The United States has offered to help Honduras in improving its security situation by cracking down on drug traffickers and strengthening judicial institutions.
According to a statement from the State Department, the two countries are discussing continuing their collaboration to strengthen crime prevention efforts focused on local community policing methods and on creating alternative opportunities for youths susceptible to the lure of easy money offered by the drug gangs.
The discussion comes after a Vox report said that 99% of murders in Honduras go unpunished. Collaboration has already yielded high dividends, with Honduras claiming that the homicide rate has dropped in recent months.
But the rise of human trafficking is the latest trouble afflicting the Central American country. Some gangs are said to be smuggling children to Mexico and the United States, but in the past months Honduras has arrested several smugglers and rescued hundreds of children.
Honduras recently signed an agreement with Transparency International, vowing to reduce corruption and promote accountability in governance.In addition,Honduras is persuading neighboring countries to join its battle against drug traffickers.
The United States, which has reportedly promised to assist Honduras with its national security plan, extradited a dozen drug traffickers from the Central American country last year.
Police and military personnel are being deployed in larger numbers across the nation’s airports, prisons, tourist zones, residential neighborhoods and checkpoints. Therefore, some political analysts say Honduras is in the process of becoming a “police state”.
Last May 108 U.S. Congressmen wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry challenging U.S. support for the Honduran security forces.
Police corruption is the chief obstacle to Honduras’ efforts to crack down on drug trafficking. The country’s current state of affairs is often blamed on the 2009 military coup, which analysts argue opened the doors to corruption, prompting security personnel to work hand-in-glove with drug traffickers.