Honduran Garifuna Man WELSER “WILLITO” HUMBERTO MEDINA One of Three Men Murdered Execution Style during Robbery at Barbershop in Honduras. Will The Violence in Honduras EVER End?

 

La Ceiba, Honduras — In an ironic twist of fate, On Thursday, August 4th 2016; The US Department of State warned American citizens that the level of kidnapping, crime and violence in Honduras remains critically high.  One violent day later in La Ceiba, on Friday, August 5th 2016; five people were left dead in different incidents throughout the afternoon and evening.  In one instance, Honduran Garifuna Man Welser ‘Willito’ Humberto Medina Melendez was Murdered along with two other Honduran men during a Robbery of a Barbershop in Honduras.

Copyright 2016 by Teofilo Colon Jr. (a.k.a. “Tio Teo”).  All Rights Reserved. Telephone: (646) 961-3674.

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In the incident in the Barbershop on that violent day in La Ceiba, Honduras; Mr. Medina Melendez, “Willito” was killed along with Nelson Jhonsos and Wilfredo Melendez.  Willito owned the Barbershop, which looks to me to be in his home in La Ceiba.  Willito’s barbershop was the only Barbershop in the area and according to reports, was frequented by youths in the area.

Willito in the Barber Chair at his Barbershop in Honduras. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Willito in the Barber Chair at his Barbershop in Honduras. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

According to La Prensa, Honduras; and the authorities, this attack was apparently directed at the victims.  Who were all riddled with bullets inside the barbershop by unidentified men.  The individuals arrived aboard an unidentified vehicle, got out, and silently broke into the Barbershop and fired at everyone inside.  Those who were not killed were able to escape through an exit at the rear of the property.

Willito's Barbershop in Honduras. It was also his home. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Willito’s Barbershop in Honduras. It was also his home. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

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The three victims were attacked with a heavy caliber weapon.  All the dead bodies were found inside of the Barbershop, which again, was in the home of owner Welser “Willito” Humberto Medina Melendez.   On the scene, the police found bullet casings in the walls and partitions of the business.

Welser "Willito" Medina Melendez in Honduras. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Welser “Willito” Medina Melendez in Honduras. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Upon examining the evidence, local authorities say they pretty much figure that the murders were due to a personal problem between the victims and the assailants.  They are examining the evidence and hope to be able to identify and arrest potential suspects.  It’s worth noting that according to the US Department of State, the majority of homicides in Honduras go unsolved.

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Mr. Welser “Willito” Humberto Medina Melendez leaves behind a daughter and a wife, Mrs. Zunilda Melendez; an American woman born to a father from the Dominican Republic and a Guatemalan Garifuna mother from Livingston “LaBuga” Guatemala.  In an interview with BEING GARIFUNA, she explained that they lived together as husband and wife but that she eventually moved to the United States of America to work and save up enough money to get him his papers and bring him to the United States so that they could be together again.

Willito with his wife and daughter. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Willito with his wife and daughter. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

According to Mrs. Melendez, Willito was simply working and relaxing at the Barbershop with his friends.  Apparently the intended target was Nelson Jhonsos, a friend of Willito’s.  Someone had a problem with him, looked for him and found him at Willito’s Barbershop.  Nelson was shot multiple times and so was Willito.  Apparently, before getting shot he pleaded with the assailants to spare his life as he told them he had a daughter and a wife to live for.

Willito and his wife Zunilda. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Willito and his wife Zunilda. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Willito was crying for his daughter and his wife upon getting shot.  According to Mrs. Melendez, survivors relayed to her that he dropped to his knees and prayed to God looking for strength to survive the shooting.  As Willito prayed to God, he passed away.

The assailants stole 5,000 Lempiras as well as all the electronics from the home.

Willito and his wife Zunilda. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Willito and his wife Zunilda. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

In the aftermath of this execution-style set-up, Mrs. Melendez is trying to get through losing the love of her life.  Holding back tears, her voice cracked as she explained,

“I don’t want to know anything more (about what happened), because my husband passed already.  I have to think about the goodness he represented.  Willito treated me like a princess.  He spoiled me with LOVE.  He was my baby, Mi Rey (“My King” in the Spanish Language).  We had a fairy tale love.  I can’t think about the way that he died, I have to think about the years that we had together and all that we tried to do, you know?”  — Mrs. Zunilda Melendez.

