Police Death Squads Contribute to Honduras’ High Homicide Rate

Police Death Squads Contribute to Honduras’ High Homicide Rate

Honduras is the homicide capital of the world (.pdf). This is due in part to widespread and growing gang violence, but recently there have been reports that Honduran police themselves are organizing death squads.

“Organized crime linked to drug trafficking is rampant, and it would appear that the Honduran police and judiciary are not just ineffective in addressing the problem, they are actually making it worse,” Alexander Main, senior associate for international policy at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, told Trend Lines in an email interview.

Recent reports show the Honduran police operating “more like assassins than law enforcement officers,” he said. Such state-run death squads have appeared in Honduras before. National Police Chief Juan Carlos Bonilla allegedly ran police death squads more than a decade ago, and since re-emerging they appear to be carrying out extrajudicial executions of suspected drug traffickers.

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