Trending

Newsletter

Honduras Sees Reduction in Homicides, Drops Out of Ten-Most Violent Countries

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - Jan 4, 2018, 3:10 pm

Honduras

EspañolFor several years, Honduras was one of the most dangerous countries in the world, but this has gradually changed as the rate of homicides declined.

The Honduran National Police have reported that the homicide rate per 100,000 inhabitants has been reduced by 34 points in the last four years. Violent deaths are at 42.7 inhabitants per 100,000, which is a reduction of 16.4 points.

These figures take Honduras out of the world’s 10-most violent countries in the world, according to the Director of the National Police Jair Meza Barahona. Legal actions, as well as the transfer of prisoners to maximum security prisons, were the main strategies that allowed the capital of Tegucigalpa and the city of San Pedro Sula, the industrial engine of the country, to see a significant decrease in homicides.

According to the Global Peace Index, the most violent countries in the world today are: Syria, South Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Central African Republic, Ukraine, Sudan and Libya. In Latin America, Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico remain in the most precarious positions.

Police Analyst Miguel Colindres said that the homicide rate in 2016 stood at 59 homicides per 100,000 and at 77.4 in 2013, meaning there has been a significant shift toward safety in Honduras. The current figure resembles that of 2006 when it was at 42.3. Following that year, the figure gradually increased until reaching its most critical point in 2011, of 86.5.

According to the Online Statistical Police System, there were 1,369 fewer homicides in 2017 than the year before, which in turn means that there was a daily rate of 10.38 violent deaths. During 2017, nearly 3,000 criminals were arrested.

Colindres said that in 2016, Honduras ranked third among the 10-most violent countries in the world, recording 86 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.

The National Police also said the seizure of weapons of all kinds has become an essential point of focus, as firearms are the main cause of violent death. Between 70 and 80 percent of homicides in Honduras are done with a firearm.

A total of 5,765 firearms have been seized, 593 of which were illegal. Among them were homemade weapons known in Honduras as “Chimbas,” as well as Galil rifles and R15s.

The Global Peace Index pointed to Honduras and Chile as the countries in Latin America that have best developed a strategy for combating crime. According to the current government, Honduras has the lowest homicide rate in 11 years.

President Juan Orlando Hernandez said the efforts of prevention and job-creation impact the reduction of violence and the formation of criminal groups, which he said will be a priority going into his second term.

Elena Toledo Elena Toledo

Educator by trade, social-media apprentice, activist for a democratic Honduras, and free thinker. Follow her on Twitter @NenaToledo.