Crime in Honduras
Crime is a major problem in Honduras, which has the highest murder rate of any nation. There are reports that after the 2009 Honduran coup d'état, there was a large increase in crime and violence. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime has called the border regions between north-west Honduras and south-west Guatemala "some of the most dangerous places in Central America".
Poverty, gangs, and low apprehension and conviction rates of criminals contribute to a high crime rate. There have been reports of men carrying firearms and machetes, which has led to violence several times.
Since Honduras has a large tourist industry, tourists have often been targeted victims of crime, such as robbery. In San Pedro Sula, armed robberies against tourist vans, minibuses and cars traveling from the airport to area hotels are not uncommon. A high rate of unemployment and drug trafficking have led to an extremely high rate of crime in Honduras as well.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Honduras has the highest rate of intentional homicide in the world, with 7,172 intentional homicides, or 90.4 per 100,000 of population in 2012. This is significantly higher than the rate in Venezuela, which at 53.7 per 100,000 in 2012, has the second highest rate of intentional homicide in the world.
Honduras is considered a major drug route to the US. Smuggling is said to have increased after the US suspended anti-drug support following the 2009 Honduran coup d'état. Weak domestic law enforcement institutions, combined with Honduras's long coastline and relatively sparse population distribution, make Honduras a popular point of entry for drug routes travelling through Central America.
U.S. Peace Corps in Honduras
The U.S. Peace Corps operated in Honduras between 1963 and 2012. In January 2012 Peace Corps members were withdrawn from Honduras. The president of Honduras, Porfirio Lobo, stated that the Peace Corps members had been affected by the rising crime rate. The decision to pull the Peace Corps out of Honduras was prompted when one of the members was shot in the leg on a bus in San Pedro Sula.
- CounterPunch, 16 August 2010, US Embraces Honduran Thugocracy
- Transnational Organized Crime in Central America and the Caribbean: A threat assessment, UNODC, September 2012, p. 37 cited in International Crisis Group, "Corridor of Violence: The Guatemala-Honduras Border". CrisisGroup.org. 4 June 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- Honduras: Security Briefing
- "Honduras Country Specific Information". U.S. State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
- BBC, 8 December 2009, Honduras anti-drug chief shot dead by gunmen
- International Crisis Group. "Corridor of Violence: The Guatemala-Honduras Border". CrisisGroup.org. 4 June 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- The Associated Press (16 January 2012). "All 158 Peace Corps volunteers leave Honduras". USA Today. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
- Curvas, Gomez Licon, Freddy, Adriana (18 January 2012). "Honduras Peace Corp Withdraw: Volunteer Pullout Comes As A Blow". Huffington Post. Retrieved 30 April 2012.