Honduran Congress Approves Creation of Military Police

By Dialogo
August 26, 2013

The Honduran Congress approved the creation of a military police unit on August 22, as part of a series of measures to counter crime, which led the country to the highest homicide rate in the world, official legislative sources reported.

“The Armed Forces’ Military Police for Law and Order [PMOP, for its Spanish name] is hereby created (…); the current crisis in the country highlights the need for the creation of a military unit specialized in countering crime,” according to Section 1 of the law approved by deputies in the third and last debate.

However, budgetary concerns in the country have led the Congress to reduce the future military police to one fifth of the original plan. It will now have only a 1,000 members, instead of the 5,000 originally requested.

Currently, the Honduran Armed Forces have about 12,500 members in three branches, namely: Army, Navy and Air Force, although the measure has raised controversy, since the budget has 14,000 elements on payroll, and accounted for 9,500.

On December 11, 2011, Porfirio Lobo’s government declared an “emergency in public security” for 90 days, which has been extended, in order to legalize the support from the military to the police.

The decision was made after proving that police stations were swamped by organized crime, drug trafficking, contract killing, vehicle theft, and extortion, among other crimes.

In June 2013, Congress also approved the creation of the Intelligence Troop and Special Response Team (TIGRE), a specialized rapid deployment police force with 200 members.