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Hooded Men Beat, Try To Kidnap Activist

On Friday, February 26 five hooded men tried to kidnap Tomás Enrique García Castillo, a university student and National Front of Popular Resistance member. He was beaten brutally when he resisted their attempts to take him into a vehicle by force. This occurred when he was coming back at night from class, between the Kennedy and Víctor F. Ardón neighborhoods.

The area where he was walking has become a center of operations for people who have been kidnapping members of the resistance, taking them to clandestine jails where they are tortured.

“I was returning from class at night, got off near the Paiz supermarket and was walking in a dark street when I was intercepted by a car and five hooded men tried to take me into the car by force. I resisted and that´s why they were not able to reach their objective,” said García Castillo whose face shows signs of the beating.

García added that the men were wearing bulletproof vests, handguns and had a strange accent. They beat him on the back with a hard object, hit him on the face, kicked him and elbowed him while they were insulting him.

He described the hooded men as big and muscular and having a foreign accent, “which is why I can assume that they are paramilitaries from another country that are using repression against active resistance members in this country.”

He said that everything happened very fast but his survival instinct allowed him to escape. “My eye sight was blurry but then someone fired a gun and they took off. They were in a gray Toyota car with polarized windows and no nameplates.”

Despite what happened he said that these kinds of acts won’t stop him. “They are the life’s shocks which bring wisdom, but no weapons nor bullets will be able to bend us.” He describes himself as a man who has always being part of the struggle. “When I got involved in the resistance and when I went to the airport bringing the ballot boxes, I knew I was going to lose my job, my wife, but I had an epiphany. I knew that is the price you have to pay for social struggles.”

He advised his university classmates not to succumb to fear. “It’s worth it, so that the Honduran people can generate change, so that we can get rid of those on top. I tell the youth not to be afraid, to be prepared, that change is coming.”

García Castillo is a member of the National Front of Popular Resistance and the Patriotic Coalition, as well as the Revolutionary People’s Union, URP.