Honduras has seen more than 42,000 people violently killed over the past nine years, out of a population of 8.3 million. In 80 per cent of cases the weapon used was a firearm.
While the homicide rate has levelled off between 2011 and 2012, it still remains extremely high compared to the rest of the world.
A new Small Arms Survey Research Note, Firearms and Violence in Honduras, discusses the specific characteristics of armed violence in Honduras and explores some of the key areas for research needed in order to respond to the problem.
The drug trade plays a crucial role in the prevalence of violence and firearms. Drugs finance the purchase of weapons, which in turn promote wars between gangs and groups for control of territory and smuggling. Firearms homicides are highly concentrated in urban centres and strategic points, reflecting violent dynamics related to the presence of gangs and trafficking routes.
The study estimates that in addition to the 280,000 registered firearms in the country, there are at least 420,000 illegal weapons in circulation, and possibly as many as one million.
The Research Note presents early findings of a Small Arms Survey’s project ‘Security and Violence in Honduras,’ which aims to support local efforts to produce new evidence on armed violence and security, providing a solid base to influence policy and the public debate for armed violence reduction and prevention in the country.
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