DonateNow
Stay tuned for something new!
In the coming months, MISF Media will launch a redesigned website. In the meantime, continue to check here for new editions of the "Honduras News in Review" and "Remembering 25 Years Ago" features.
Human Rights
in the Global Community
Overview
Global Bodies & Treaties
Current Issues
Human Rights–War on Terror News Update
Human Rights in Honduras
Overview
History
Current Issues
Honduras News in Review
Remembering 25 Years Ago
Search the Site:
Updated 04/04/2007

Honduras News in Review—March 26, 2007

1. U.S. watch group asks Honduras to stop sending soldiers to military training school
2. Government announces new measures to combat drug trafficking and violence
3. Official says the United States should do more to combat drug trafficking in Honduras
4. Human Rights Commission received more than 9,000 complaints in 2006
5. State university reports over 3,000 violent deaths in Honduras in 2006

6. IDB to forgive $1.4 billion of Honduran debt
7. Government increases minimum wage
8. At least 600 fires have destroyed Honduran forests in 2007

1. U.S. watch group asks Honduras to stop sending soldiers to military training school
Representatives of the U.S.-based School of the Americas Watch met with Honduran Vice President Elvin Santos and Vice Minister of Defense Lionel Sevilla to ask them to stop sending Honduran armed forces personnel to the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. The U.S.-run training center, formerly known as the School of the Americas, was established in 1946 in Panama to provide education and training to Latin American military personnel; it was transferred to Fort Benning, Ga. in 1984. SOA Watch founder Roy Bourgeois called the school “an obstacle to human rights and democracy” in the region and alleged that the school is training assassins and human rights violators. Honduras has sent a total of 3,500 armed forces personnel to the school, including several military officers who have been accused of committing severe human rights abuses during the 1980s and ‘90s. The country has sent 60 soldiers so far this year, and 77 in 2006. Several Latin American countries, including Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Venezuela, have agreed to stop sending their military personnel, according to SOA Watch. [AFP, 3/20/07; Tiempo, 3/20/07]

2. Government announces new measures to combat drug trafficking and violence
Honduran President Manuel Zelaya on March 14 reactivated the National Council Against Drug Trafficking, made up of various government officials who coordinate policies against drug trafficking. The government also announced 11 new measures to combat violence due to gangs, drug trafficking and other organized crime, including a special security unit to fight drug trafficking in the Mosquitia region and new technology to detect unauthorized flights and hidden weapons. The government will also reactivate combined military-police street patrols and a special anti-kidnapping unit. Officials asked civil society groups to strengthen gang prevention and rehabilitation programs [Hondudiario, 3/14/07; El Heraldo, 3/15/07; EFE News, 3/15/07]

3. Official says the United States should do more to combat drug trafficking in Honduras
The Honduran minister of government and justice, Jorge Arturo Reina, on March 22 demanded that the United States do more to combat drug trafficking in Honduras. “If there is drug trafficking here, it is not for the Honduran market but for the North American market,” he said. Reina urged the Bush administration to increase economic and logistic assistance to Honduras before the country becomes a “narco-state.” [El Heraldo, 3/23/07]

4. Human Rights Commission received more than 9,000 complaints in 2006
The National Human Rights Commission in Honduras received 9,390 complaints of human rights violations in 2006. Among government institutions, security officials received the most complaints. Justice officials and education personnel also received complaints. Alleged violations included illegal detention, abuse of authority and violations of the right to due process. According to the commission, 88 percent of cases were successfully resolved and 12 percent are pending. [Hondudiario, 3/17/07]

5. State university reports over 3,000 violent deaths in Honduras in 2006
According to a study by the Violence Observatory at the National Autonomous University of Honduras, the number of homicides in the country increased 24.9 percent from 2005 to 2006. The university reported a total of 4,736 violent deaths in 2006, of which 3,018 were homicides. The rate of homicides in 2006 was 46.2 for every 100,000 Hondurans. Other types of violent death included traffic accidents and suicides. The report comes at a time when many sectors are demanding that the government toughen its fight against delinquency and organized crime. [EFE News, 3/15/07]

6. IDB to forgive $1.4 billion of Honduran debt
The Inter-American Development Bank announced on March 16 that it will cancel $4.4 billion in debt and interest owed by Honduras, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Haiti and Guyana. Honduras’ share of canceled debt totals $1.4 billion. Honduran officials said the debt relief would allow the state to devote more resources to its poverty-reduction strategy. [Hondudiario, 3/12/07; IPS, 3/16/07]

7. Government increases minimum wage
The Honduran government announced an 8 percent increase in the minimum wage for the public sector and a 9.7 percent increase for the private sector. With the new increase, the average monthly minimum wage moves from 2,400 lempiras ($127) to 2,633 lempiras ($139). Union leaders said the increase is too low and does not meet the economic realities of workers. However, government officials said the new minimum wage is fair and is higher than the wages of neighboring countries. [EFE News, 3/19/07; El Heraldo, 3/19/07; Hondudiario, 3/19/07]

8. At least 600 fires have destroyed Honduran forests in 2007
At least 5,400 hectares of Honduran forest have been destroyed so far in 2007, according to the Honduran Corporation for Forest Development. The government agency has registered 600 forest fires this year, most of them in the southeastern Mosquitia region. Areas around Tegucigalpa have the second-highest incidence of forest fires, and officials are concerned because the fires often affect potable water sources for the population. [EFE News, 3/12/07]

SUBSCRIBE to the Honduras News in Review e-mail update.

 

Go to the HNR archive for past editions of the News in Review.