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BRIEF

Honduras Sees Slight Drop in 2013 Murders

HOMICIDES / 26 JUL 2013 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

According to the latest figures, the number of murders in Honduras during the first half of 2013 has fallen, but not by enough to make a dent in Honduras’ reputation as the world’s most dangerous country.

According to the figures collected by the National Autonomous University of Honduras, there were 2,929 murders during the first five months of 2013 — 3.7 percent less than the 3,043 killings registered over the same period in 2012.

The coordinator of the University’s Violence Observatory, Migdonia Ayestas, said that some days there were up to 40 violent deaths nationwide, and that the average number was 20 per day, reported La Prensa.

In Tegucigalpa, the Observatory recorded 16 homicide-free days thus far in 2013. The military recorded slightly fewer homicide-free days in the capital: nine.

According to the Observatory’s count, there have been just two murder-free days this year in San Pedro Sula — ranked the world’s murder capital for the last two years — while Honduras’ military counted three, reported El Heraldo. 

InSight Crime Analysis

The University’s Violence Observatory had previously predicted that by the end of 2013, the murder rate would drop six percent when compared to 2012, although this was based more on population growth than a reduction in violence. While any reduction in the number of murders in Honduras is welcome, a small reduction on 2012 — the most violent on record — does little to disguise the continuing crisis in the country. 

As part of its anti-crime strategy, the Honduran government has deployed army patrols to the streets in the most dangerous parts of Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula. The military claims this has had a dramatic effect on crime levels in San Pedro Sula, even while providing somewhat imprecise statistics.

Both Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula are important centers of gang activity, one significant contributor to the country’s violence. It is still unclear what effect, if any, a gang ceasefire announced in late May — apparently modeled after El Salvador’s gang truce — will have on violence levels.

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