Story By: Jonathan Macias, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
These images show the policeman who was tied up to a wooden pole and had his gun taken off him by enraged residents who claim he was breaking COVID lockdown by pretending to patrol while off duty.
The startling incident took place in the municipality of Santa Elena in the western Honduran department of La Paz when officers Juan Antonio Lopez and Jose Ordenel Rodriguez Amaya were stopped in their car by local residents.
The local citizens claimed the officers were not on duty but had instead put on their uniform as a cover to break the coronavirus lockdown to visit relatives.
The mob, who had set up their own checkpoint, tied one of the officers to a wooden pole and reportedly seized both cops’ guns as well as their Toyota Hilux.
Local media report another police unit went to the scene and released the officers, who belong to the Police Prevention Unit (UDEP), after negotiating with the locals for them to return the guns and vehicle.
The two officers were taken to the headquarters of the Investigative Police (DPI) where they reportedly filed a complaint against the residents for illegal arrest.
The Mayor of the municipality William Ventura told local media they did not authorise the residents’ checkpoint and said: “We regret that they took action against the human rights of these two people.”
It is unclear if the local authorities have launched an investigation into the case.
According to the latest data from the Johns Hopkins University, there have been 1,270 cases of COVID-19 in Honduras and 93 deaths.
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