Father Marco Aurelio Lorenzo claims police "beat us on every part of our body". hondurasnews.com

Honduran priest files charges against police for alleged beating

By  Catholic News Service
  • January 6, 2012

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras - A Honduran priest known for his work on behalf of human rights and the environment said he and two of his brothers were beaten by police as they rested along a roadside on a trip to visit their parents the day after Christmas.

Father Marco Aurelio Lorenzo told reporters of the ordeal in early January after filing a criminal complaint against eight police officers in the prosecutor's office in the northern city of San Pedro Sula, the Latin American Herald Tribune reported Jan. 5.

"They beat us on every part of our body," the newspaper quoted Father Lorenzo, pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Church in the western city of Macuelizo, as saying.

He said police did not realize he was a priest until they took the men to the hospital for treatment of their wounds.

The priest's parishioners issued a statement Dec. 31 saying the three men "suffered an assault, abduction, and intent of homicide by members of the ... police."

"The priest and his two companions were tortured and injured in the face, suffered injuries in their bodies caused by kicks and blows after being tortured; the principal purpose was to get into the vehicle and fling it into a 300-meter deep abyss. What can we call this in a country like Honduras?" the parishioners asked.

The actions of the Honduran national police force have come under scrutiny in recent months after some of its members have been involved in drug trafficking, motor vehicle theft and extortion, according to the Latin American Herald Tribune.

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