The Honduran military and police claim that crime has fallen in San Pedro Sula, currently the most violent city in the world, though they offered vague and differing figures on the supposed security improvement.
The military said that crime was down 60 percent in the city’s most violent zones, which included Rivera Hernandez, Lomas del Carmen, and the commercial district. However, according to the San Pedro police, crime has only fallen by 10 percent in police district 25, which includes Rivera Hernandez and Lomas del Carmen, reported La Prensa. Neither source specified a time period, nor the type of crimes they were monitoring.
The armed forces attributed the decrease in crime to “Operation Liberty,” under which troops were deployed to the streets of the country’s most violent cities in February. Police officer Oscar Alexis Sosa Martinez credited increased police personnel and 24 hour patrols for the drop he reported in district 25, which has the highest crime rate of any area in the city.
InSight Crime Analysis
Operation Liberty, which was paid for by Honduras’ newly implemented security tax, marks the second time that President Porfirio Lobo has deployed the military to fight crime. The armed forces will remain on the streets until January 2014. Lobo’s use of the armed forces for domestic security has sparked concerns about the mixing of military and police roles.
The reports that crime is down in San Pedro de Sula is a rare piece of good news for Honduras, which, unlike its neighbors in the Northern Triangle, has seen an increase in homicides that made 2012 the country’s most violent year on record. San Pedro Sula was reported to be the world’s deadliest city for the second year in a row in 2012, with 169 murders per 100,000 inhabitants.