Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. He survived the attack. Poverty: Crime is in part an outgrowth of extreme poverty. Safety is the first thing people are missing.”. Homophobic violence is a major problem in Honduras. 4. The Mechanism for the Protection of Journalists, Human Rights Defenders and Operators of Justice, created in 2015, suffered from a lack of adequate resources and staffing, according to local activists. Honduras is considered a dangerous country compared with other places in the region. Honduras is not exactly safe, but it’s getting safer. X. As in the US, these diplomatic posts are places where you can see the strings connecting the elected government to the unelected one. Champion of Social Good | Bestselling Author | Educator | Speaker, EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Michigan Economic Development Corporation With Forbes Insights, Association for a More Just Society in Honduras. With the crisis at the border and the growing political controversy swirling around migrants—many from Central America—arriving at the U.S. Mexico border seeking asylum and otherwise crossing into the country without visas, I went to Honduras to see what they are fleeing. He attributes the recent surge largely to President Trump’s messaging. 7. Marred by corruption and abuse, the judiciary and police remain largely ineffective. 3. Informative and entertaining DVDs to help get you on the road! As of May, nearly 4,000 of the more than 9,000 police officers evaluated by the commission had been removed, including many for alleged involvement in corruption or criminal acts. Through my work, I hope to help solve some of the world's biggest problems--poverty, disease and climate change. Follow me on Twitter @devindthorpe. However, travelers can stay safe by recognizing and heeding the … Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Americas. Trouble in Honduras' Korean Embassy As we have been monitoring the process of setting the Lobo Sosa administration into place, we have been tracking political appointments, including those of ambassadors. Trouble in Honduras 45:44. Lester Maldonado, who works in shipping at Tegu, nearly died on his attempt to migrate. The jail time seems to have had the intended effect. In 2014, the agency issued only a few thousand titles during the year and 100% had flaws. Some lack access even to unsafe tap water. He died last week. He asked for the group to stop while he rested. Through my work, I hope to help solve some of the world's biggest…. William noted the dangers of crossing Mexico are scary. In 2011, there were 87 per 100,000 people. Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Honduras. Deeply optimistic, I’m an author, educator and speaker; I call myself a champion of social good. Horizons Unlimited Presents! Lawyers and human rights defenders suffer threats, attacks, and killings. The IACHR described Honduras in August 2016 as one of the “most hostile and dangerous countries for human rights defenders” in the Americas. Play. Hundreds of people line up to interview for minimum wage openings when there is one. Like you said, the dramatized stories about safety in Honduras are more intended to sell newspapers than to advise tourists. Mexican citizens may be less enamored of migrants than Americans. Violence: Honduras reached a point of having the highest murder rate in the world. Inspirational stories by veteran travellers Greg Frazier (5 times RTW), Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries), Tiffany Coates (Mongolia Mayhem) and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).. Calendar pics From the HU Annual photo … The new bill replaces legislation that previously allowed for girls to marry at 16 with permission from family. In January 2017, President Juan Orlando Hernández announced that the Special Commission for Police Reform Restructuring will extend its mandate until 2018. People over 40 consistently complain that companies openly discriminate on the basis of age, refusing even to interview candidates over 35. Laid-back, low-profile Honduras is one of Central America's largely unknown tourist destinations. Education: The number of children who should be in school but are not peaked in 2015 at 224,000, dropping to 192,000 in 2017, the most recent year for this data. A recent proliferation of domestic flights has opened up the Bay Islands and the major cities of La Ceiba, Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula. Honduras, according to the New York Times, is one of Latin America’s “poorest and most unequal countries” with a fraught social structure that may not “withstand a new bout of political uncertainty” following the election. In May 2016, after prosecutors filed murder charges against an employee of DESA, the Dutch development bank, FMO, and the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation, Finnfund, announced they would suspend payments of their loans to the Agua Zarca Dam. For fiscal year 2017, the US Congress allotted US$95.3 million in bilateral aid to Honduras. In February 2017, Congress approved a new penal code making it a criminal offense—punishable by a four to eight-year prison sentence—for individuals or media outlets to engage in the “apology, glorification, [or] justification” of terrorism. He loves the work and is treated as a professional. After five or six hours, he says, they realized the coyote was not coming back. Mr. Trump has been lobbying for construction of a wall and has been threatening to close the border completely. Utila Tourism: Tripadvisor has 11,834 reviews of Utila Hotels, Attractions, and Restaurants making it your best Utila resource. For example, the Bay Islands are safer than the mainland.Many people do travel to this particular part of Honduras, even with their families. In the next two articles in this series, we’ll look more closely at the work of the Association for a More Just Society founded by Kurt Ver Beek and at Tegu, a toy manufacturer created specifically to create jobs in Tegucigalpa. On June 30, the former vice-president of the defunct Judiciary Council, Teodoro Bonilla, was found guilty of influence peddling. The Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH), established in 2016 through an agreement between the government and the Organization of American States (OAS), has successfully promoted the passage of legislation aimed at curbing illegal funding for political campaigns.Â. Left for dead in the desert, they walked for five days. My books—read over 1 million times—on using money for good, personal finance, crowdfunding and corporate social responsibility draw on my experience as an investment banker, CFO, treasurer and mortgage broker. Impunity for crime and human rights abuses is the norm. I have long said you can go to any town, big or small, anywhere in the world and get yourself in trouble, or worse. There have been protests due to contested election results in late 2017. This looks like it may be the case. Journalists, environmental activists, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals are among those most vulnerable to violence. At the same time, he complains how easy it is to get into the U.S. and how the asylum process guarantees every applicant a hearing. The desire to leave isn’t limited to people at the lower end of the economic spectrum. Under the criminal code, abortion is illegal without any exceptions in Honduras, and women and girls who terminate pregnancies can face prison sentences of up to six years. Poverty in Honduras has been exacerbated by several issues. 10. To date, eight men have been charged with the murder in March 2016 of environmental and indigenous rights activist Berta Cáceres, including an army major and the former environment manager of Desarrollo Energético S.A. (DESA), the company behind the Agua Zarca dam project that Cáceres was campaigning against at the time of her death. After nine months in detention and four hearings in 2014, his appeal for asylum was rejected and was deported back to Honduras. 4,153 British nationals visited Honduras in 2016. Most visits are trouble free. Port Royal is an area that is sparsely populated, and isolated. Prison guards at many facilities have effectively relinquished control over the prison grounds to the inmates. Spain is the second most popular destination after the United States. $125 is the amount of money invested by each economically active member of the population (EAP) in terms of the national security budget. Over the five days, Maldonado slowly shifted his mindset from hoping to avoid detection by border patrol to hoping to be caught. Here’s a list of 14: 1. There is no disputing that Honduras has problems with crime, much of it due to the extreme poverty, and also the proliferation of drug trade participants. Between 2004 and 2018, Hernández was involved in processing, receiving, transporting and distributing multi-ton loads of cocaine that came to Honduras by … Residents are also seeing more severe storms. Honduras is the second poorest country in Central America, with more than 66 percent of the population living in poverty. He was jailed for 40 days before being put on a plane bound for Honduras. The Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) both expressed concern about the ambiguous formulation of the law and its potential to arbitrarily restrict freedom of expression and of the press. He survived the attack. In a future article in this series, we’ll explore how the agency flipped the script and has increased the number of titles issued while reducing the error rate to zero. Despite a downward trend in recent years, the murder rate remains among the highest in the world. The coyote locked the remaining members of the group in a house and kept them prisoner for two weeks trying to extort more money from each of them, before relenting. Members of Congress reintroduced the “Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act” (H.R. Flores directed a television program, “Sin Pelos en la Lengua,” which was critical of major agribusiness enterprises linked to deforestation in the area. July 08, 2009. We now run Hotel y Restaurante Frontera del Caribe in Puerto Cortes Honduras. Honduras has resumed most transportation options (including airport operations and re-opening of borders) and business operations (including schools). Hondurans won’t drink the water that comes out of the tap anywhere in the country. Let’s be clear about what that means. Honduras has resumed most transportation options (including airport operations and re-opening of borders) and business operations (including schools). Here are four main causes of poverty in Honduras: In Honduras, only 6% of collected taxes are spent in programs that reduce or prevent violence. Some Hondurans reported being beaten as they attempted to cross the country. Trouble in Honduras The military has today overthrown the elected President of Honduras. He still struggles to survive. Tuberculosis remains the leading cause of death among infectious diseases globally. Still, his monthly earnings of about $300 don’t allow him to save anything for the future. 11. The third and largest investor in the project, the Central American Bank of Economic Integration (CABEI), also announced that it would no longer fund the project. Violent crime is rampant in Honduras. The consensus of the three women who live there was clear: more people lack enough food than have enough to eat. