Rampant Impunity under the Eye of New Honduran Task Force


EspañolOn Tuesday, January 6, Honduras launched a new investigative body consisting of 97 agents who will assist prosecutors in tackling the country’s most trying cases.

The recently created Technical Criminal Investigation Agency (Atic) is Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández’s latest effort to improve safety in the world’s most violent nation.

“The crimes that Atic will investigate are already assigned, and include sexual offenses,” said head prosecutor Rolando Argueta. “It does not matter if the cases are symbolic or not.” Argueta explained that he will be responsible for assigning future cases to either Atic or the National Directorate of Criminal Investigations, another group of investigators.

The investigative unit will work from the capital, Tegucigalpa, and San Pedro Sula, two of the country’s largest cities.

Impunity in Honduras has become a more serious issue in recent years since the surge in drug violence in the country. According to the Honduran NGO Alliance for Peace and Justice (APJ), each criminal investigator in the country was assigned 35 homicides cases in 2014. APJ further stated in a report that of the 22,272 homicides investigated between 2010 and 2013, 96 percent remain unsolved.

Arabesca Sánchez, a Honduran forensic expert, believes the creation of a technical-military police force was urgently needed in the country. “We hope that with this new force, with a higher professional level, we can reduce the impunity that has caused so much harm.”

While Argueta has “great expectations” for the new force, reports indicate criminal gangs have already attempted to infiltrate it.

Atic Director Ricardo Castro admitted in October that a man allegedly linked to a drug gang attempted to sign up for the new investigative unit. “They are people who wanted to take information from us or see how we will operate in the next year,” he said.

Source: La Prensa.

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