Archive for the ‘youth in Honduras’ Category

The 10 countries with the highest child homicide rates are all in Latin America and the Caribbean

The 10 countries with the highest child homicide rates are all in Latin America and the Caribbean

Honduras was the most violent country for children under the age of 19 in the region, with a homicide rate of more than 30 children per 100,000 inhabitants — some ten times higher than the global average, according to Save the Children’s 2017 “End of Childhood” report.

Venezuela, El Salvador and Colombia each had child homicide rates of more than 20 per 100,000, while Brazil, Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic, Panama and Belize all had rates of more than 10 per 100,000.

17-06-06-ElSalvador-Chart

(Graphic courtesy of Save the Children)

InSight Crime Analysis

The report links the high rates of child homicides in Latin America and the Caribbean to persistently high levels of crime and violence throughout the region over many years. And indeed, child homicide rates appear to more or less correlate with broader regional trends in violence.

El Salvador, Venezuela and Honduras were the region’s most violent countries in 2016, with overall homicide rates of 81.2, 59 and 59, respectively, per 100,000. Save the Children’s report found that these same countries also had the highest rates of child homicides.

In El Salvador, the report found that gang violence was a primary contributor to the high rates of child homicides — a notion that is backed by other evidence. In other countries in the region, however, the dynamics of the relationship between child homicides and crime were different.

Mexico, for example, did not fall within the list of countries with the top ten highest child homicide rates, despite having a presence of strong organized crime groups that has contributed to high levels of overall violence.

SEE ALSO: InDepth Coverage of Homicides

This is likely because Central American gangs are known to aggressively target children for recruitment. Those who do join the gangs face an increased risk to their physical security due to their increased exposure to criminal violence. Those who refuse are often killed.

But this is not the case in Mexico. While street gangs sometimes use children as lookouts, or for extortion and other petty crimes, Mexico‘s most powerful criminal organizations are sophisticated cartels that have not been known to employ children as extensively due to the relative complexity of their criminal activities.

In Colombia, on the other hand, the country’s decades-long armed conflict has involved numerous child soldiers, which has likely contributed to its elevated child homicide rate. Nearly 50 percent of adult combatants of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – FARC) were “inducted as minors,” according to a 2012 report on their involvement in the armed conflict.

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Canadian Tourism Operators Are Stealing Garifuna Lands, Literally

 http://www.rightsaction.org/action-content/canadian-tourism-operators-are-stealing-garifuna-lands-literally
Monday, December 8, 2014

The Canadian ‘Porn King’ Randy Jorgensen “is by far the main developer in the area these days. His Life Vision Developments company is behind several residential projects marketed to Canadians: Alta Vista, New Palm Beach, Coroz Alta, and Campa Vista. He owns the Jaguar Construction company often tasked with building. He’s the key figure behind the new Banana Coast cruise ship port and its affiliated tour operator, Banana Coast Tours.”

https://www.beaconreader.com/sandra-cuffe/canadian-developers-are-steali…

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The 2009 Military Coup In Honduras: Repression, impunity and global business opportunities

The extremely high levels of repression and violence in Honduras are not a “Honduran problem” – they are also a U.S. and Canadian problem.  Since the June 2009 military coup, that ousted the last democratically elected government, Honduras has become the ‘Murder Capital of the world’, the ‘Repression Capital of the Americas’.  Since 2009, the U.S. and Canadian governments have legitimized a succession of illegitimate, repressive regimes. North American companies and investors, and “development” banks (World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank) have increased business activities in African palm production, maquiladora sweatshops, privatized “model cities”, tourism and mining.  The Honduran regime remains in power due, in large part, to its political, economic and military relations with the U.S. and Canada and the “development” banks.

Across Honduras, community based organizations – struggling for fundamental reform to the Honduran State and society – need considerably more human rights accompaniment, funding, media attention on the harms and violations and education and activism in Canada and the U.S.

In Honduras, U.S. deportees seek to journey north againdeported

 

http://www.latimes.com/world/mexico-americas/la-fg-honduras-deported-youths-20140816-story.html

By the time Isaias Sosa turned 14, he’d already seen 15 bullet-riddled bodies laid out in his neighborhood of Cabañas, one of the most violent in this tropical metropolis. He rarely ventured outside his grandmother’s home, fortified with a wrought iron gate and concertina wire.

But what pushed him to act was the death of his pregnant cousin, who was gunned down in 2012 by street gang members at the neighborhood gym. Sosa loaded a backpack, pocketed $500 from his mother’s purse, memorized his aunt’s phone number in Washington state and headed for southern Mexico, where he joined others riding north on top of one of the freight trains known as La Bestia, or the Beast.

