Like its fellow countries in the north of Central America, El Salvador and Guatemala, Honduras suffers from high crime rates and severe poverty in the wake of civil wars in the 1980s. Street gangs roam unchecked in many urban neighbourhoods while drug traffickers ply the coasts and plague all levels of the state. A contested presidential election in 2017 spurred a wave of political violence, though all sides seem to have accepted the recent landslide victory of left-leaning Xiomara Castro. 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

Amid govt’s efforts to tackle crime and strengthen rule of law, deadly attacks continued, notably targeting lawyers.

Criminal violence continued, notably targeting lawyers. Unknown assailants 1 Sept shot dead lawyer Kelvin Moncada in Danlí municipality, El Paraíso department (east); unidentified gunmen 8 Sept shot dead lawyer Santos Abel Martínez Barahona in capital Tegucigalpa. Over 200 lawyers have been murdered in Honduras since 2004; UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada al-Nashif 12 Sept urged strengthening of national protection system for human rights defenders in country.

Govt took steps to tackle gender-based violence and enforced disappearances. Director of National Statistics Institute (INE) and representative of country’s UN Development Programme (UNDP) 7 Sept announced that in Oct-Nov this year, Honduras would conduct specialised survey on violence against women and girls with UNDP support, in effort to tackle gender-based violence. National Police and International Committee of the Red Cross 14 Sept signed agreement to strengthen mechanisms in place for search of disappeared persons.

Efforts to strengthen rule of law and combat corruption continued. Congress 14 Sept ratified installation of Nominating Committee, which will be made up of representatives from different social sectors and tasked with proposing candidates for Supreme Court in 2023. Meanwhile, during speech at UN General Assembly, President Castro 20 Sept confirmed establishment of international commission to combat corruption with support of UN Sec-Gen António Guterres.

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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 activiti... 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 supporter... Bloomberg

Sofía Martínez Fernández

Former Analyst, Northern Triangle

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