both held leadership positions in districts linked to the network.

In 2010, Najera was accused of having taken part in an express kidnapping along with two other police officers from La Granja. Sobalvarro, who survived an attempt on his life in late December 2011, was under investigation for illicit enrichment.

InSight Crime Analysis

The motive for the killing of the former officers remains unclear. Investigators told La Prensa that the men may have been murdered for "knowing too much" -- this could mean that there is a cover-up of the criminal activities of the La Granja police. On the other hand, a "credible source" told La Tribuna that in police circles it is suspected the officials were killed in a gang dispute.

Either way, the case serves to underline the problem of police corruption in Honduras, where up to 40 percent of police are suspected of ties to organized crime, according to the Congress vice president. If the men were killed to stop them speaking out about police crimes, this could point to a broader cover-up to stop the facts emerging. The gang dispute hypothesis, meanwhile, highlights one of the challenges facing the country as it seeks to clean up its police. When corrupt officers are dismissed, they can continue to operate in lucrative illicit markets, using their police and criminal contacts.

Honduras has deployed its military in a policing role as a temporary solution to spiraling violence -- its national murder rate has climbed to 86 per 100,000, the world's highest -- while an independent commission conducts a top-down review of the police.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

CACHIROS / 31 MAR 2021

A judge in the United States sentenced the brother of Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández to life in prison for…

HOMICIDES / 29 AUG 2022

Police in Guanajuato, Mexico, are accused of being in the pocket of the Jalisco Cartel. But do they have a…

BRAZIL / 18 DEC 2020

“Plata o Plomo” is an overused phrase to describe the way criminals threaten officials and civilians to ensure compliance with…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…