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

Alliance between ruling Libre party and Honduras’ Saviour Party reportedly fell apart, insecurity persisted, and efforts to establish international anti-corruption body proceeded at slow pace.

Ruling alliance reportedly broke down. Political frictions surfaced after former President Manuel Zelaya Rosales, coordinator of ruling Libre party, 14 Oct announced alliance between Libre and Honduras’ Saviour Party (PSH), which helped Xiomara Castro win 2021 presidential election, had “broken down”. Although alliance had shown fractures since Oct 2021 formation, VP and head of PSH Salvador Nasralla had recently been criticising govt more frequently and publicly for bypassing him in executive decisions, leading to 14 Oct announcement. Gilberto Ríos, leader of Libre, 15 Oct blamed U.S. embassy in Honduras for collapse, claiming it was working with Nasralla to break alliance. Much-weakened coalition in Congress could threaten govt’s ability to push through legislation.

High levels of violence persisted, notably targeting journalists and women. Gunmen 10 Oct shot dead journalist Edwin Josué Andino and his father in capital Tegucigalpa, marking fifth journalist killed in 2022; police next day said crime was planned by organised criminal structures. Reports 22 Oct emerged that 18th Street gang members had forced at least 20 families in Villa Nueva neighbourhood of Tegucigalpa to flee after receiving dead threats. Meanwhile, local feminist organisation “Visitación Padilla” Women’s Movement for Peace 24 Oct called on govt to declare national emergency after reports emerged that 13 women had been killed across country previous week.

Negotiations to establish anti-corruption body continued at slow pace. MPs from Libre, National and PSH parties 19 Oct formed multiparty front in support of establishing UN-backed International Commission against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (CICIH), for which negotiations have been proceeding at slow pace. Chancellor Enrique Reina 26 Oct said govt had received new memorandum draft from UN.

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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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