Assessing crime, resident trust, and police effectiveness in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Baseline report
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Central American countries are faced with some of the highest homicide rates in the world (UNODC, 2007). With more than 87 homicides per 100,000 residents, Honduras is one of the region’s most violent countries (Arce, 2012). Honduras’s proximity to Mexico makes it highly susceptible to the influences of transnational drug trafficking organizations. Recent enforcement efforts in Mexico have disrupted and displaced drug trafficking patterns and Honduras is increasingly being utilized as a transshipment point for Andean cocaine. According to recent estimates, 42% of all cocaine entering the United States first passes through Central America (INL, 2012). Youth street gangs and concentrated levels of poverty are also assumed to be at the center of the country’s ongoing struggle with crime (UNODC, 2007; Seelke, 2011). Moreover, there is evidence that the problems associated with violent crime are increasing in Honduras. Whereas violent crime has decreased in Colombia, a country notorious for its violence, in recent years Honduras has experienced a significant increase in homicides and now has the highest per capita homicide rate in the world (U.S. Department of State, 2012).