icon caret Arrow Down Arrow Left Arrow Right Arrow Up Line Camera icon set icon set Ellipsis icon set Facebook Favorite Globe Hamburger List Mail Map Marker Map Microphone Minus PDF Play Print RSS Search Share Trash Crisiswatch Alerts and Trends Box - 1080/761 Copy Twitter Video Camera  copyview Whatsapp Youtube

Honduras

Like its fellow Northern Triangle countries, El Salvador and Guatemala, Honduras suffers from high crime rates and severe poverty in the wake of its “dirty war” in the 1980s. Street gangs roam unchecked in many urban neighbourhoods while drug traffickers ply the coasts and plague all levels of the state. In addition, contested presidential elections in 2017 spurred a wave of political violence that continues. These chronic socio-economic ills, coupled with poor governance and rampant corruption, are the main drivers of northward migration, which has its own perils for those who venture the journey. Crisis Group studies the roots of the country’s persistent problems and pushes for policy solutions to break the cycle of forced departure and deportation.

CrisisWatch Honduras

Unchanged Situation

Deadly brawl opposed members of two rival gangs in country’s most notorious prison. Brawl between members of 18th Street gang and rival MS-13 gang 17 June broke out at La Tolva high-security prison east of capital Tegucigalpa, leaving at least five inmates killed and 39 people injured, including prison guards; prisons have been under military control since late 2019. Unidentified gunmen 7 June killed member of Garifuna indigenous community in Comayagua city (centre), bringing to six number of Garifuna people killed in 2021. Govt continued to face accusations of mismanagement of COVID-19 pandemic. National Anticorruption Council (CNA) 14 June said only two of seven mobile hospitals purchased in 2020 to treat COVID-19 patients have become operational, denounced “paved roads for the corrupt”; CNA has submitted to prosecutors 14 reports on irregularities in mobile hospitals’ purchase since 2020. Police 18 June fired tear gas to disperse peaceful protesters demanding reconstruction of levees washed away by hurricanes in 2020 in San Pedro Sula city’s neighbourhood Chamelecón (north). Some 32 civil society groups 16 June formed national movement against tax-free Special Zones of Economic Development (ZEDEs), arguing they do not produce employment and could lead to displacement of vulnerable populations; 22 June organised small protest against ZEDEs in Tegucigalpa. U.S. development agency Administrator Samantha Power 13 June visited Honduras, announced nearly $24mn in aid to address root causes of migration.
Continue reading

Reports & Briefings

Virus-proof Violence: Crime and COVID-19 in Mexico and the Northern Triangle

Also available in Español

Fight and Flight: Tackling the Roots of Honduras’ Emergency

Also available in Español

Mafia of the Poor: Gang Violence and Extortion in Central America

Also available in Español
Corridor of Violence: The Guatemala-Honduras Border

Corridor of Violence: The Guatemala-Honduras Border

Also available in Español

In The News

18 Dec 2017
We are worried about what might be the long-term consequences of the current turmoil [in Honduras], especially in terms of how drug-trafficking groups may expand activities in a period of political crisis. Bloomberg

Sofía Martínez Fernández

Former Analyst, Northern Triangle
1 Dec 2017
Violence [in Honduras] is likely to escalate in the upcoming weeks since there is still no clear winner [of the elections] and the opposition its mobilizing its supporters. Bloomberg

Sofía Martínez Fernández

Former Analyst, Northern Triangle

Latest Updates

Deportation and Disease: Central America’s COVID-19 Dilemmas

As the coronavirus spreads, and the U.S. presidential election looms, the Trump administration and Mexican government continue to deport migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Some deportees are carrying the virus. Central American states should press their northern neighbours for more stringent health measures.

Also available in Español

Do the Numbers Lie? Mistrust and Military Lockdown after Honduras’ Disputed Poll

With massive protests, armed clashes and a government-declared state of emergency, Honduras is in social and political chaos after the 26 November general elections. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Northern Triangle Analyst Sofía Martínez explains what has sparked the crisis and its potential effect on armed violence.

Also available in Español

Undocumented Migration from the Northern Triangle of Central America

The northward flow of undocumented migrants fleeing economic hardship and violence in the Northern Triangle of Central America exposes thousands of vulnerable people to mass victimisation. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2017 – Third Update early warning report for European policy makers, Crisis Group urges the European Union and its member states to continue to pursue an approach grounded in supporting community violence prevention, institutional reform and poverty alleviation in the countries of origin while supporting transiting countries in managing the flow.

Mafia of the Poor: Gang Violence and Extortion in Central America

Central American gangs are responsible for brutal acts of violence, abuse of women and forced displacement of thousands. Governments must go beyond punitive measures and address the social and economic roots of gang culture, tackle extortion schemes and invest in communities.

Also available in Español