Reyes was slain by two men on a motorcycle on May 28, 2011, while driving from Puerto Cortes to San Pedro Sula.
COMMENT: Unfortunately, the Honduran National Police has a terrible record of not only institutionally engaging in human rights violations, but in being directly connected to drug trafficking, kidnapping, robbery, extortion and murder. Eight officers also were charged in the October 22, 2011, murder of two college students, one of them the son of the chancellor of the country’s main public university.
As many of our regular readers will recall, in December 2011, after the assassination of two prominent Hondurans, a law was passed banning motorcycles with tandem riders. Needless to say, this was more of a knee-jerk reaction to a much larger problem of police corruption and ineptitude. In the end, all the ban accomplished was penalizing law abiding citizens and simply forcing those intent on murder to work around the inconvenience.
Honduras continues to have the highest per capita rate of homicide in the world, which is unlikely to change any time soon. That being said, it remains to be a wonderful country to visit and has great potential tourism-wise, if it could effectively safeguard its citizens and visitors.
According to a report by Mexico’s Civic Council on Public Safety and Criminal Justice, San Pedro Sulka, Honduras' second largest city, saw 159 homicides per 100,000 residents last year, topping the nonprofit organization’s list of the most violent cities in the hemisphere, and pushing Ciudad Juárez from the top of the list.
Comparatively speaking, Honduras leads the global per capita list of 82.1 homicides per 100,000, yet San Pedro Sula's murder rate is nothing less than staggering.
One explanation for the high incidence of homicide in Honduras comes from Honduran Defense Minister Marlon Pascua, who in September 2011, claimed that 87% of cocaine which is sent from South America to the US passes through Honduras. If this is accurate, then, taken with the United Nations’ latest estimates of the size of the US cocaine market, it suggests that as much as 143. tons of the drug passes through Honduras annually.
Although a strong case can be made that much of Honduras' violence is connected to the drug trade, the reality is that foreigners traveling to Honduras should know that dysfunction and systemic breakdown within the police service is the lynch-pin as to why violence cannot be contained.