We also stopped and prayed at the National Police Station (of San Pedro Sula) and the Palace of Justice. Although Lent hasn't begun, the organizers wanted to make use of the opportunity of the presence of international observers. We were there to accompany the relatives of the victims as they made the Way of the Cross.
Afterwards we heard presentations by religious Sisters. They described Honduras as a small country where all their natural resources are being taken away. Women are targeted because they are often the leaders. In addition, when the breadwinner is in jail, the women have no money to feed and clothe their families. The Sisters fear that after the upcoming inauguration, the women will be targeted.
One Sister said, "The face of the struggle is a woman's face."
I then went to where protesters who had created a roadblock of a major road. We met and talked with some of the protesters. Over a 100 police and Military Police with full military gear and many with black masks lobbed over 100 tear gas canisters at a small group of about 40 protesters, some of whom were children. Many of the police were also quite young. Several of the Military Police wore black masks. I do not know the rationale for the masks. After the protesters dispersed, the police pursued them into the woods. I understand one young man was shot.
Efforts had been made to negotiate the situation by ERIC, a Jesuit organization. The police response was way out of proportion to the situation. We picked up some of the empty tear gas canisters and they were marked as being made in the USA.
On the way back to our residence, I was sitting in the bed of a pickup truck. Suddenly we were going at high speed through side streets. Apparently soldiers had entered the home of the driver and were being abusive to his family. As we came up, the police left. Subsequently, we accompanied the family to the police station to file a report.
What a day!