Honduran armed forces take over prisons to eradicate gangs | Crime Information



The federal government of Honduras has introduced a crackdown on organized crime inside the Central American nation’s jail system after an assault on a ladies’s correctional heart left. 46 people were killed final week.

Honduran Armed Forces said On Monday, their push to “take management of the jail” had begun. dubbing The start of “Operation Religion and Hope”.

The search continued on Monday morning on the Tamara Penal Centre, the place the armed forces mentioned they’d recover Inside the jail partitions are high-velocity weapons, grenades, ammunition, cellphones and gadgets for web entry.

Preliminary searches appeared to give attention to the boys’s jail, though Tamara was additionally the positioning of final week’s lethal assault on the Centro Feminino de Adaptacion Social (CEFAS), a ladies’s detention heart that may home round 900 folks. does

“Operations will proceed in different penal facilities,” the armed forces mentioned in Twitter posts on Monday.

A woman in a white T-shirt holds a paper face mask over her eyes as she cries, surrounded by other bereaved relatives.
Family of victims of the Centro Feminino de Adaptacion Social (CEFAS) collect at a mortuary in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on June 21. [File: Fredy Rodriguez/Reuters]

The June 20 assault in Temara, about 50 kilometers (30 mi) northwest of the capital, Tegucigalpa, turned a nationwide goal. Deadly prison riots In latest reminiscence.

Based on authorities, the violence started after 18 road gang ladies within the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) group turned bitterly divided with their rivals in jail.

Officers mentioned gang members had been in a position to enter a rival cell block with weapons, machetes and flammable liquids that they used to set their enemies on fireplace. Some even reportedly introduced locks to lock their victims of their cells as they burned alive.

Based on studies, 18 pistols, one assault rifle, two machine pistols and two grenades had been recovered after the assault.

Uri Mora, spokesman for the Nationwide Police of Honduras, mentioned that 26 of the victims died within the flames, whereas the remaining died of gunshot wounds and stab wounds.

The assault sparked a public outcry, with members of the family rallying outdoors the jail partitions and President Xiomara Castro calling the violence “disgraceful”.

Re-militarizing the jail system

Castro vowed to take “drastic measures” within the wake of the jail combat. Final week, he introduced that management of 26 of the nation’s 21 prisons would return to the Army Police of Public Order (PMOP), in an effort to crack down on organized crime.

It was a dramatic about-face for an administration that had as soon as sought to demilitarize some facets of public safety. Final 12 months, Castro eliminated prisons from PMOP authority, inserting them beneath the nationwide police as a substitute.

Castro additionally mentioned in his announcement that his administration would use islands off the coast of Honduras to deal with “extremely harmful” gang leaders.

Lethal jail riots are usually not unprecedented in Honduras: In a single weekend in 2019, 37 suspected gang members had been killed in jail violence beneath Castro’s predecessor, Juan Orlando Hernandez.

And in 2017, a authorities shelter for troubled women noticed 41 folks killed when a mattress was set on fireplace as a part of a protest towards extraordinary situations.

Guards stand behind a long white table, where guns and ammo are on display
Members of the Army Police of Public Order current weapons found in a jail in Tamara, Honduras, on Monday [Fredy Rodriguez/Reuters]

However when the leftist Castro got here to energy in January 2022, his administration marked a break with the previous. Not solely did she develop into First female president of Hondurashowever his inauguration additionally ended 12 years of rule by the conservative Nationwide Celebration.

Regardless of this, Castro’s administration has been accused of not doing sufficient to eradicate gang-related crime within the nation.

In December, she introduced state of emergency To fight gang wars, however to this point, it has failed to finish the violence.

On Saturday, gunmen shot and killed not less than 11 folks in a billiard corridor in Golima, a producing heart linked to the Barrio 18 gang. In response, the federal government imposed a 15-day curfew within the metropolis and one other in close by San Pedro Sula in northern Honduras.

Officers hinted that the billiards taking pictures could possibly be linked to an ongoing tit-for-tat between gangs.

“We don’t rule out that these crimes could possibly be revenge for what occurred within the ladies’s jail,” mentioned Nationwide Police Commissioner Miguel Pérez Suzo.

Suspected gang members sit closely in rows on the ground, naked except for boxer shorts, as armed guards watch them near the prison wall.
Images launched by the Honduran armed forces on Monday have drawn comparisons to photographs from inside prisons in neighboring El Salvador. [Honduras Armed Forces/Handout via Reuters]

On Monday, photographs launched by the Honduran armed forces confirmed the aftermath of the jail raid, with lengthy strains of suspected gang members stripped to their shorts and sitting on the bottom beneath the watchful eye of armed guards.

The pictures have drawn comparisons with neighboring El Salvador, the place President Nayeb Buckley leads. Controversial “war on gangs”.

As Buckley expanded the nation’s penal system – to accommodate greater than 65,000 incarcerated folks – footage The country’s new “mega-jail” The identical therapy is proven, with male prisoners packed tightly in rows on the ground, sporting quick boxer shorts.

The political determine with the very best approval ranking, in accordance with public opinion polls, is Buckley A state of emergency was imposed In March 2022, suspending some civil liberties to finish gang violence within the nation.

However critics have warned that the emergency order, which was renewed final 12 months, has led to Widespread human rights violationsThis consists of arbitrary arrests and detentions in addition to lack of due course of.

Eric Olsen, a fellow on the Wilson Heart, a world affairs assume tank, mentioned nations like El Salvador and Honduras tend to “warehouse younger folks in prisons.” However that technique, he defined, might backfire.

“They throw them into overcrowded prisons.” And whether or not they’re gang members or not once they go in, they arrive out as gang members as a result of that is the one approach they’ve to remain in jail,” Wilson instructed Al Jazeera.

“So in some methods, prisons themselves develop into factories for the creation of gangs.” And it is a very false notion which you could simply incarcerate giant numbers of younger folks and remedy the issue.


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