Latin America and the Caribbean

18 August 2000


Fifteen-year-old street boy Oscar Armando Flores Lira was severely wounded by a shotgun blast fired by a private policeman yesterday at 10:30 am outside the "Maxi" supermarket in the pedestrian walkway in Tegucigalpa.

Oscar had pulled an empty cardboard box from a dumpster outside the supermarket that was full of rubbish. According to witnesses, the private policeman, Leodan Vasquez (30) - who provides security at the supermarket - walked up to the boy who was sitting on a bench, accused him of stealing the box from the rubbish, and opened fire with his 12-gauge shotgun. Vasquez works for the "Servicios de Seguridad Corporativo" (SECORP) private security company.

The boy was taken to the hospital "Escuela" where he was hospitalized. The Casa Alianza Legal Aid Office made an immediate report to the Children's Special prosecutor. The policeman was arrested and is now detained at the 7th precinct. A statement from Oscar will be taken by the speacial prosecutor today. The police investigation file No. is MN-870-00. Today the policeman will be taken to the First Criminal Judge of Letters and will be charged with attempted murder.

More than 320 children and youth have been murdered in Honduras in the past two and a half years. Only 26 percent of the perpetrators have been identified, and more than half of them are policemen.

PLEASE send a short, polite message, asking for an investigation into the shooting of Oscar and into the 320 murders, to:

La Tribuna

Please send me a copy of your message and any response you may receive. Thanks for taking the time to care,

Bruce Harris
Casa Alianza/Covenant House Latin America
SJO 1039
PO Box 025216
Miami FL 33102-5216 USA

Tel. in Costa Rica: +506 253-5439 or 253-6338
Fax in Costa Rica: +506 224-5689

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