HomeNewsBriefHonduras to Set Up 'Tigers' Military Police Unit
BRIEF

Honduras to Set Up 'Tigers' Military Police Unit

HONDURAS / 31 AUG 2012 BY HANNAH STONE EN

Honduras' Congress is set to approve a bill to establish a new elite military police unit to fight organized crime, known as the "Tigers," according to a legislator.

Representative Augusto Cruz Asencio said Congress would approve the legislation in a matter of days, and that there was consensus among lawmakers that the new unit was necessary to improve security, reported La Tribuna.

Armed forces chief Rene Osorio Canales said that the process to select the members of the elite unit had already begun, as Honduras Culture and Politics reported. The force will be made up of 200 officers drawn from the armed forces and police, and all its members will undergo confidence tests before joining.

In July, the government announced the plan to set up a new military police unit, made up of the best officers from the armed forces and military, to be established with a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank.

The Troop of Intelligence and Special Security Response Teams (Tigers, for its initials in Spanish), is meant to combat organized crime, and bring security to the most dangerous parts of the country.

InSight Crime Analysis

The planned police unit comes as part of a move towards greater militarization in Honduras' security policy. In November, the government issued an emergency decree that allowed the military to take on policing powers, including carrying out searches of property and making arrests. This was extended for a third 90-day period in June.

The authorities have justified bringing the army into a policing role on the grounds that the military was needed to face the extremely high rates of violence and crime, with police failing to measure up to the task.

In March, one congressman told press that the US had offered to help transform several army units into a specialized military police force. Representative Jose Azcona argued that this would allow the military to pull back from a domestic security role. However, it seems more likely that the new unit, drawn in part from the armed forces, would herald a greater militarization.

Honduras Culture and Politics interpreted the planned force as a continuing of the "troubling trend" of blurring military and police roles, commenting that the new elite force fitted in with President Porfirio Lobo's goal of merging the Security and Defense Ministries.

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

BARRIO 18 / 27 APR 2016

Police in Honduras say transportation operators are often complicit in the extortion rings that exploit their own drivers, showing how…

HONDURAS / 26 MAR 2013

Despite conditions that say otherwise, US aid may still be supporting police units supervised by Honduras' controversial police chief, who…

HONDURAS / 31 AUG 2012

Honduras’s police force are sitting on more than 13,000 outstanding arrest warrants issued over the last six years, highlighting the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.