Crossing the Rio Grande into Texas, Sosa was apprehended almost immediately by Border Patrol agents as he desperately searched for water.

After a second unsuccessful attempt to enter the U.S. last fall, he now spends most of his days cooped up at home, dreaming of returning yet again.

“Everywhere here is dangerous,” he said. “There is no security. They kill people all the time.”

“It’s a sin to be young in Honduras.”

Like thousands of other undocumented Honduran children deported after having journeyed unaccompanied to the U.S., Sosa faces perilous conditions in the violent neighborhood from which he sought to escape.

“There are many youngsters who only three days after they’ve been deported are killed, shot by a firearm,” said Hector Hernandez, who runs the morgue in San Pedro Sula. “They return just to die.”

At least five, perhaps as many as 10, of the 42 children slain here since February had been recently deported from the U.S., Hernandez said.

Immigrant aid groups and human rights organizers say the Honduran government is ill-equipped to assist children at high risk after they have been returned.

San Pedro Sula had 187 killings per 100,000 inhabitants in 2013, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Honduras’ overall homicide rate was 90 per 100,000 in 2012, the highest in the world, much of it fueled by gang and drug-trafficking violence.

Unaccompanied children from Honduras “come from extremely violent regions where they probably perceive the risk of traveling alone to the U.S. preferable to staying at home,” the report said.

In one case, a teenage boy was shot to death hours after arriving in San Pedro Sula on a deportation flight, according to the boy’s cousin, who refused to identify himself or the boy to The Times for fear of reprisal from neighborhood gangs.

To do so, he said, “I would be killing my entire family.”

He said his cousin had left for Los Angeles after his family received several threats from the Barrio 18 gang. His mother and sister moved to a different neighborhood while the boy headed for the U.S. They simply abandoned their house in Chamelecon, one of the city’s roughest areas.

Some neighborhoods feel like tropical ghost towns because scores of residents have fled the violence fomented by two of the country’s most notorious gangs, Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18.

A faded Polaroid sent from the U.S. and a torn-out page from a coloring book are the only indications of life in one abandoned home in the Palmira neighborhood.

The San Pedro Sula morgue reports 594 homicides in the surrounding northwestern region as of mid-July. A total of 778 people were slain last year.

Valdete Wileman, a nun who runs the Center for Returned Migrants in San Pedro Sula, said about 80% of the children who had been returned from the U.S. had been seeking to escape the gang violence.

Wileman said she was particularly concerned about children who once served as gang lookouts.

“Some of these children are threatened with their lives,” she said. “And now they are being forced to return to the same place.”

Other children head for the U.S. after the rest of their families have been killed. Although some of these deportees move to other neighborhoods here, many don’t have the money to relocate. And the gangs, with ties throughout the country, could track them down anyway.

Wileman said she has neither the resources nor the means to help, because the government barely funds the center.

“This is the responsibility of the government. This is the responsibility of the entrepreneurs who run this country … those who are in power,” she said. “All I can do is pray.”

Just a few days after Sosa, now 19, was deported from the U.S., he was shot at by gang members while walking to the corner store for a soda. He said he didn’t have allegiances with any gang and didn’t know why he was targeted.

His second unsuccessful emigration attempt came after a friend was fatally shot and left to die in a neighborhood alley.

While saving money for a third attempt, he rarely steps outside the front door, declining birthday party invitations and shunning soccer games in the neighborhood.

“If you leave your home, you don’t know if you’ll return.”

He knows the trip north will be perilous but says he doesn’t see any choice.

“What am I going to do?” he said. “It’s more dangerous to stay here.”

So when it’s time to again depart, he’ll do what he did before: He’ll get out his backpack, but he won’t tell a soul, fearing word may get out to gang members who’ll prevent him from leaving.

cindy.carcamo@latimes.com

 

Crime Fueled by Police and Gangs in Honduras Causing Children to Flee

Thousands of migrants in the U.S. are children from Honduras escaping highest murder rate in the world

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2014/08/12/crime-fueled-police-and-gangs-honduras-causing-children-flee

Children sleep in a holding cell in Nogales, Arizona. (Photo: Human Rights Watch)

More than 62,000 unaccompanied children fled Central America for the U.S. border in the past year alone to escape poverty and violence, particularly in Honduras, which became the most deadly country in the world in 2014 — more dangerous than Iraq at the height of the U.S. occupation, according to the Center for American Progress.

