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  • Police in San Pedro Sula being chased by a small mob just before 18-year old Cristopher Portillo was shot in the head.

    Police in San Pedro Sula being chased by a small mob just before 18-year old Cristopher Portillo was shot in the head. | Photo: Cofa Derchos

Published 22 March 2018

Cristopher Portillo, 18, was shot when what local media are describing as a mob approached a marked police truck "they thought held criminals inside."

A young man was fatally shot in the head in the streets of San Pedro Sula in Honduras Thursday, while he was helping his mother sell street food.

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Eighteen-year-old Cristopher Portillo was shot when what local media are describing as a mob approached a marked police truck that "they thought held criminals inside, but were actually undercover agents of the Honduran security force Fight Against Narcotrafficking."

Amateur video circulating on social media shows the police vehicle pulling away and people yelling for them to come back. Two shots are heard, but it is unclear in the video where the bullets landed.

Human rights organization the Committee of Relatives of the Disappeared in Honduras (Cofadeh) and earlier local media reports suggested the assassin was a member of the police, but authorities are denying the claim.

Police, relying on video footage of the killing, have arrested and taken into custody Santos Abadid Ramirez, who is reportedly not a part of any Honduran security force.

The murder rate in Honduras remains one of the highest in the world. While killings went down in 2017 to 42.8 per 100,000 people, the 2012 homicide rate was the world's highest at 85 deaths for every 100,000 residents.

Nearly 40 people have been killed since the presidential elections Nov. 26. The United Nations says that at least 16 of these deaths were at the hands of Honduran police or military forces. Local human rights organizations say the true figure is higher.


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