HomeNewsBriefHonduras Police Escorts Filling the Gap in Law Enforcement
BRIEF

Honduras Police Escorts Filling the Gap in Law Enforcement

HONDURAS / 7 DEC 2012 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

Due to the hundreds of officers who have left the Honduras police force over fears of the ongoing police purge, the agency is reportedly using law enforcement escorts, who typically accompany and protect top government officials, as a stand-in force. 

Over 400 law enforcement escorts have been assigned back to regular police duty after Police Chief Juan Carlos Bonilla complained to the Security Ministry that the force did not have enough officers. According to national newspaper La Tribuna, some 400 police officers -- who left over an unspecified period of time -- have removed themselves from duty due to fears of a series of confidence tests they were expected to take as part of a police cleanup law. 

After the government passed the cleanup law in June 2012, police began to implement a significant corruption purge involving drug examinations and a lie detector test, among other measures. As many as 100 officers were recommended for dismissal in October alone. 

The reassigned escorts -- who once provided security for President Porfirio Lobo, the head of the Supreme Court, the head of Congress, and the mayor of capital city Tegucigalpa -- include 150 members of the police special forces, or Cobras, and 220 members of the Preventative Police, among others.

InSight Crime Analysis

Pulling officers from the security rings meant to protect Honduras' top government officials highlights just how overstretched the police force is in terms of manpower. There are some 14,000 police officers in the country, but few have been properly vetted, and many are believed to have links to organized crime. Even Police Chief Bonilla has been accused of running a death squad in the early 2000s, prompting the US to withhold police aid to Honduras

It is unlikely that using police escorts to fill the holes in the regular police force will be a long term solution: as La Tribuna points out, the measure is probably partly intended to increase police presence on the streets during the holiday season. The real question is whether Honduras will be able to continue to move forward with its police reform efforts following the recent declaration by the Constitutional Branch of the Supreme Court that the police cleanup law was unconstitutional, thanks to the lack of recourse for appeal for accused officers.

The case is now set to pass on to the Supreme Court who will vote on whether the purge is allowed to continue in its current form.

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

BRAZIL / 14 JUL 2021

Killings connected to a number of military police units in São Paulo fell to zero in June 2021 due to…

COCAINE / 2 DEC 2020

Authorities in Guatemala have arrested seven individuals, among them four police officers, accused of belonging to a criminal organization…

ECUADOR / 16 MAY 2022

Ecuadorian gangs are taking another page from the playbook of crime groups in Mexico and Colombia, stepping up targeted killings…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…