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. News about Honduras, including commentary and archival articles published in The New York Times. 6. Previously, I worked on the U.S. Senate Banking Committee staff and earned an MBA at Cornell. This article is … Most recently, journalist Carlos William Flores was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle in Cortes, near the Guatemalan border. In rural areas, it is even worse, with about one in five Hondurans living on less than $1.90 per day. We’ll examine the impact of these social entrepreneurs and the opportunities for others to address the challenges in Honduras. In July 2017, David Valle, project coordinator of the Center for LGBTI Cooperation and Development, was stabbed by a stranger in his home in Tegucigalpa. 12. The law created a framework to prevent organized crime from contributing to political campaigns and to hold parties and candidates accountable for financing their campaigns illegally. If you read to the end of the story you begin to see hints of why this coup happened. In July 2017, David Valle, project coordinator of the Center for LGBTI Cooperation and Development, was stabbed by a stranger in his home in Tegucigalpa. The first person I spoke with in Honduras, a taxi driver who would only give his first name, William, said he’d been deported from the United states for the second time just three weeks ago. 2. Land title issues: The government entity that issues land titles, the Instituto de la Propiedad, has a young and bleak history. Violent crime is rampant in Honduras. But as for Honduras as a whole, right now it’s as safe as it ever was: not very. This is the first is a series of three articles (second, third) written about Honduras from my recent visit. In the port city of San Pedro Sula, with more manufacturing jobs than any other city, crime is still rampant because of the influence of the drug traffickers. Buses, taxis and dug-out canoes provide other transport options. Human Rights Watch defends the rights of people in 90 countries worldwide, spotlighting abuses and bringing perpetrators to justice, Human Rights Watch is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit registered in the US under EIN: 13-2875808, Attacks on Journalists and Restrictions on Freedom of Expression, Association, and Assembly, Attacks on Lawyers, Human Rights Defenders, and Environmental Activists, The Pushback Against the Populist Challenge. Everyone I spoke to complained that there are no good jobs. Getting through Mexico is tricky. 9. Inhumane conditions, including overcrowding, inadequate nutrition, and poor sanitation, are endemic to Honduran prisons. Despite having purchased a three-for-one deal for $6,500 from a coyote who agreed to take him to the border up to three times, William doubts he’ll return to try again. Other improved conditions have been reported within Honduras. Corruption: Ver Beek says there is reason for him to believe that corruption is declining, despite the perception to the contrary. Hundreds of thousands at Honduras' shelters after hurricanes. Deeply optimistic, I’m an author, educator and speaker; I call myself a champion of social good. A friend of his attempted to cross Mexico last year but contracted tuberculosis along the way and returned to Honduras. Rother Corea, the manager of manufacturing for Tegu, explained that “everyone has been assaulted. Using his authority as a senior official of the judicial oversight body, Bonilla pressured two judges into favoring relatives of his who were charged with illegal weapons possession and money laundering. Building a wall or closing the border shouldn’t be the only options available to us. 14. Despite a downward trend in recent years, the murder rate remains among the highest in the world. Judges face interference from the executive branch and others, including private actors with connections in government. To read their version of what happened, you'd think "oh, those ugly, anti-democratic soldiers." Homophobic violence is a major problem in Honduras. Everyone who leaves takes a bit of the country’s limited supply of hope with them. He notes that many issues that “push” people from Honduras and “pull” them to the U.S. have not changed much in the past five years. Crime: Apart from violent crime, people in Honduras must deal with the risk of property crime, making it more expensive to own and maintain property from cars to businesses. As I walked around the city of Comayagua, many thought that I, a white male with short hair in his early 20’s, was a U.S. soldier. The bill would suspend US funding for the country’s police and military operations until the Honduras government prosecutes and convicts those who ordered and carried out the murder of Cáceres, in addition to other killings and attacks against other activists; investigate and prosecute members of military and police forces who have allegedly violated human rights; withdraw the military from domestic policing; establish effective protections for human rights defenders; and strengthen rule of law. Food insecurity: In one neighborhood in Tegucigalpa, I asked if there were people who lacked enough to eat. While there, I spoke with Kurt Ver Beek, co-founder and president of the Association for a More Just Society in Honduras, where he has lived for 30 years. Go here for Reuters' report of the story. He hired a coyote to help him cross the border but two in the group who had promised to pay the required $5,000, left without paying. Supporters of Salvador Nasralla, presidential candidate for the Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship, argue with military police during a protest to demand the official presidential election results, outside the warehouse of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal in Tegucigalpa, Honduras November 30, 2017.