Two Taiwanese military academy students in Honduras who were shot during a robbery earlier this month are recovering well, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
“Taiwanese Ambassador to Honduras Lai Chien-chung (賴建中) said he expressed grave concerns to the Honduran government over the matter immediately after the incident and that police had arrested the suspects soon after an order by Honduran President Porfirio Lobo,” Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Shen Lyn-shun (沈呂巡) said.
The two cadets and another Taiwanese student, who are taking part in a military exchange program in Honduras, encountered robbers on the evening of May 10 on their way to school to attend Spanish classes, the Chinese-language United Daily News reported yesterday.
The robbers opened fire on the students after stealing US$5. A student surnamed Lai (賴) was shot in the right side of his waist, while a student surnamed Chin (金) was shot in the elbow, the paper said.
Lin Cheng-hui (林正惠), deputy director-general of the ministry’s Department of Central and South American Affairs, said the incident was a random attack rather than one specifically targeting Taiwanese.
“One student has been -transferred from the intensive care unit and can walk around, though the bullet remains in his body,” Lin said.
The third student, surnamed Yeh (葉), was unharmed in the assault, Ministry of National Defense spokesman Lo Shao-ho (羅紹和) said.
The three cadets are expected to continue their studies in Honduras.
The Honduran chief of general staff has gone to the hospital to see the cadets and the Honduran health minister has expressed concerns to Lai on behalf of the Honduran president, Lin said.
Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu (高華柱) has directed officials to update the cadets’ families on their medical condition and to evaluate the best possible follow-up medical care for the injured students, Lo said.
As the US and Mexico are stepping up a crackdown on drug trafficking, several cartels have moved operations from Mexico to other parts of Latin America, leading to a deterioration of public order in some Central and South American states, Lin said.
“Our embassies and representative offices in Latin America have urged our expatriates there to heighten vigilance of their own safety,” Lin said.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA