The Government of Honduras and the Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS) have agreed to develop a penitentiary strategy to strengthen the capacities of the National Penitentiary Institute (INP) of Honduras.
The strategy will be rolled out over nine months and take a human rights approach to the care provided by the INP.
The agreement includes a restructuring of the prison system with integrative policies aimed at contributing to the social reinsertion of detainees in Honduras.
The OAS takes the view that “if you aspire to build societies free of violence and organised crime, you need to have penitentiary centres that educate and offer the opportunity to rehabilitate and reintegrate people who committed crimes into society”.
“A large part of the prison population will, at some point, recover their freedom, and we need them to be prepared to reintegrate into society”.
The strategy on which the OAS and Honduras will work – for a period of 9 months – will incorporate a human rights approach to the care provided by the system during the custody of detained persons.
The lines of action outlined by the OAS include:
– Improvement of the administration and management of the infrastructure of the prison system
– Security, control and life inside prison
– Integral rehabilitation and reintegration
– Post penitentiary assistance
– Transparency and accountability
The agreement was signed in the framework of the Fourth Meeting of the Authorities Responsible for Penitentiary and Prison Policies of the Americas.
It should be noted that according to its official figures, in 2019, Honduras recorded 3,996 homicides, 7.1% more than the 3,732 recorded in 2018.
The report also states that more than 80% of homicide victims in the country are economically active people between 18 and 50 years of age and that close to 6.5% are under 18.
Violence caused by organised crime and drug trafficking is one of the main problems in the country, which is one of those used by drug smugglers to move contraband from South America to the United States.
The Governments blames drug trafficking and extortion-related disputes between the rival Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) and Barrio 18 gangs for the majority of the homicides.
With regard to femicide, organised crime is responsible for 70% of violent female deaths in the country, and out of the 271 female assassination cases recorded in 2019, more than 90% remain unpunished. Partners or ex-partners cause the remaining 30% of deaths. A country of 9.2 million inhabitants, where one woman is killed every 18 hours.