Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Prominent Honduran Attorney, 2 Others Murdered in Capital

Judith Aleman, a prominent Honduran attorney, and two others, one of whom was her driver, were all found shot to death at approximately 1600 on Monday (November 7) in the upscale Lomas del Guijarro neighborhood in Tegucigalpa, Honduras' capital. The three were found inside of a parked SUV and according to police were shot with AK-47 assault rifles and 9mm pistols, suggesting multiple assailants.

COMMENT: It should also be noted that Aleman survived an assassination attempt on June 6, 2008, when several assailants traveling in a pickup truck fired 14 shots at Aleman’s vehicle as she was driving through Lomas del Guijarro. It is unknown as to who wanted Aleman dead, but in Honduras, it only takes one. Sadly, contract killings are commonplace in a country that uses such an approach as a day-to-day approach to resolving disputes.

Unfortunately, Honduras had the highest rate of homicide [82) per 100,000 population in the world in 2010, according to the United Nations. This is due largely in part to the poor regard citizens have for the right to life. Additionally, the technical competence of law enforcement agencies in Honduras do not differ much from those in Sub-Saharan Africa. Another factor that explains the large number of contract killings in Honduras is the fact that nearly one-third of Honduras' population is underemployed.

As a matter of interest, the violence in Central America and the Caribbean, according to the UN, is reaching a crisis level.

Generally speaking, I don't recommend Honduras for optional tourism, given the risk exposure of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, particularly when there are so many safer places to visit.

For business travelers who must travel there, personal security arrangements should be paramount in one's planning.

For expatriates living in Honduras, all aspects of security (home, school, family, office and vehicular security) should be addressed and reviewed regularly. All foreigners working or traveling in Honduras should register with their embassy prior to arrival.

It should also be noted that Honduras is designated Category 2 and is not in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) air safety and security regulations. This is one reason why Honduras has experienced an excessive number of air disasters for a country the size of the US state of Tennessee.

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