U.S. deplores murder of Honduran teen by military
By ALBERTO ARCE and MARTHA MENDOZA, Associated Press | Published: November 15, 2012
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — U.S. officials are demanding answers after learning soldiers trained, vetted and equipped by the U.S. government chased down and killed a teenager in Honduras, where the U.S. is already withholding tens of millions of dollars in police and military aid over concerns about human rights violations.
Ebed Yanes, 15, was killed the night of May 26 after driving through a military checkpoint. His father, Wilfredo Yanes, a mild-mannered organic food supplier, tracked down the soldiers, eventually uncovering an allegedly high-level attempt to hide evidence. Further, his quest led to new information reported this week that the unit in question was supported by the U.S.
Earlier this year, the U.S. began withholding funds from Honduras after reports alleged that a newly appointed national police chief had ties to death squads. U.S. law prohibits assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights with impunity.
Ebed's death, officials said, is not a new trigger for withholding funds, but instead yet another disturbing incident raising concerns in the U.S. government about support for the current Honduran police and military. Other issues include the killings of human rights activists, journalists and opposition lawyers.