Five people were shot dead by unidentified men in the Caribbean region of Honduras, a few meters away from a polling station, said Maylo Wood, the Deputy (legislative representative) for the Department of Gracias a Dios. The killings occured near a polling station.
The incident occurred at 6:30am local time (12.30 GMT) in the village of Bethlehem, in the Caribbean province of Gracias a Dios , known as La Mosquitia , bordering Nicaragua , Wood told reporters.
Two of the five victims, who until now have not been identified, died at the scene. Three others died at the Gracias a Dios state hospital, said the Deputy.
So far, the Honduran authorities have not said whether the incident is related to the electoral process, but the incident caused panic among those responsible for the polling and voters.
La Mosquitia is a region wrought with violence generated by drug gangs, who use the Honduras as a bridge for the shipment of cocaine from South America to the United States in planes and speedboats.
Last year, Honduran authorities seized more than 5,000 kilos of cocaine and about 20,000 kilos of pasta pseudoephedrine for the manufacture of ecstasy pills in different operations.
Article in Spanish: http://www.elespectador.com/noticias/elmundo/asesinan-cinco-personas-honduras-plenas-elecciones-articulo-460209
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Question: What happened?
Answer: We were in a meeting with congressional candidate Gilberto Rios two blocks away from here. We were in the meeting with the collective from our community when we saw two cars full of military police go by. And he told me no you’re just tense. So we went into the meeting and we were there a half hour and then we left because we were going with the same candidate to another meeting with other people and we were about to go in when they told us that they were trying to take over the headquarters of the party here in the Kennedy neighborhood.
So we went out but we were already surrounded with a military police line that went from Gilberto Rios’s house to the headquarters and they had two cones in the street, to make it seem that they had a checkpoint. But then when they saw that people were starting to arrive to the headquarters, we came as some of the first but others were already starting to come and so we came and when the police saw that there were people starting to come, then they pointed their rifles at us like this, they pointed them right at our faces they pointed them at us like this and they looked up at the headquarters with terrible eyes filled with hate, looking up at the headquarters like this and with their hands like this in this position. Then some sisters and brothers who are observers put on their observer identification and their vests and when they saw that we had people they left but still aiming at us.
Question: About how many of them were there?
Answer: They filled up about two blocks it was a lot of them.
Like three cars full of military police. Because for them to fill up two blocks it was a lot of them.
Question: And it was military police?
Military police and the car said Tazon de Seguridad but it didn’t have plates.
Answer: And the raiding of the other houses you were telling me about?
Yeah they went to the houses neighboring the headquarters here but we don’t know what they talked about with the people. But several groups of them came up we didn’t know what they wanted. Like to put us down and make us think… well we don’t know but they aimed at us like they were going to fire, that was their position.
Question: And any commentary to close with in general after these type of incidents are you afraid, any message for the world from the Honduran people?
Answer: Yeah we have been through this through the coup d’etat of 2009, we dealt with tear gas, we dealt with bullets, we dealt with a lot of things and we’ve been through this and I don’t think they can scare us. We don’t stop having certain fear for our lives, right, but we’re willing to keep going forward with this project and not get distracted. The people from the LIBRE party and the National Front of Popular Resistance are people who are very committed to this project and nothing and nobody is going to make us go backwards.