While the government plans shutdowns of migrant shelters in Texas, Oklahoma, and California, crime in Central America continues to skyrocket. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reported in 2013 that the murder rate in Honduras was 90.4 per 100,000 people, compared to the U.S.’s 4.7, with individual cities like San Pedro Sula struggling with 187 homicides per 100,000.

Iraq’s civilian casualty rate in 2007, while in the throes of insurgency, CAP says, was 62.2.

Gang violence is partially driving the unprecedented migration wave, but a corrupt national police force also fuels the crime rate. The Honduran Ministry of Security recorded a homicide rate of 75.6 per 100,000 in 2013 — a significant difference from the UNODC’s numbers for the same year, statistics that come as the State Department warns of the Honduran government’s lack of “sufficient resources to properly investigate and prosecute cases” that allows criminals to “operate with a high degree of impunity” throughout the country. The UNODC also estimates that there are more than twice as many gang members as there are police officers in Honduras, a dire prospect considering the high rates of corruption among law enforcement.

While poverty in Honduras is widespread, violence — both real and feared — is a greater driving factor in the migration swing. Honduran children “come from extremely violent regions where they probably perceive the risk of traveling alone to the U.S. preferable to remaining at home,” according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Before 2011, CBP encountered roughly 8,000 unaccompanied minors annually. The rapid upswing in Central American migrants entering the U.S. began when crime rates hit another growth spurt following years of police corruption, civil unrest, including a 2009 coup d’etat that saw the overthrow and exile of then-President Manuel Zelaya, and increased drug trafficking. The total number of cocaine and heroin shipments passing through Central America on the way to consumers in the U.S. more than tripled from 2004 to 2011, rising from an estimated 24 to 84 percent. Widespread crackdowns on the drug trade in Mexico and Colombia also pushed crime and gangs deeper into smaller Central American countries that did not have the resources to fight them off.

As gang violence and police corruption persists, the average age of Honduran civilians that face becoming targeted has lowered. According to the Pew Center for Research, children ages 12 and under are the fastest growing group of unaccompanied minors traveling to the border, and almost half of them are girls. The number of girls seeking refuge in the U.S. grew 140 percent over the last year, compared to a 100 percent increase among boys.

“Due to many factors, including the high homicide rate and alarming levels of other expressions of violence, including injuries, robberies and extortion, Honduras is reported to be among the most violent countries in the world today,” said Rashida Manjoo, UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, after a visit in July 2014. “In Honduras, violence against women is widespread and systematic… The climate of fear, in both the public and private spheres, and the lack of accountability for violations of human rights of women, is the norm rather than the exception.”

When the UN Refugee Agency interviewed (PDF) Honduran children who had fled the country in 2012 and 2013, organized crime and violence in their societies were one of their most highly cited reasons for leaving. One 12-year-old girl spoke about threats of rape and kidnapping that girls in her community faced every day:

In the village where I lived there were a ton of gang members. All they did was bad things, kidnapping people. My mother and grandmother were afraid that something would happen to me. That’s why my mother sent me here. They rape girls and get them pregnant. The gang got five girls pregnant, and there were other girls who disappeared and their families never heard from them again.

Migrant children who are able to reach the U.S. live in conditions that are only marginally better than what they face at home. They are warehoused in military bases and overcrowded detention facilities while they wait to see if the government will protect them or send them back home to the unstable environments they were escaping.

“The US government’s policy of detaining large numbers of children harms kids and flouts international standards,” said Human Rights Watch researcher Clara Long. “The recent surge in unaccompanied migrant children reaching the US cannot justify longer detention periods… Many [of them] are extremely vulnerable to abuse upon return to their home countries.”

At least 90,000 children are expected to arrive on the border by the end of this year.

James D. Nealon
Civilian Deputy to the Commander,
Foreign Policy Advisor
United States Southern Command 

NealonJim Nealon assumed duties as Civilian Deputy to the Commander and Foreign Policy Advisor, U.S. Southern Command, Miami, FL,
in September 2013. As Civilian Deputy to the Commander, he is primarily responsible for overseeing the development and ongoing refinement of USSOUTHCOM regional strategy as well as the Command’s strategic communications, public affairs and human rights activities. He also plays a key role in  interagency and business engagement. As Foreign Policy Advisor, he advises the Commander and other principals on U.S. foreign policy issues linked to the region and supports the Command’s relationship with the Department of State and U.S.Embassies abroad. 

Mr. Nealon came to SOUTHCOM after serving as Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa,Canada (2010-2013). His other assignments include serving as Deputy Chief of Mission in Lima, Peru (2007-2010); Charge d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission in Montevideo, Uruguay (2005-2007); Counselor forPublic Affairs at the Embassies in Madrid, Spain and Budapest, Hungary; Press Attaché at the Embassies inManila, Philippines and Budapest; Cultural Attaché in Montevideo, Uruguay; and Assistant Press Attaché in Santiago, Chile. Mr. Nealon also served at the United States Information Agency’s Bureau of HumanResources in Washington, DC. 

Mr. Nealon is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister-Counselor. He has been awarded the State Department’s Superior Honor Award as well as numerous senior performance awards. 

A native of Virginia, Mr. Nealon holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Brown University and completed additional graduate work in history at Boston College. Prior to joining the Foreign Service in 1984, he was a high school history teacher and athletics coach. He speaks Hungarian and Spanish. 

Mr. Nealon and his wife Kristin, a teacher of English as a Second Language, have four grown children

Mining Watch Canada declares new Mining Law in Honduras is ‘true Disaster Capitalism’ in which the Canadian government has played an entirely self-interested role.

http://www.miningwatch.ca/news/honduran-mining-law-passed-and-ratified-fight-not-over

Honduran Mining Law Passed and Ratified, but the Fight is Not Over

Thursday, January 24, 2013

(Ottawa) On Wednesday January 23, 2013, the Honduran Congress quickly passed and ratified a new mining law that has been developed with support from the Canadian International Development Agency against the will of important sectors of Honduran society. The law only remains to be published in the official Gazette, which could take place as early as next week. Once published, it will enter into effect and a moratorium on new mining concessions that been in place since 2006 will end. It is anticipated that this will be followed by an accelerated process to approve some 300 mining concessions, and that another 154 concessions that have already been approved will become active.

The following represent some of the most worrisome aspects of the law, as analyzed by the Honduran National Coalition of Environmental Networks:

  • It leaves the door open to open-pit mining,
  • Water sources that communities depend upon are left unprotected, except for those that have been declared and registered, which are a minority. This puts at grave risk the survival and economic sustenance of peasant farmer communities,
  • Mining is not prohibited in populated areas, which will continue to permit forced expropriation and the destruction and displacement of entire communities,
  • The consultation process described in the law theoretically allows communities to say no to mining, but only after the exploration concession has already been granted and after there is a contract established with mining companies. This means that community voices will not be heard because the state of Honduras will be bound by Free Trade Agreements that it has signed – such as the forthcoming agreement with Canada – that give transnational companies access to international tribunals in order to protect their investments,
  • It does not include a civil society proposal to incorporate a schedule of environmental crimes such that the Public Ministry could initiate criminal proceedings against those responsible when these occur, sanctions will only be of an administrative nature,
  • The law denies access to information about technical and financial aspects of projects and companies involved.

This is true disaster capitalism in which the Canadian government has played an entirely self-interested role.

In 2009, Honduran civil society had achieved a proposed mining law that had it passed would have incorporated their proposals. But this was shoved aside following the June 2009 military-backed coup of then President Mel Zelaya and never debated. In the wake of this rupture in the democratic life of Honduras, a country that has since become the murder capital of the world with frequent attacks and threats against human rights advocates, journalists and activists, the Canadian Embassy, the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and CIDA have all gotten involved in lobbying for and providing assistance toward a law that would be satisfactory to Canadian industry, such as the one that passed yesterday.

The fight is not over for communities and organizations in Honduras. A November 2011 survey found some 91% of Hondurans opposed to open-pit mining and near unanimity in support of the environmental movement for a more just mining framework. In other words,
despite the repressive environment, we can anticipate that communities will continue to organize to defend their lands and waters supplies. Also, the National Coalition of Environmental Networks plans to fight this Canadian-backed law through the Honduran courts and will once again be calling for international solidarity in order to urge the court to proceed fairly and expeditiously with their case.

In Canada, it’s vital that this attempt on the well-being of communities – in which our government agencies are complicit – not go unnoticed and that the work to build solidarity with affected communities and their allies continue.

OEA » Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) » Prensa » Comunicados» 2014 » 056

Comunicado de Prensa

CIDH expresa preocupación por muertes violentas de niños, adolescentes y jóvenes en un contexto de inseguridad ciudadana en Honduras

14 de mayo de 2014

Washington, D.C. – La Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) expresa su profunda preocupación por las muertes de niños, adolescentes y jóvenes ocurridas recientemente en Honduras, los cuales se inscriben en un contexto generalizado de violencia e inseguridad ciudadana en el país.

