The number of murders in Honduras has been decreasing year after year, making room for the government to bring the economy back on track and generate jobs for young people.
Homicide rates shrank by more than 50%, from 87 killings per 100,000 residents in 2011 to just 42 in 2017.
Regional newspapers have attributed the decline in murder rates to the strengthening police force in the Central American country. As many as 4,455 police officers have been dismissed since 2016 as part of the government’s effort to cleanse the law enforcement agencies, according to OZY.
According to a report from The Los Angeles Times, today the country is largely peaceful. In Rivera Hernandez, a neighborhood in San Pedro Sulla, homicides have been cut about in half over the last several years, reported the American daily citing comments from a local evangelical pastor.
But improving the economy has remained a daunting task, with foreign investment slowing and the number of unemployed soaring to new highs. More than 50% of the country’s labor force is jobless. Corruption and political instability are also the factors holding the economy back.
Meanwhile, the growing economic insecurity is persuading local citizens to immigrate to the United States. Hundreds of thousands of Honduran immigrants are already living in the US, and the remittance they send home is the major source of living for their families. Hondurans send home an average US$400 million per month.