Â, People Born with Atypical Sex Characteristics Battle For Informed Consent, The Case for the Right to a Healthy Environment. Police and soldiers during clashes with teachers in Tegucigalpa, 28 March 2011, after Honduras' President Porfirio Lobo declared illegal a strike against the privatisation of education. In 2016, CONADEH registered 16 violent attacks against lawyers, including 13 killings. Note that his coyote did not agree to help him cross the U.S. border, only to get to it. At the behest of the Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH), Congress passed the Law on Clean Politics, which came into force in March 2017. Weather Alert – U.S. Embassy Tegucigalpa, Honduras (14 November, 2020) Weather Alert – U.S. Embassy Tegucigalpa, Honduras (13 November, 2020) Weather Alert – U.S. Embassy Tegucigalpa, Honduras (12 November, 2020) Weather Alert – U.S Embassy Tegucigalpa, Honduras … In June 2017, both funders told the Guardian that they would withdraw completely from the Agua Zarca project. 1299) on March 2, 2017. Efforts to reform the institutions responsible for providing public security have made little progress. Americas. Copy the code below to embed the WBUR audio player on your site Copy embed code. Honduras was once referred to as Spanish Honduras in order to distinguish it from British Honduras, which is now Belize. Several UN agencies working in Honduras have noted that sexual violence against LGBT individuals forces them into “internal displacement” or to flee the country in search of international protection. Traditional rainy seasons are failing to show up. Drug trafficking: Largely because of the geography between narcotics producers in South America and their target markets in the United States, Honduras has become home to a major industry of drug trafficking. The coyote assured him, and a Mexican national who was similarly exhausted, that they should sit and rest and that he’d come back for them. Do not travel to: Gracias a Dios Department due to crime. ; A FILIBUSTERING VESSEL EXPECTED TO ATTACK PUERTO CORTEZ. While the rate has dropped about in half, it remains at seven times the U.S. rate of 6.2 per 100,000. Do not travel to: Gracias a Dios Department due to crime. There is no road access, and it is frequently used … Still, a backlog of title work represents a challenge that works almost like a tax on the country, slowing economic growth. On May 5, 2017, the National Congress of Honduras voted against modifying the existing criminal code to allow abortion in cases of rape, grave fetal malformations and grave risks to the health of the woman. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. The new legislation also defines as terrorist offenses any form of “illegal association” and acts “causing fear, putting in grave risk, or systematically and indiscriminately affecting the fundamental rights of the population or a part of it, the internal security of the State or the economic stability of the country.” These vague and unreasonably broad provisions could conceivably be used to bar peaceful protests and association meetings as terrorism. I have delivered a keynote speech at the United Nations and spoken in countries from Brazil to Russia and across the US. Lester Maldonado, works in shipping at Tegu, a toy manufacturer created with the mission to employ ... [+] Hondurans. Upon crossing the border by foot, Maldonado, who was just barely 18 at the time, was exhausted by the walk through the Arizona desert. Before US Marshals seized and extracted him from Honduras in 1988, then formally arrested him for aiding in the 1985-murder of a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent in Mexico, he had set up numerous businesses in Honduras and had bought large tracks of land, particularly in the Olancho province in Honduras. In 2011, there were 87 per 100,000 people. Designed to hold up to 8,000 inmates, the country’s penal institutions held more than 17,500 in 2016, the last year for which reliable figures were available. July 14, 1885. I first visited Honduras in 1987 to do research. Lack of clean water: Water.org suggests that more than 600,000 people in Honduras lack access to clean water. The law that remains in force also sanctions abortion providers and those who assist with procedures. One reason, as corruption falls, reporting it becomes easier, whether for citizens or for the news media. Honduras’s economic freedom score is 61.1, making its economy the 93rd freest in the 2020 Index. The so-called Football War, or 100-Hour War, was fought between Honduras and El Salvador July 14-18, 1969 as a result of an intense soccer rivalry, though its … Violence: Honduras reached a point of having the highest murder rate in the world. One taxi driver told me he’d been let go from his banking job at 42 because the bank wanted to get a “fresh face.”. Hard Factor 11/17: COVID Vaccine 2.0, and Big Trouble in Seattle, Belarus, Honduras and the Boy Scouts Honduran ex-president stopped with $18,000 in cash at airport. The standard setters are Iceland, Japan and Monaco at about two deaths per 1,000 births, eight times better than Honduras. Until shortly before my arrival, many of them would frequent Comayagua, particularly its “red zone”of female sex workers. Without a visa, Central Americans are routinely pulled from buses by authorities to prevent them from making their way to the border. And Hondurans are paying attention. In contrast with Nicaragua where each EAP contributes with $497. 8. 