A turbulent landscape of political instability and violence are some of the factors that contribute to Honduras being branded as one of the most dangerous places in the world, with the second highest homicide rate globally, according to Human Rights Watch. The involvement of criminal organizations in drug trafficking, gang-related violence, and the widespread use of guns in violent crimes are among the main factors contributing to such a high homicide rate, with 80% of all murders committed by firearms.
Weapons are available commercially in Honduras and can be held legally and under license by anyone over the age of 21. Thousands of weapons are held under police and military custody in weapons stores across the country. Due to ever-increasing numbers, some of these weapons storage facilities are at full capacity, making them vulnerable to theft or loss.
Thanks to the support of the United States Government, HALO started operations in Honduras in October 2017. We are working alongside the Honduran government, the National Police, the Military and the General Attorney’s Office to establish a universally applicable and transparent weapons destruction program. When necessary, HALO assists with physical security upgrades and improvements. In order to make the project sustainable, we are complementing these activities with a series of weapons storage and stockpile management training courses aimed primarily at improving national capacity to deal with the problem independently.
The HALO Trust in Honduras is coordinating a transparent, multi-organizational process for performing ballistic tests on and then destroying weapons (both confiscated and obsolete) under the custody of the National Police of Honduras. While the weapons are to be destroyed by the National Police of Honduras, the Government forensics department will undertake ballistic tests under local legislation. HALO’s ultimate aim is to facilitate in creating a simple and streamlined legal framework that enables the local authorities to safely and confidently carry out the destruction of weapons that no longer serve a purpose in the country, with the support of HALO.