Honduran Foreign Minister Resigns after Drunk Driving

January 11, 2008

TEGUCIGALPA – Honduran Foreign Minister Milton Jimenez announced his resignation Jan. 3 after being involved in a drunken-driving incident over the weekend.

Jimenez, a friend of President Mel Zelaya, said at a press conference that he was stopped by police early on Dec. 30 for driving under the influence while returning from a social function.

He added that he was brutally beaten by the officers, who handcuffed him, “threw” him in a patrol car and drove him to a police station.

The top diplomat, whose left eye was bruised and swollen, also had signs of being beaten on his arms and said he would not show the injuries he suffered to other parts of his body out of decency.

Before Jimenez spoke, Security Minister Alvaro Romero read a brief statement indicating that the foreign minister had been taken into custody after “not wanting to identify himself” to the police.

Romero did not refer to the apparent beating Jimenez received from the officers, but said Jimenez refused to undergo a mandatory sobriety test.

Upon arriving at the police station, Jimenez was identified and the officers were ordered to administer a blood-alcohol test to him, Romero said.When the minister refused, police were forced to “neutralize him and detain him,” though he was later sent home.

Jimenez apologized to the Honduran people “for this regrettable situation,” but also denounced the excessive force used by the police.

 

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