Photo: Julio Cesar Casaleno's wake
A police press affairs officer was gunned down in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, transit police spokesman Kemel Ordoñez said.
Julio Cesar Casaleno, who held a law degree and worked in the transit police department’s press office, was murdered in Tegucigalpa’s Cerro Grande section.
Casaleno was heading to a store two blocks from his house when he was attacked by two unidentified gunmen, National Police spokesman Hector Ivan Mejia told reporters, citing eyewitness accounts.
Investigators are looking for those involved in the killing and will find “the criminals’ whereabouts,” Mejia said.
Casaleno hosted a transit police television program on Maya TV, the press reported.
Honduras had a homicide rate of 86.5 per 100,000 people in 2011, the National Human Rights Commission said.
At least 102 police officers have been murdered in the Central American country in the past 20 months, Human Rights Commissioner Ramon Custodio said.
The perpetrators have not been found by investigators in 90 percent of the cases, Custodio said.
There is “a high level of impunity in the majority of the crimes committed against members of the police” in Honduras, the human rights commissioner said.
“This violent act committed against a police officer just reflects the general situation of lack of security in Honduras,” Custodio said, referring to Casaleno’s murder.
The National Police, which has been undergoing a process of vetting and removing officers since November 2011, “has an obligation to investigate this crime until it finds those responsible and bring them to justice,” Custodio said.
The police agency is being cleaned up because officers and officials were implicated in numerous crimes, including drug trafficking and auto theft.
More than 5,500 police officers and officials have been charged with crimes, including murders, drug trafficking, extortion and kidnappings, in the past 13 years.