HomeNewsBriefHonduras Authorities Recover Homes, Schools, Churches From Gangs
BRIEF

Honduras Authorities Recover Homes, Schools, Churches From Gangs

HONDURAS / 20 JUN 2013 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Honduran authorities have recovered 90 houses and several schools and churches that had been abandoned and taken over by gangs in San Pedro Sula, representing a success for ongoing security operations, but failing to address underlying problems.

Members of the national police and armed forces reclaimed the buildings in the Chamelecon sector, one of the city's most violent zones, as part of Operation Liberty, an ongoing operation in which the military and police conduct joint daily street patrols, reported El Heraldo.

Defense Minister Marlon Pascua said that residents were forced to flee as a result of gang activity by the Barrio 18 and MS-13 "maras" and other street gangs. Some of the recovered homes still contained kitchen items, clothing and family photographs reported La Prensa.

The military will continue to maintain a 24-hour presence in the area in order to guarantee a safe return for displaced residents.

InSight Crime Analysis

The gang-related displacement in San Pedro Sula also occurs in neighborhoods in Honduras' capital Tegucigalpa, where residents flee their homes to avoid repercussions because they cannot afford the exorbitant extortion payments demanded by gangs. In some cases, gangs later take over the homes and use them as drug storage and sales points. 

A similar phenomenon of internal displacement has occurred in cities in El Salvador -- where the maras also have a strong presence -- as families struggle to avoid gang violence.

According to the military, since the start of Operation Liberty four months ago, homicides have dropped significantly in San Pedro Sula -- considered the most dangerous city in the world -- and the ongoing campaign has apparently had some success in creating a semblance of normalcy in the city.

However, military patrols cannot be viewed as a long term solution and at some point civilian security forces must take over. With reports that police themselves are involved in the extortion rackets that have caused displacement, and an overall culture of ingrained police corruption and involvement with organized crime, this is not a promising prospect. 

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

CONTRABAND / 18 MAY 2022

Cattle from Mexico and the Central American nations of Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua help feed the domestic beef markets of…

CACHIROS / 31 MAR 2021

A judge in the United States sentenced the brother of Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández to life in prison for…

BARRIO 18 / 21 JUN 2021

A massacre between the Barrio 18 and MS13 gangs in Honduras’ most notorious prison raises questions on whether the military…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…