Honduras Military Cracks Down on Gangs by Taking Over Prisons After Massacres

Date:

Updated: 5:06 PM, Tue June 27, 2023

The Honduran military has taken control of the country’s prisons in an attempt to crackdown on gang violence that has plagued its jails for decades. This comes in the aftermath of a recent massacre in a women’s prison, which left 46 inmates dead. The women, belonging to the Barrio 18 street gang, smuggled in weapons, subdued prison guards, and attacked members of a rival gang. In response, the military swept the high-security Tamara prison, where hundreds of rounds of ammunition, pistols, assault rifles, and grenades were found. The media released footage of hundreds of shirtless male inmates, each with a shaved head and many tattooed, sitting in rows on the floor and guarded by heavily armed soldiers.

Honduran President, Xiomara Castro, has vowed to take strict measures, including curfews, raids, and checkpoints, to combat the country’s gang violence. She has also put the military in charge of the poorly run prisons, allowing them a year to train new guards. In El Salvador, a similar crackdown occurred this year, with the military taking aggressive steps to improve prison security. Approximately 20,000 inmates are housed in 26 overcrowded prisons, with a United Nations report indicating that Honduran jails are over 34% capacity.

The recent crackdown includes curfews in Choloma and San Pedro Sula, with a heavy police and military presence twenty-four hours a day. While Honduran authorities have yet to confirm a connection, the latest massacre could be a retaliatory attack for a recent shooting at a pool hall that killed eleven people in the city of Choloma. Of the two cities, San Pedro Sula carries the title of the ‘murder capital of the world.’ The city’s violence has grown at an alarming rate, fueled primarily by gang warfare.

Gangs have considerable influence in Honduran prisons, with inmates taking charge, setting their own rules, and trading in illegal goods. President Castro hopes that the recent military takeover will help to stop the violence and re-establish security in the country’s prisons. Critics argue that such an aggressive and militaristic approach could lead to further abuses and a violation of human rights.

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Riya Patel
Riya Patel
Riya Patel is a dedicated author at The Reportify covering the vast landscape of world news. With a commitment to providing comprehensive coverage, Riya brings you the latest updates, global events, and impactful stories in the World News category. She can be reached at riya@thereportify.com for any inquiries or further information.

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