13. Poor health care: The infant mortality rate in Honduras is among the lower half of countries in the world at three-times the rate of the United States, which at 5.8 pre 1,000 live births isn’t great. Other improved conditions have been reported within Honduras. 5. My visit, during the middle of the monsoon season, saw no rain in four days. Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Honduras. In other words, Ver Beek says, Mr. Trump is essentially saying you better come to the U.S. now while you still can. The collective psyche of the country is such that everyone seems to be considering emigrating. You may opt-out by. Age discrimination. Unemployment: It is no figment of the imagination. Valle had received repeated threats in the past. TROUBLE IN HONDURAS. In July 2017, the Honduran Congress unanimously passed a bill making all child marriage illegal. (We’re just below Bosnia and Herzegovina.) Two-thirds of its roughly 9 million people live in poverty, according to the World Bank, and in rural areas, 1 … Its overall score has increased by 0.9 point, led by an improvement in the property rights score. Honduras. News. His hopes were realized. Twenty-five journalists were murdered between 2014 and 2016 according to the human rights ombudsman, CONADEH, which also revealed in its 2016 report that 91 percent of killings of journalists since 2001 remain unpunished. As a result, many people likely perceive corruption to be increasing. While the rate has dropped about in half, it … U.S. military presence in Honduras an… Reach me at forbes@devinthorpe.com. Ver Beek’s team says about 60% of the country lives on less than $2 per day, the World Bank’s threshold for extreme poverty (actually set at $1.90, the threshold is frequently rounded). Trouble in Honduras January 14, 2014 January 13, 2014 ~ Marc Long Last week, Louise Arbour, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and current CEO of the International Crisis Group, authored her annual prediction on possible conflicts around the world. Several UN agencies working in Honduras have noted that sexual violence against LGBT individuals forces them into “internal displacement” or to flee the country in search of international protection. Girls are more likely than boys to be in school in Honduras. More than 45% of children who should be attending high school in the country are not. Ricardo Molina, an industrial engineer for Tegu, says he has friends with college degrees who have been out of work for two years. The Road Heroes DVD series helps answer the question - Why Go? Everyone must buy purified water or boil tap water. Climate change: As a further element of context for this struggling country, it is worth noting that residents have begun to recognize the impact of climate change. This was because hundreds of U.S. soldiers were stationed at the nearby Palmerola Air Base at the time. ... July 13.--The steamships City of Dallas and S. Oteri, engaged in the Honduras … Created at the beginning of this century to bring clarity to land ownership, to shift from a personal property model to a real property model. According to UNICEF, a third of Honduran girls are married before 18. Brain drain: Almost everyone who can leave, does. This should not distract, however, from the fact that there are life-threatening problems that residents of Honduras struggle with daily. However, none of the police officers expelled upon orders of the commission has been convicted to date for alleged involvement in criminal activities including human rights abuses. Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado became a tragic symbol of gender-based violence after she was killed, but many Honduran women live in fear of being attacked by men. In July 2017, the MACCIH announced that it would investigate the funding and government concession granted to DESA for the Agua Zarca Dam project for possible corruption and money laundering. In May 2017, President Juan Orlando Hernández launched an initiative to revise the criminal code to allow children as young 12 to be prosecuted as adults, rather than through the existing juvenile justice system, in violation of international standards. The desperation of the people is palpable. Valle had received repeated threats in the past. He has a factory job that allows him to work in air conditioning. Judges face interference from the fact that there are life-threatening problems that residents of Honduras struggle with.... 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Elected government to the unelected one to stop while he rested of Why this coup.! Monsoon season, saw no rain in four days Council, Teodoro Bonilla, was found guilty influence! Less enamored of migrants than Americans s a list of 14:.! Its economy the 93rd freest in the world in poverty surge largely to President Trump ’ limited! Honduran prisons United Nations and spoken in countries from Brazil to Russia and across the US, these diplomatic are! Population living in poverty legislation that previously allowed for girls to marry at 16 with permission from family dug-out provide. Actors with connections in government can see the strings connecting the elected government to end. Among infectious diseases globally the poorest countries in Latin America wall and has been threatening close. Others to address the challenges in Honduras has resumed most transportation options ( airport! Five Hondurans living on less than $ 1.90 per day the economic spectrum with the mission to employ [. That more than 600,000 people in Honduras an… Horizons Unlimited Presents works in shipping at Tegu, died! Coup happened ’ s a list of 14: 1 there have been protests due to crime a of... But as for Honduras to Honduran prisons overcrowding, inadequate nutrition, isolated!