HomeNewsBriefHonduras University Counts 115 Massacres in 2012
BRIEF

Honduras University Counts 115 Massacres in 2012

HOMICIDES / 8 JAN 2013 BY MIRIAM WELLS EN

In a clear sign of Honduras’ worsening security crisis, statistics show that more than 100 massacres took place inside the country in 2012, with half of the deaths attributed to organized crime.

The Honduran Observatory on Violence, a program at Honduras’ largest public university, used fieldwork and media monitoring to count 432 people dead in 115 massacres between January 1 and December 14 last year, reported newspaper El Heraldo

Firearms were used in 85 percent of the massacres — defined as the murder of three or more people at a single time. Knives were used in the killings of 27 people (six percent of the massacres).

The head of the Observatory’s security department, Arabesca Sanchez, said the roots of violence in Honduras were changing, and that organized crime was increasingly a factor. He also blamed the availability of firearms for promoting a culture of violence. 

InSight Crime Analysis

The disturbing figures are yet another marker of the endemically high levels of violence in Honduras, the most violent country in the world.

The northwestern city of San Pedro Sula overtook Mexico’s Ciudad de Juarez last year as the most murderous city in the hemisphere, with a murder rate of 159 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2011. Honduras saw 7,104 homicides in 2011, a national murder rate of 91.6 per 100,000, according to the Organization of American States (OAS).

The Honduran government has not yet released their own murder count, but if 2012 saw the same number of victims killed as 2011, this would mean that massacres account for some six percent of total homicides.

The increase in violence has been blamed on Hondura’s increased strategic importance in the transnational drug trade. The Honduran government has claimed that 87 percent of cocaine bound for the United States first passes through Honduras. Mexican drug cartels have been expanding their influence inside the country in recent years, with some claims that they are moving towards building up a permanent, armed presence in certain regions

However, Honduas’ epidemic of violence cannot solely be blamed on the drugs trade. As Sanchez pointed out, the availability of guns has also played a role, along with lax gun laws which have helped make Honduras a major source for illegal weapons used throughout the region.

Equally important, Honduras is one of the most institutionally weak states in Central America, suffering from endemic corruption throughout all levels of government, particularly the security forces.

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

HONDURAS / 22 FEB 2013

Honduras' former police chief has implicated government officials in the murder of his son, who was shot outside a food…

HOMICIDES / 25 JUL 2017

Attacks on Mexico's nightclubs are on the rise, suggesting criminal groups are becoming increasingly willing to use public violence,…

HOMICIDES / 13 AUG 2014

Officials say homicides in Honduras have dropped over 15 percent in 2014 compared to the same period the previous year,…

Institutional Content

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. …