HomeNewsBrief2012 Record Year for Homicides in Honduras
BRIEF

2012 Record Year for Homicides in Honduras

HOMICIDES / 22 JAN 2013 BY EDWARD FOX EN

Bucking the downward trend seen in other Northern Triangle nations, Honduras registered an increase in homicides for 2012, an ominous sign that violence in the world's most dangerous country will not abate any time soon.

According to a new report by the Violence Observatory at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH), Honduras saw 7,172 murders last year, an increase of 68 killings on 2011's figure. This makes 2012 Honduras' most violent year on record, reported La Prensa.

Though the total number of homicides increased, the rate per 100,000 actually fell from 86.5 in 2011 to 85.5 murders per 100,000 inhabitants last year, due to an increase in Honduran population figures.

The Observatory's homicide rate conflicts with that published by the Organization of American States (OAS) last year, which put the 2011 figure at 91.6 per 100,000 while using the same total number of homicides (7,104) as UNAH.

InSight Crime Analysis

Regardless of the apparent uncertainty over Honduras' homicide rate, the 2012 increase in total murders puts it in stark contrast to its Northern Triangle neighbors Guatemala and El Salvador. Each of those countries saw a decline in homicides in 2012, with Guatemala continuing a three-year downward trend and El Salvador seeing a 40 percent fall (see graph, below).

The figures also fly in the face of President Porfirio Lobo's declaration last week that security in Honduras has improved, adding, "Everyone feels that it has gotten better."

Northern Triangle Homicides

The independent Commission on Public Security Reform (CRSP), a body that works to reform security and justice institutions in the country, expressed its concern following publication of these figures. It also pointed to the government's failure to pay a private security company in the capital Tegucigalpa as being detrimental to improving citizen security; following non-payment, the company turned off security surveillance cameras in the city, reported Proceso.

Some of the principal drivers of violence in Honduras are rival street gangs Barrio 18 and Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13). Between them they are estimated to number 12,000, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and operate primarily in Tegucigalpa and the northwest city of San Pedro Sula.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

HOMICIDES / 14 MAR 2012

During testimony before the US Senate, a top military commander said that the targeting of drug cartel leaders did not…

HONDURAS / 7 DEC 2012

Due to the hundreds of officers who have left the Honduras police force over fears of the ongoing police purge,…

EL SALVADOR / 7 JAN 2017

As the year closed, the successes and failures of the fight against corruption, impunity and organized crime in the Northern…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…