After Rosa’s husband was shot in front of her by two gang members, she found herself paralyzed by fear. But AJS psychological counseling led her towards healing, and empowered her to participate as a witness in the trial of the men who killed her husband. Rosa’s bravery helped AJS to achieve a conviction in the case. Now Rosa stays involved with AJS as a community informant, helping to keep her community safe for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
“I had many victories in my years with the police – I earned medals and diplomas, and many awards. But I don’t remember a single victim or witness ever thanking me for my work. With Peace and Justice, that has become the most important prize I could receive. I would rather receive the gratitude of one family than all the awards in the world.”
AJS began confronting community violence with a single investigator and a single lawyer, both of whom acted as trusted bridges between victims of violence and the judicial system, helping victims navigate the complicated path to justice. Individuals may not have trusted the police, but they grew to trust AJS, who knew them personally, supported them with emergency needs, and even prayed alongside them.
The approval of the new Organic Law of the National Police is a momentous step in the institutional life of the public security system of the country.
The seven most violent countries in Latin America represent less than 6% of the world’s population, but 34% of the world’s homicides. What would it take to change?
When eight-year-old Luis started acting out, his school decided it could no longer handle him. AJS psychologists got to the root of his problem, and helped him achieve his right to education.
In a country where impunity is staggering, and where witnesses often have more to fear than criminals, Martha Lopez made the brave decision to testify in the criminal case against the men who killed her nephew. She didn’t do so alone. Staff from AJS have been alongside her every step, counseling her, supporting her, and bringing the case to justice.
“It’s true that young people are the future, but our work should start now,” says college senior Bianka Cabrera, sharing how she’s being part of the solution in Honduras.
In ten months, the Commission has evaluated 5,867 officers, including all high-ranking officers, and removed 2,959 from their posts – half of all those evaluated. AJS President Carlos Hernández sees the last successful months as a chance to “change the story” of what is happening in Honduras, showing that, “where there’s political will and a vigilant civil society, things can change.”
This story, originally published in Spanish by AJS online magazine Revistazo on September 8, 2016, details AJS’s involvement in investigating the murder of a young girl