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Honduras Has New Plan to Clean Up Its Police Force––Again

ISSN:1089-1560
LADB Article ID: 80313
Category/Department: Honduras
Date: 2017-06-08
By: George Rodríguez

Creating an efficient police force from an outfit with a lengthy record of corruption and impunity at every level is a monumental task. This is proving to be the case in Honduras, where crooked cops––high and low––have been deeply involved in crimes such as drug trafficking, score-settling, kidnappings, and bloody internal feuds. Several initiatives have been launched to straighten the Policía Nacional (National Police, PN), and they have invariable failed. The most recent efforts were sparked by two police-related, high-profile homicides that occurred seven months apart. In May 2012, the Congreso Nacional (National Congress) passed a decree declaring a national emergency in public safety as a means to allow for what was then described as a speedy and reliable process to cleanse the PN.In April 2016, President Orlando Hernández sent Congress a decree “to declare police cleansing a national priority, to declare it an emergency.” In May 2017, after a lengthy and slow debate, Congress passed the Ley Orgánica de la Policía Nacional (National Police Law). In its 133 articles, congressional deputies gave the green light to the Dirección de Asuntos Comunitarios (Community Affairs Administration), the Dirección Administrativa y Financiera (Financial and Management Administration), the Dirección de Recursos Humanos (Human Resources Administration), among other agencies. The legislation also covers municipal police forces, frequently reported for human rights violations and crime-related activities.

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