In the first ten days of this year in Honduras over 100 murders were registered. However, the government continues to insist that crime rates are improving, and that continued militarization is the solution.
Honduras has a violence rate four times higher than the rest of Central America. According to the World Health Organization, the figure is 103 violent murders per 100,000, though the Honduran government claims that figure is 67.
“We look at 2015 with a lot of concern. Because on the one hand, we have a government that is deaf and blind. Deaf because it doesn´t want to listen to the advice of different groups that have been repeating that militarizing national security is not the solution along with other advice, but it is also blind because they want to manipulate and hide the real numbers of violent murders,” said Carlos Sierra, security coordinator at the Center for the Protection of Human Rights.
This week, government officials have assured that militarization will continue this year, and a key point will be the military police wich have to be approved by the National Congress to become constitutional and have the same responsibilities and rank as the national police.
“The only qualified (organization), the only tool that the country has for the people to live in peace, to put an end to drug trafficking, for organized crime to disappear, is the military police. We are gathering votes and we will do whatever it takes for the military police to become permanent,” said David Chavez of the National Party and coordinator of the National Congress Defense Commission.
On Monday night, President Juan Hernandez addressed the Honduran population, asking people to demand the deputies of the opposition vote for the military police and the militarization process. His party has only 30 percent of the votes and needs more than double that.
The political opposition refuses to support the Nationalist’s move, claiming the government cares about militarization first, and the murder rate second.