Former Rangers footballer shot dead

Peralta

Fans have expressed deep sadness on social media sites after the news broke. Photo/Twitter

By Ari Brynjolfsson

Former Rangers footballer Arnold Peralta has been shot dead in his Honduran hometown.

The 26-year-old defensive midfielder was killed in a drive-by shooting in the car park of the Uniplaza shopping mall in La Ceiba in the Central American nation while on holiday.

No arrests have been made and police have ruled out robbery as a motive as his belongings were not stolen. Honduran authorities refuse to reveal when the incident occurred.

Peralta played 24 games for Rangers across two seasons and left the club last January, he scored his only goal against Stranraer in April 2014. While with Rangers he won the Scottish League One title in the 2013/2014 season. His current team was FC Deportivo Olimpia.

Rangers Supporters Club said the news was terrible and that they still considered him family.

The Club said in a statement to the press: ‘We join all our fans in sending our condolences to the family of our former player.’

His death was confirmed by his father, Carlos Peralta at a news conference: ‘This is terribe. They killed my exemplary son. I can’t say more because of the pain I feel.’

Peralta was the Honduran Under-20 captain before playing 26 games for the national team, including the 2014 World Cup. He was due to play for his country next week in an international friendly against Cuba.

Honduras is plagued by gang violence and has the highest murder rates worldwide, topping United Nations crime reports since 2011 with more than 90 murders per 100,000 people.

Human Rights Watch organization said in their 2014 world report that perpetrators of killings and other violent crimes in Honduras were rarely brought to justice, the report said: ‘Honduras suffers from rampant crime and impunity for human rights abuses.’

The Honduran government however vows to bring Peralta’s killers to justice: ‘We won’t rest until those responsible for this act are identified and detained so that they can face justice.’

Football fans support Casa Alianza

by Sofia Goncalves

by Robin Hammond

Famous for being rowdy and boisterous on the football terraces, Celtic football fans also have big hearts. While their team are campaigning for success in Europe, club supporters are backing a Scottish organisation helping street children from Latin America.

According to Paul Reilly, a Celtic supporter, the club became involved with Casa Alianza after one of the members, Neil Doherty, returned from a trip to Latin America and became aware of the situation of the street children in there. When Mr. Doherty returned to the UK, he suggested the club to start supporting children from Central America.

Paul Reilly says “We started with Casa five years ago. At the moment, we are trying to raise money from the events. We have also supported the street children on the World Cup.” They managed to bring street children from Nicaragua to the World Cup in South Africa, 2010. Other than that, their support “tends to be mainly financial, by publicising it or by writing about them on our newsletter.

“In a longer term, we are looking into having some members to work in Central America.”

Some of the members attended an event organised by Casa Alianza, last saturday. With the race night in the Sacred Heart Church Hall, in Lauriston Street, Casa Alianza raised over 600 pounds to help the street children.

This charity association is trying to get  Scottish Charity status. Their work in Scotland has been to run events, raise awareness to the situation of violence and abuse suffered by the street children, try to encourage volunteers to join Casa, get people to take action by writing letters to the Government and get grants from other associations.

Casa Alianza’s work in Mexico, Honduras and Nicaragua is also precious. Mr. Gunson, coordinator of Casa Alianza in Scotland, says “part of the program is to keep up with their education, get them into school or, if they are a bit older, to get them into work placements or short courses. It’s a delicate and slow process. We also try to reintegrate them with their families if there has been no abuse.

“we are trying to build their self-esteem, build up their confidence. Volunteers walk in the streets offering first aid. We also have boarding houses but the children have to want to be there.”

Casa Alianza also has music links, such as Suzanne Vega, or the Isle of Wight Festival and other supporters.

by Robin Hammond

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