Tinsel and colored lights still adorn many houses in Choloma, a gritty manufacturing town near the Caribbean coast of Honduras, but at the home of David Ramos there are no signs of the festive season. “Christmas no longer exists for us: not this year, not any year,” said Ramos as he leafed through freshly printed pictures of his oldest son. José Ramos, 22, was killed by military police officers last month, at a protest over alleged fraud in the country’s presidential election. The contested results triggered the country’s worst political crisis in a decade and have led to the deaths of at least 30 people, according to the Committee for the Families of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (Cofadeh), a human rights group. Most of the victims were opponents of President Juan Orlando Hernández, who they say rigged the vote to beat the opposition candidate, Salvador Nasralla.
According to Cofadeh, at least 21 people were killed by the military police, (PMOP), which was originally created to lead the government’s crackdown on violent street gangs.
Relatives of the dead say they fear that there will be no justice over post-election violence: some say they have been threatened by troops; others point out that human rights prosecutions involving security forces are overseen by the same taskforce that helps coordinate PMOP operations.