Honduran Security Initiatives Result in Marked Homicide Drop

By Dialogo
February 27, 2015




The efforts of Honduran security forces improved public safety in 2014, which ended with a 13.4 percent decrease in the number of homicides in the country during the first 10 months of the year, according to a report by the Ministry of Security.

From January to October 2014, there were 740 fewer killings compared to the same period of time in 2013. Overall, Honduras recorded 4,778 homicides during the first 10 months of last year, compared to 5,518 the previous year.

San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, Honduras's largest cities, recorded the highest number of killings, 592 and 533, respectively. Together, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala form the so-called Northern Triangle, a region where violent drug traffickers, including Mexican drug cartels, operate, according to the United Nations.

Honduran security forces improved public safety by making progress in the battle against these drug traffickers and violent street gangs, such as Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18 (M-18).

"We have begun to overthrow the criminal organizations and drug traffickers that were trying to take control of our country,” President Juan Orlando Hernández told the legislature in reference to the security report, adding that "much remains to be done."

International cooperation in criminal investigations


In mid-February, Hernández spoke of the importance of international cooperation in the fight against violent crime.

“We are also pursuing significant cooperation with Colombia and the United States, and that is going to be one of the most important tools,” the president said.

Coordinating with neighboring countries is essential in the fight against organized crime, because many drug traffickers which operate in Honduras conduct their illegal activities across national borders, according to security analyst Armando Rodríguez Luna, from Mexico's National Autonomous University.

“Coordination during investigations is one of the most important tools, together with intelligence," Rodríguez Luna said. "The operational part comes later, and involves the participation of public security agencies and the Armed Forces"

Security forces use information derived from civilian intelligence as well as law enforcement investigations to locate organized crime leaders and root out their methods of transporting drugs and other contraband, such as illegal firearms.

Since Honduras is located in a strategic geographic location on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, some drug trafficking groups operating in Honduras transport narcotics on ships bound for Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

“Mexican criminal groups started to provide significant support to Honduran gangs in order to become involved in transporting the drugs and creating local markets, which leads to disputes over territory,” Rodríguez Luna said.

Working with the civilian population is an important component of the battle against organized crime.

“We have seen in different countries – including in Latin America, in Asia, and in some cases in Africa – that coordination and cooperation with society are key to moving forward with prevention and citizen participation programs starting with the local areas, while the public security agencies help to consolidate territorial control,” Rodríguez Luna said.





The efforts of Honduran security forces improved public safety in 2014, which ended with a 13.4 percent decrease in the number of homicides in the country during the first 10 months of the year, according to a report by the Ministry of Security.

From January to October 2014, there were 740 fewer killings compared to the same period of time in 2013. Overall, Honduras recorded 4,778 homicides during the first 10 months of last year, compared to 5,518 the previous year.

San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, Honduras's largest cities, recorded the highest number of killings, 592 and 533, respectively. Together, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala form the so-called Northern Triangle, a region where violent drug traffickers, including Mexican drug cartels, operate, according to the United Nations.

Honduran security forces improved public safety by making progress in the battle against these drug traffickers and violent street gangs, such as Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18 (M-18).

"We have begun to overthrow the criminal organizations and drug traffickers that were trying to take control of our country,” President Juan Orlando Hernández told the legislature in reference to the security report, adding that "much remains to be done."

International cooperation in criminal investigations


In mid-February, Hernández spoke of the importance of international cooperation in the fight against violent crime.

“We are also pursuing significant cooperation with Colombia and the United States, and that is going to be one of the most important tools,” the president said.

Coordinating with neighboring countries is essential in the fight against organized crime, because many drug traffickers which operate in Honduras conduct their illegal activities across national borders, according to security analyst Armando Rodríguez Luna, from Mexico's National Autonomous University.

“Coordination during investigations is one of the most important tools, together with intelligence," Rodríguez Luna said. "The operational part comes later, and involves the participation of public security agencies and the Armed Forces"

Security forces use information derived from civilian intelligence as well as law enforcement investigations to locate organized crime leaders and root out their methods of transporting drugs and other contraband, such as illegal firearms.

Since Honduras is located in a strategic geographic location on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, some drug trafficking groups operating in Honduras transport narcotics on ships bound for Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

“Mexican criminal groups started to provide significant support to Honduran gangs in order to become involved in transporting the drugs and creating local markets, which leads to disputes over territory,” Rodríguez Luna said.

Working with the civilian population is an important component of the battle against organized crime.

“We have seen in different countries – including in Latin America, in Asia, and in some cases in Africa – that coordination and cooperation with society are key to moving forward with prevention and citizen participation programs starting with the local areas, while the public security agencies help to consolidate territorial control,” Rodríguez Luna said.


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