Homicide rate in Honduras is declining gradually, but a climate of insecurity is still bothering a large majority of the population.
The good news is drug gangs are no longer feeling immune, as the government has thrown numerous gang leaders behind bars as part of its crackdown on criminal syndicates.
Around 777 Hondurans were killed in the first three months of this year. That means an average eight persons were killed per day during the period, says Tiempo Digital, a Spanish news portal.
The number of murders is declining, because Honduras witnessed more than 12 homicides per day during the first three months of 2017, and nearly 11 homicides during the same period in 2018.
Earlier this year, the security agents in the country said they had arrested nearly 600 people on charges of murder, on top of 150 people detained on charges of drug trafficking.
However, the growing rate of massacres (three or more murders) is worrying security agencies. As many as 34 massacres took place in the first six months of this year alone.
Analysts say that the violence can be largely attributed to criminal gangs, particularly Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) and Barrio 18. These two gangs alone extort citizens to the tune of US$ 200 million every year, according to a recent joint study by Insight Crime and Global Initiative.
The gangs control most of the neighborhoods in the country’s major cities, including Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula.
The country’s standing on the global stage has been severely damaged in recent months after the US authorities charged Tony Hernández, brother of President Juan Orlando Hernández, with drug trafficking.