Urgent Request for Prayer from Honduras
For the past eight months, AJS has been at the forefront of reforming the Honduran police. We knew the work was difficult and dangerous, but last night was a brutal reminder of what the cost of standing up to injustice can be.
Last evening, Pastor Jorge Machado suffered an attempt on his life. Pastor Machado is an AJS-board member, and member of the Police Reform Commission. As Machado and his wife returned home, armed men released fire, killing a member of their security detail and severely wounding another, who is in the hospital in critical condition.
Here at AJS, we often say that you know you are doing justice when people start getting mad. The work of the Commission has certainly been an example of this as they have boldly stood up against the corruption that cripples the justice system in Honduras, one of the most violent countries in the world.
In just eight months, the Commission has removed 2,070 officers from the National Police, officers who had enjoyed years of impunity as they extorted, robbed, and murdered the Honduran people.
The events last night leave us shaken, even scared, but also more convinced than ever that the work of the Commission is successfully confronting injustice. As the President of Transparency International said in a statement of support, “these attempts show that the corrupt fear us”.
AJS will continue to bravely confront injustice. It is the calling that God has given us, and we firmly believe that this is His work. The Commission has also confirmed that, if anything, threats and attacks only confirm their commitment to the police reform process.
“There is no going back,” said Omar Rivera, an AJS staff leader and another Commission member. “Under no circumstances will they intimidate us with threats or aggressions, nothing will diminish our drive to reconstruct the National Police.”
But though these events won’t stop our work, they certainly mark us. We mourn for the loss of a young officer who died in the line of duty. We think about our friends and colleagues whose security will increase yet again. We wonder what challenges will confront us in this New Year as the process of police reform continues.
We want to ask for your support in two ways.
- First, please pray with us
- Pray for the family of Geovany Calderón, who was killed yesterday
- Pray for the healing of Ricardo Chavarría, who is in the hospital in critical condition
- Pray for Pastor Jorge Machado, his wife, and his family in the aftermath of this traumatizing event
- Pray for peace and protection for all members of the Police Purging Commission and their families: Omar Rivera, Alberto Solórzano, Vilma Morales, Carlos Hernández, German Leitzelaar, and Jorge Machado
- Pray for AJS’s security team as they reevaluate security needs for AJS staff
- Pray for the Attorney General’s investigation team as they seek the culprits of this crime
- Pray for the hope of a trustworthy police force and safer Honduras,
- Second, please share this story
We ask that you share this message with your networks – friends, family, and church. In addition to increasing the prayers that cover our work, greater public attention can help us pressure the Honduran government to stand up for and protect the members of this Commission, and obtain results in this criminal case. You can also help us bring international attention to the danger of the work the Commission is doing.
As we call for “Peace on Earth” this Christmas season, the words take on a new significance. LORD, in this challenging time, bring your peace to Honduras!