HomeNewsBriefHonduras Announces New Wave of Police Purges
BRIEF

Honduras Announces New Wave of Police Purges

HONDURAS / 10 DEC 2014 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

Following a high-profile drug money theft by police in Honduras, officials have announced that more than 700 police will be dismissed as part of an ongoing purge — a sign reform efforts are moving forward, although this is unlikely to provide a lasting solution to security force corruption.

Honduras’ Security Minister Arturo Corrales has announced that over 700 police will be removed for either corruption or general unsuitability, reported El Heraldo. Corrales stated that because of previously lax entrance requirements, individuals who were unfit for security work were accepted into the national police, but will be dismissed as part of the purge.

Since May 2012, 1,350 police have been removed from the force and at least 1,570 have left of their own accord, according to El Heraldo. The unit charged with evaluating the police (DIECP) administered 12,293 confidence tests between January 2012 and August 2014 to thousands of police officers and applicants. These consisted of polygraph tests, psychological and socioeconomic evaluations, toxicology exams, and reviews of financial records.

Corrales’ announcement comes on the heels of revelations that 22 police officers allegedly stole $1.3 million dollars seized during an operation targeting the Valle Valle drug trafficking family. Following reports of the theft, Corrales stated that those involved would be prosecuted and fired or suspended, depending on the circumstances of each individual. 

InSight Crime Analysis

Although Corrales’ announcement is a promising sign that the country’s police reform program is making progress, in the past police purges have not proven a lasting solution to the country’s security woes. 

Without taking the recently announced dismissals into account, the number of police purged through August 2014 already represented over 10 percent of the force. Unless the government can find more suitable candidates to replace these security personnel, the police will be seriously understaffed. In December 2012, a personnel shortage prompted by purges forced the national police to rely on law enforcement escorts, who normally protect top officials, to patrol the streets.

Furthermore, the process opens up the possibility for removals of police due to power plays and personal disputes, while failing to address aggravating factors in police corruption such as poor pay.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Police Reform

The most recent police purges come as Honduras appears to be simultaneously stepping up efforts to combat drug trafficking. In May, Carlos “El Negro” Lobo became the first Honduran citizen to be extradited from Honduras to the United States in close to a century, and on December 9, Lobo was sentenced to 20 years in US prison for drug trafficking. The country has also gone after the assets of major drug traffickers and taken down the Valle Valle drug clan this year. 

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

CACHIROS / 19 JUN 2015

After years of relative stability, the agreements that once governed Honduras' criminal underworld are reportedly falling apart, a development that…

ELITES AND CRIME / 8 DEC 2015

A former national judge from Honduras' special court system designed to handle high profile cases against gangs and members of…

EL SALVADOR / 6 DEC 2016

Criminal groups are stealing commercial shipments transiting Central America's Northern Triangle, illustrating how insecurity in the region is negatively impacting…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Strategic Communications Manager Job Description

12 FEB 2021

InSight Crime is looking for a full-time strategic communications manager. This person needs to be able to work in a fast-paced world of daily news, high-profile investigations, national and international…

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. …