TEGUCIGALPA – Honduras has the highest murder rate in Central America, according to a report from the office of the country’s commissioner for human rights, Ramon Custodio.
The report, to which Efe had access, showed that Honduras registered in 2009 a murder rate of 66.8 for every 100,000 inhabitants, a notable increase in recent years.
In 2006, Honduras had the third highest homicide rate in the region with 46.2 murders for every 100,000 inhabitants, behind Guatemala with 47 and El Salvador with 65 murders per 100,000 inhabitants.
“Two years later, the murder rate in Honduras increased to 57.9 for every 100,000 inhabitants, more than El Salvador (52), Guatemala (48) and the rest of the countries in the area,” the report said.
The document, which Custodio recently sent to Congress, said that in Honduras “close to 18,500 homicides” have been perpetrated in the last five years.
Custodio stressed in the document his “concern, first, because the right to life is so little respected in this country, and second, because of the high degree of impunity enjoyed by those dedicated to committing acts of violence against people’s lives and personal safety.”
Guns were used in 77 percent of the homicides registered between 2005-2008, while 36 percent of the murders in 2005-2009 were suspected of being contract killings.
Honduras, like some of its Central American neighbors, is also plagued by youth gangs, and the country has experienced politically motivated violence since the June 2009 coup that ousted then-President Mel Zelaya. EFE