In Honduras Man killed in Honduras police crackdown: rights groups

A man was killed Monday in Honduras when police forcibly removed demonstrators blocking a road in protest against the disputed re-election of President Juan Orlando Hernandez, rights groups said.

The man, identified as Ismael Hernandez, “died when military police fired live rounds,” said the coordinator of the non-governmental Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Honduras, Hugo Maldonado.

The incident took place in Choloma, a town 190 kilometers (120 miles) north of the capital Tegucigalpa.

A police spokesman said officers were seeking to verify information about the death they had received from various sources.

Maldonado said his group has recorded more than 20 deaths in violence linked to protests over the president’s re-election.

Another rights group, the Committee of Relatives of Disappeared Detainees in Honduras said it had counted more than 30 deaths.

In early January, the Honduran prosecutors’ office said it had recorded 24 violent deaths between the November 26 election date and December 28, including those of three police officers.

Military spokesman Colonel Jorge Cerrato told AFP at the time that his service had compiled no figures on the number of civilians killed.

Honduras is roiled by protests called by the leftwing Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship, which says Hernandez robbed the election from its candidate, Salvador Nasralla, by rigging polling station returns.

US-backed Hernandez sought a second mandate after the supreme court in 2015 overturned a ban on presidential re-election.

Protests frequently involve demonstrators throwing stones at police, and officers using tear gas and rubber bullets. Protesters and rights groups have also accused the police of using live ammunition at times.

Hernandez officially started his second four-year mandate on January 27.