Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Honduras: 39 People Murdered During February 21-23, Alcohol Banned from Noon Sunday Until 0600 Hours Monday

According to The Latin American Tribune, this past weekend was particularly deadly in Honduras where at least 39 people were murdered, the head of operations and strategy for the national police said Monday (February 24).

Twenty-nine people were slain on Sunday alone, according to Canal 5 television in Tegucigalpa, the capital.

The northern cities of San Pedro Sula and Yoro each accounted for eight homicides, he said.

In a related development, last weekend also saw the first implementation of a new nationwide regulation banning the sale of alcohol from noon on Sunday until 0600 hours on Monday.

Authorities adopted the measure in hopes of reducing drunk driving and alcohol-fueled violence.

COMMENT: Police arrested 83 people on Sunday (February 23) for public intoxication and closed at least five commercial establishments for defying the prohibition on liquor sales.

San Pedro Sula, Honduras’ second largest city, led the list of the 50 most violent major urban areas in the world in 2013 with 187 homicides per 100,000 residents, according to the Citizen Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice, a México-based NGO.

Honduras as a whole suffered 85.5 homicides for every 100,000 residents in 2012, compared with a global median rate of 8.8 murders per 100,000, the Violence Observatory at the National Autonomous University said in a study released last year.

I discourage foreign tourists from traveling to Honduras unless they know the country very well, speak Spanish and have a very focused sense of personal security awareness, as Honduras is one of the most violent countries in the world.

Honduras unfortunately has one of the most corrupt and ineffective police forces in the world, which can be very problematic if you have the misfortune to become a crime victim.

If you have any doubt whatsoever as to the ineffectiveness of police in Honduras, since 2008, of the 50 murders committed against US citizens since 2008, Honduran police have only solved TWO homicides. 

Members of the Honduran National Police are known to engage in criminal activity, including murder. The Government of Honduras lacks sufficient resources to properly investigate and prosecute cases, and police often lack vehicles or fuel to even respond to calls for assistance. In practice, this means police may take hours to arrive at the scene of a violent crime, or may not respond at all. As a result, criminals operate with a high degree of impunity throughout Honduras.

Transnational criminal organizations also conduct narcotics trafficking and other unlawful activities throughout the country, using violence to control drug trafficking routes and carry out criminal activity. Other criminals, acting both individually and in gangs in Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, and other large cities, commit crimes such as murder, kidnapping, extortion, carjacking, armed robbery, rape, and other aggravated assaults.