One person is a victim of homicide every 73 minutes in Honduras; in the last decade the public security situation has deteriorated exponentially, with the homicide rate moving from 30.7 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2004, to 85.5 in 2012.
The impact upon the population is acute. The lack of citizen security in public spaces leads to a culture of fear: 7 taxi drivers were murdered per month and 60% of female victims killed in the open street in 2012. Whilst the unrelenting rise in the homicide rate was halted in 2012, and in fact decreased slightly from a rate of 86.5 in 2011, with 91% of cases of female homicides and 85% of murders of police officers unresolved, the situation re- mains defined by violence, impunity and insecurity.
The institutional setting has been modified in the last two decades. In 1994 the Office of the Public Prosecutor was created as the body that exercises public criminal prosecutions and leads criminal investigations (carried out by the Directorate of Criminal Investigation of the National Police of Honduras (PNH)). A year later, the constitutional figure of the National Human Rights Commissioner (CONADEH) was legally created. In 1998, a reform separated the military and police and created the Secretariat of Security, into which a new National Police body organized across different directorates was located.
The first police law in Honduras dates back to 1906. From this date onwards, in addition to police bodies, other organizations that carried out policing functions, such as the Civil Guard and FUSEP (Public Security Force), also existed. The Police operated under the authority of the defense sector up until 1996, when, within the framework of a series of constitutional reforms, a single unified police institution was developed: the National Police of Honduras, following the ratification of its Organic Law in 1998. The Honduran National Police are notable for its structure, which is divided across various national directorates.
The National Police are currently undergoing a comprehensive process of reform and purging of corrupt officials, whilst inter- institutional public security forces have also been formed as part of efforts to increase the strength of public security forces.
Honduras in “The Public Security Index”
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