Military’S Expanding Role In Honduran Crisis Under Scrutiny

(MENAFN- The Rio Times) Honduras faces severe challenges with violence and human rights, reports the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

In the first four months of 2024, at least eight human rights defenders were killed, despite some state protection.

The presence of gangs and criminal organizations further intensifies this violence. In 2023, the perilous conditions claimed the lives of 17 environmental activists.

President Xiomara Castro responded to the escalating violence by imposing curfews in cities like San Pedro Sula and Choloma after a day that saw 21 murders.

The government's response included intensive police operations with raids and roadblocks.

However, the IACHR worries these measures could lead to excessive military involvement in civilian security, akin to strict policies in El Salvador.

IACHR rapporteur Andrea Pochak warns that while emergency measures may reduce violence temporarily, they shouldn't become long-term government policy.

She insists that military forces should not handle public safety. The commission is concerned about the ongoing extension of these measures.

These measures now affect nearly half of the country's municipalities.
IACHR Report on Honduras
Moreover, the IACHR highlighted an 87% impunity rate for homicides in 2023, signaling deep flaws in the justice system.

Limited resources and widespread distrust hinder the system's ability to prosecute crimes effectively. The report also ties high levels of poverty and inequality to the escalating violence.

Since their 2018 visit, poverty rates have remained extremely high, with 73% living in poverty and 54% in extreme poverty.

Economic disparities continue to fuel social and environmental conflicts, leading to ongoing violence and instability.

Despite these hurdles, the IACHR commends President Castro's willingness to confront these issues.

This is a crucial step towards enhancing protection for journalists, environmental advocates, and human rights defenders.

The commission calls on Honduras to address these foundational issues to foster lasting security and human rights improvements.


The Rio Times

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