HomeNewsBriefAre Honduras Security Policies Behind Drops in Homicide, Extortion?
BRIEF

Are Honduras Security Policies Behind Drops in Homicide, Extortion?

EXTORTION / 19 FEB 2014 BY MICHAEL LOHMULLER EN

Measures taken by Honduran authorities to combat crime are being credited for a declining trend in the homicide rate and a 75 percent reduction in extortion, though it remains to be seen whether gains in either area will be sustainable.

The latest statistics released by the Violence Observatory at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) show a six-point reduction in the homicide rate between 2012 and 2013, from 85.5 to 79 murders per 100,000, with the overall number of murders falling from 7,172 to 6,757 in that time, reported El Heraldo .

The drop is largely a result of a reduction in murders during the last four months of the year, which averaged 500 murders a month, compared to 595 over the rest of the year. The decline coincided with the deployment of the new Military Police of Public Order (PMOP)

Authorities of Honduras’ National Anti-extortion Force (FNA) have also announced a 75 percent reduction in reported extortions since cell phone service in the country’s 24 prisons began being blocked on February 14.

However, inmates are already attempting to smuggle satellite phones into prison to counter the measure, according to authorities.

InSight Crime Analysis

The decrease in the homicide rate in Honduras is a welcome development, but despite the apparent correlation, it is too soon to attribute this to the deployment of the military police.

President Juan Orlando Hernandez will likely claim the news as a sign of further progress under his new ‘Operation Morazon’ security strategy, yet doubts remain that “mano dura” (“iron fist”) security policies and the militarization of police forces is an effective long-term crime reduction strategy. Such policies have been common in Central America, but have been shown in some cases to increase violence and strengthen gangs.

SEE ALSO: Honduras News and Profiles

The strategies employed by Honduran officials to counter prison extortion, however, may be an example of an effective policy easily replicable in other Latin American countries experiencing similar levels of extortion from prisons, such as ColombiaGuatemala, and Venezuela. However, such a policy comes with pitfalls, such as resistance from communities surrounding prisons complaining of interference with cell phone signals and, as already noted in Honduras, the use of satellite phones in prison.  

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

HOMICIDES / 3 OCT 2016

Many of Mexico's most violent cities are home to competing criminal groups and drug-fueled conflicts, a clear sign of how organized…

COLOMBIA / 8 SEP 2012

Despite a five percent drop in homicides in Colombia's Valle del Cauca province over the past year, rising violence in…

HOMICIDES / 24 MAR 2016

Mexico's Interior Minister has said less than half of all murders in the state of Michoacán are connected to organized…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…