Yesterday I heard the president boasting about his two years in office, and saying crime is being reduced in Honduras, because more police are graduating, and because previous governments didn’t even have a crime prevention initiative. Most of this is a flat out lie, and it sparks my anger. The police academy is very new, for instance, I think it’s four years old at most.
Zero tolerance of gangs was former president Ricardo Maduro’s greatest campaign promise, or lie, for he knew he’d never be able to keep it. But, criminals took President Maduro’s threat very seriously and massacred an entire bus filled with innocent people in San Pedro in response to a speech he made. In response to that, the government made it illegal to belong to associations with the purpose of commiting criminal acts, and began to systematically arrest anyone seen with a gang tattoo.
Gang members and thieves are better at camouflaging their presence now. They wear long-sleeved shirts to hide their tattoos. I was able to tell there were gang members at the National Registry on Monday, but only because the “marero” had tattoed his knuckles. He couldn’t go around wearing gloves all the time 🙂 .
Living in Tegucigalpa is extremely dangerous, and growing more dangerous all the time. There are very few people I know who have never been a victim or a witness to an assault. Three bloggers in Honduras were witnesses or victims of crimes in the last 7 days, Trish of Sowers For Pastors, Fabo Balsech of Diario de Un Joven en Medio de la Nada and myself. Just in my family, theives have stolen 6 cell phones at least, and two laptops. In my extended family, criminals have kidnapped the same family member TWICE. The more well-to-do are fleeing the country. I don’t blame them.