Violence in Honduras: an analysis of the failure in public security and the state’s response to criminality
Carvajal, Roger A.
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The incidence of violence in Honduras currently is the highest in Honduran history. In 2014, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reported the Honduras homicide rate, at 90.4 per 100,000 inhabitants, as the highest in the world for nations outside of war. It is the foundation of this thesis that the Honduran security collapse is due to unresolved internal factors—political, economic, and societal—as well as the influence of foreign factors and actors—the evolution of the global illicit trade. Two of the most important areas affecting public security in Honduras are the challenges posed by transnational organized crime and the relative weakness and fragility of the Honduran state to provide basic needs and security to the population. The emergence of criminal gangs and drug traffickers, and the government’s security policies, are all factors that have worsened public security. The crime environment has overwhelmed the police, military, judicial system and overcrowded the prison system with mostly juvenile petty delinquents. Moreover, with a high impunity rate of nearly 95 percent for homicides, killing in Honduras has become an activity without consequences. The latest state’s response is with re-militarization of security, highlighting the dilemma of the challenges of combatting internal violence and transnational organized crime in a weak state.
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