Willito and his wife Zunilda. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Willito and his wife Zunilda. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

In the US State Department Travel Warning to Honduras, overall the warning advises those traveling to Honduras to use EXTREME CAUTION.  It states;

Criminal activity is a serious problem throughout the country and the Government of Honduras lacks sufficient resources to properly respond to, investigate, and prosecute cases. As a result, criminals operate with a high degree of impunity throughout Honduras.

Honduras has one of the highest murder rates in the world. The U.S. Embassy has recorded 37 murders of U.S. citizens since 2011, with three recorded since January 2016. Official statistics from the Honduran Observatory on National Violence show Honduras’ homicide rate was 60 per 100,000 in 2015. The majority of homicide cases in Honduras have no resolution.

The US STATE Department Travel Advisory to Honduras continues:

Honduran law enforcement frequently report highway assaults and carjackings by criminals posing as Honduran law enforcement throughout Honduras, including remote areas of Choluteca, Olancho, Colon, and Copan Departments.  These criminals set up road blocks or checkpoints and wear some elements of police uniforms and equipment, but are often mismatched and inconsistent.  Reports of kidnappings of U.S. citizens are not common; since families of kidnapping victims often pay ransoms without reporting these crimes to police out of fear of retribution, kidnapping figures may be underreported.

Transnational criminal organizations conduct narcotics trafficking and other unlawful activities throughout the country and use violence to control drug trafficking routes and carry out criminal activity. Other criminals, acting both individually and in gangs in Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, and other large cities, are known to commit crimes such as murder, kidnapping, extortion, carjacking, armed robbery, rape, and other aggravated assaults.

Sexual assault is a concern in Honduras. Most Honduran local police and medical staff do not have the capacity to properly investigate, handle evidence collection, and/or provide medical care for sexual assault victims.

Being Garifuna extends our condolences to the Medina family as well as to the Melendez family on the loss of Willito.  May he rest in peace and guide you all as a Guardian Angel.

ABOUT The Garifuna People

The Garifuna people are people of African descent (in other words, Black people) whose ancestry can be traced to Africans mixing with Carib Indians and Arawak Indians on the Eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent.  From this cultural fusion of race and ethnicities in St. Vincent Island, a distinct culture and language arose.

The Garifuna (then known as The Black Caribs) are noted for not only being the main source of resistance against European expansion into the Lesser Antilles over the course of over 150 years, but also being one of the few (only?) peoples of African descent (again, in other words, Black people) in the Americas to have maintained aspects of their ancestral culture and full use of their ancestral language for everyday use over the course of hundreds of years.

After being defeated in war with the British on St. Vincent in 1796; 1004 men,  1779 women and 1,555 children for a total of 4,338 people (mostly Black Caribs, as the Garifuna people were then known) were captured and taken to Baliceaux, a small island, a rock, basically, off the coast of St. Vincent.  This took place from July 1796 through February/March 1797.  About 2,000 Garifunas died of a mysterious and very infectious fever while living on Baliceaux awaiting their fate.

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In early March 1797, the remaining Garifunas were loaded onto the HMS Experiment and other ships.  Once they were rounded up, the convoy were taken to a Bequia, which is another island off the coast of St. Vincent. They proceeded to go to Grenada to get water, then Jamaica for refueling, then finally Roatan, Honduras, arriving on April 12th 1797.

Finding much of Roatan unliveable, the Garifuna people petitioned officials representing Spain and it’s government (which controlled much of Central America at the time) to be allowed to move to the Honduran mainland.  Upon being allowed to move to the Honduran mainland, namely the port town of Trujillo, Honduras in May 1797; the Garifunas settled many towns and villages along the Caribbean coast of Honduras.  They also migrated to the neighboring countries of Guatemala, Belize (then known as British Honduras) and Nicaragua over the years.

Finally, Garifuna People have also migrated to the United States of America where generations have settled in cities like New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Seattle, Boston, Miami and Boston.  Despite their mainly Spanish surnames, their culture and history are distinct from other Afro-American and Latino ethnic groups and it’s important to keep that in mind.

If you find the BEING GARIFUNA Website helpful and useful, please DONATE.  Every dollar donated helps keep this website in operation.  Donations are accepted via the PAYPAL website so your potential donations are SAFE and SECURE.

Honduran Garifuna Man, Welser Willito Humberto Medina Melendez. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Honduran Garifuna Man, Welser Willito Humberto Medina Melendez. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

 

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