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Montevideo, July 13th 2024 - 22:08 UTC

 

 

Honduras following in on El Salvador's example of tackling crime

Wednesday, June 19th 2024 - 09:44 UTC
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Xiomara Castro has already decreed a state of partial emergency that achieved very little in curbing violence Xiomara Castro has already decreed a state of partial emergency that achieved very little in curbing violence

Honduran President Xiomara Castro has undertaken a series of security reforms collectively known as the Solution Plan against Crime somehow resembling those of neighboring El Salvador under Nayib Bukele, it was reported in Tegucigalpa.

The Solution Plan against Crime was devised after a meeting between Castro and the Security Council, featuring representatives from the three branches of government, the Attorney General's Office, the Armed Forces, the National Police, and the Military Police of Public Order (PMOP).

In a message on national TV, Castro ordered the immediate construction of an Emergency Confinement Center (CRE) with room for 20,000 inmates in an unpopulated area between the departments of Olancho and Gracias a Dios, in the east of the country.

Castro instructed the PMOP deployed in municipalities with the highest incidence of contract killings, drug trafficking, extortion, kidnapping, arms trafficking, illicit association, and money laundering by organized crime gangs.

According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Tito Livio Moreno, inmates currently held confined within the national penitentiary system who have been prosecuted for these crimes, will be transferred to the CRE as soon as possible.

In addition, biddings will be open shortly for the construction of a prison for 2,000 highly dangerous inmates at Islas del Cisne.

Castro's plan also included the immediate capture of identified intellectual authors, leaders, and members of criminal structures and drug trafficking gangs. The Government also ordered the destruction of coca leaf and marijuana plantations as well as of drug and prohibited substances processing centers.

The National Congress is to reform the Penal Code to label as terrorists all those who belong to maras, gangs, and organized crime groups that commit crimes of contract killings, drug trafficking, extortion, kidnapping, arms trafficking, illicit association, and money laundering connected thereto.

Legislation is also to be passed regarding cell phone SIM cards as well as jamming communications at correctional facilities while monitoring electronic money transfers through electronic wallets possibly linked to blackmail and kidnapping. Congress is also to toughen the penalties for crimes against law enforcement and military troops as well as Judges, Prosecutors, and their clerks.

Castro already decreed in Dec. 2022 a partial state of exception to fight crime, which has shown “scarce results and complaints of human rights violations.”

According to the Center for the Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation of Torture (CPTRT), Honduran prisons currently house approximately 21,000 inmates in 25 facilities where overcrowding is a recurrent problem, resulting even in shootings within maximum security jailhouses.

Amnesty International denounced in December last year that President Castro was “following the same strategy imposed almost two years ago by Nayib Bukele in El Salvador, also with terrible consequences.”

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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