Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Comayagua diocese on the Comayagua prison fire


The diocese of Comayagua in these times of local and national consternation directs itself to the deeply distressed family members of the prisoners who perished in the Central Jail of Comayagua, to those who were wounded and affected during the fatal fire that began at 10:50 pm last night, Tuesday, March 14. We also direct ourselves to the whole Honduran people.

First, we profoundly lament what occurred during the worst tragedy in the history of the jails of our country and we are greatly in solidarity with the family members and those affected by the disaster who took the lives of a large number of prisoners in the Comayagua prison which according to initial data added up to 356 persons who died out of a prison population of 852.

Second, we invite our brothers and to unite with us in a common effort to respond, in the short and medium term, to the most urgent needs of the survivors of the disaster and the affected families.

Third, we lament that this is the third disaster which has happened in a decade in the prisons of Honduras, an aggravating factor being that the penal institution in the city of Comayagua was considered the prison with a higher level of security on the national level.

Fourth: we consider lamentable the inhuman conditions of stacking up [the prisoners] and insecurity in which our country’s prison population lives. Specifically in the Prison of Comayagua, constructed to house 250 prisons, the prison population was reaching 852 persons deprived of liberty.

Fifth, we ask the live groups [literally, the forces that are alive] of the Honduran society so that, united, we demand that our authorities improve the conditions of imprisonment and the means of human security in the prisons in order to safeguard the integrity and dignity of those deprived of liberty and in order that such a lamentable tragedy is not repeated, a tragedy which has brought grief to so many Honduran families and saddens all of us.

Sixth, we ask the Christian community to lift up prayers to the God of life, so that welcome in his kind hands and welcome into his glory our brothers who have died and that he strengthen their relatives with the certainty that they are not alone, that God keeps watch over them and accompanies them in these difficult moments. May God quickly heal those wounded during this disaster and may our civil authorities act decisively and quickly to improve the conditions of our prisons and of the judicial system in general.

Monseñor Roberto Camílleri OFM
Bishop of Comayagua and the priests of the diocese

The original Spanish can be found on my Spanish blog, here.

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