It’s so easy to start an article by adopting Bill Shankley’s famous quotes about football being more important than life (when it obviously isn’t), especially when a tragedy occurs connected to the beautiful game. Again, violence rocks Honduras after hearing the midfield star, Arnold Peralta, was shot dead in his home city La Ceiba. No one quite knows the full story but it will surely be revealed in this aftermath. It seems to have been a drive-by shooting at a shopping centre car park. Suffice to say, like with all murders of high-profile persons, there’s much shock, but also an overwhelming feeling of helplessness that maybe we shouldn’t be shocked at all. High, middle or low profile, rich or poor, everyone’s target in this “life is cheap” ambience, where nobody has a special right to avoid a violent death; if you don’t care about a man who represents your country in the country’s number one sport, you’re unlikely to care about anyone. If you you lower the price of life, with corruption and impunity, incidents like this will happen.
The murderers at the time of writing are on the loose, so their motive isn’t yet known, if it ever will be (murderers are seldom caught, especially if the murdered are not of a higher status. Either that or the police just don’t have the resources or are embroiled in it). If it’s narco and gang-related, there will be little surprise, especially after what happened to Wilson Palacios’s brother. The cocaine trade has imbalanced the communities with corruption and social problems and murders just play a part of everyday.
He was due to go to last year’s World Cup in Brazil but was left out after suffering an ankle injury just days before the tournament. He was part of Honduras’s heroic 2012 Olympic Games squad, playing a defensive midfield role and possessed a snarling tenacity that made many opponents fear him, as well as try to wind him up. Something of a Roy Keane type player that got the team moving, he got a fair share of cat calls and criticism. I personally admire a player like that who can give a game character. He was playing for Glasgow Rangers this time last year, and won a Scottish League One title while there I believe. He returned to Honduras in January and was playing for my team’s arch enemy, Olimpia, where he played a leading role in their cup double earlier in the year. At 26, he seemed to be reaching his peak. Being a Celtic and Motagua fan, I wish the former Olimpia and Rangers man rests in peace.
You can only really pray for him and his family and hope it doesn’t happen again. Feels helpless, doesn’t it! The world’s tensions are high with wars in the Middle East and terrorist attacks in Europe and Africa. The human race is too used to death and murder. Is it a sign of the times or has it always been this way? Is it too much to ask for people to simply look after each other, care for each other, not kill each other? Humans have evolved into a dangerous, strange species. Sad times.