In Honduras, policing is described as a ‘costly honor’. With one of the highest homicide rates in the world where four out of every five crimes goes unsolved, criminality, impunity and a lack of citizen security is felt across the country. This has stemmed from the transnational drug trade in the region where 80% of all drugs trafficked through Central America flows through Honduras infiltrating the police force itself—over 2,500 of the country’s total 12,000 police officers have been dismissed on corruption charges.
Yet, due to a shift toward community policing coupled with two strategic investments, the country’s security forces may have finally arrived at a turning point where they can curb the tide of criminality. First, training for junior officers has increased, developing their policing skills while also training them in the spirit of community service with the hope being that this new generation of security forces can reestablish bonds between the community and their authorities. Second, investments in forensics facilities and the training of criminal investigators will enable police to bring more perpetrators to justice. With dedicated moral leadership and continued strategic investments, this shift to community policing can deliver Hondurans what they have been lacking for years: a secure future.
Honduras means ‘depths’ in Spanish. Honduras is home to the most coral reefs in the world after Australia, which has turned the country into a premier eco-tourism destination. Nonetheless, it is the second poorest nation in Central America. Because of this, the Honduran economy is heavily dependent on remittances, which comprise roughly 15% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)—the second largest share of any country in Latin America or the Caribbean.