De acuerdo con información pública, el 4 de mayo habría tenido lugar un incidente de violencia en el Centro Pedagógico de Rehabilitación El Carmen, San Pedro Sula, en el que resultaron muertos cinco adolescentes presuntamente vinculados a la pandilla denominada “mara 18”, quienes fueron atacados con armas de fuego de grueso calibre. Las circunstancias en que estas armas ingresaron al centro penal, así como la identidad de los atacantes y su eventual filiación a una pandilla rival están siendo objeto de investigación. Asimismo, de acuerdo a información recibida anteriormente, el 2 de octubre de 2013, en el mismo centro penal, habría tenido lugar otro ataque con armas de fuego contra adolescentes detenidos vinculados a la “mara 18”, en el que no hubo víctimas fatales. De acuerdo a las autoridades, este incidente también habría sido ocasionado por miembros de una pandilla rival.

Al mismo tiempo se observa que los niños y adolescentes también se encuentran en riesgo en sus comunidades, el 4 de mayo de 2014, cuatro niños de entre dos y trece años fueron asesinados a puñaladas en su casa, en el municipio de Limón, en el noreste del país, por causas que aún están bajo investigación.

Asimismo, el 5 de mayo del 2014 fueron hallados los cadáveres de dos niños en edad escolar que fueron secuestrados, torturados y asesinados, en el barrio La Pradera, en San Pedro Sula. De acuerdo con información de público conocimiento, sumarían ocho los niños secuestrados y asesinados en este barrio, en similares circunstancias. Las autoridades y los vecinos del lugar atribuyen la responsabilidad de estos crímenes a la actividad de las pandillas o maras, y a la situación de vulnerabilidad en la que se encuentran debido a la inseguridad ciudadana.

La Comisión Interamericana destaca que estos hechos se inscriben en un contexto generalizado de violencia e inseguridad ciudadana que coloca a niños, niñas y adolescentes en una posición de particular vulnerabilidad. La CIDH observa que de acuerdo con la Oficina de las Naciones Unidas para la Droga y el Crimen (UNODC), Honduras es el país del mundo con la tasa más alta de homicidios (90.4 por cada 100,000 habitantes). De acuerdo con el Comisionado Nacional de los Derechos Humanos de Honduras, entre 2010 y 2013 al menos 458 niños menores de 14 años habrían muerto en circunstancias violentas en el país; y según ha informado la organización Casa Alianza, en los primeros tres meses del presente año han sido asesinados 271 niños, niñas y jóvenes menores de 23 años.

Las políticas públicas sobre seguridad ciudadana se relacionan con la creación o consolidación de una institucionalidad estatal que proporcione respuestas eficaces y eficientes a las demandas de una sociedad democrática en esta materia, sobre todo en temas prioritarios como la atención a las víctimas de la violencia y el delito. Este deber de protección es aún mayor en el caso de personas menores de 18 años, quienes además se encuentran protegidos de manera específica por normas vinculantes que obligan a los Estados a otorgar un nivel de protección especial. En particular cuando éstos/as se encuentran bajo custodia del propio Estado, en cuyo caso éste debe asumir su posición especial de garante con mayor cuidado y responsabilidad.

La Comisión Interamericana condena el asesinato de niños, niñas y adolescentes en Honduras y considera que este grave problema debe ser asumido como una prioridad por el Estado. En este sentido, la CIDH subraya la importancia de investigar de manera pronta, diligente e imparcial estos hechos y aplicar las sanciones penales que correspondan, de manera de evitar la impunidad y la repetición de hechos similares. Asimismo, deben adoptarse las medidas urgentes que sean necesarias para prevenir la ocurrencia de hechos similares, y para proteger de manera particular a aquellas personas que se encuentran en una situación particular de vulnerabilidad, y los defensores y defensoras de derechos humanos que trabajan en este ámbito. La ausencia de intervenciones eficientes y eficaces del Estado frente a los desafíos de la seguridad ciudadana genera un sentimiento de frustración y desprotección en amplios sectores de la población, lo que afecta seriamente la convivencia en una sociedad democrática y la vigencia del Estado de Derecho.

La CIDH es un órgano principal y autónomo de la Organización de los Estados Americanos (OEA), cuyo mandato surge de la Carta de la OEA y de la Convención Americana sobre Derechos Humanos. La Comisión Interamericana tiene el mandato de promover la observancia de los derechos humanos en la región y actúa como órgano consultivo de la OEA en la materia. La CIDH está integrada por siete miembros independientes que son elegidos por la Asamblea General de la OEA a título personal, y no representan sus países de origen o residencia.

LIBERTAD PARA CHABELO MORALES!! Henry Osorto, comandante de la Policía Nacional en el departamento de Olancho. La Familia Osorto comenzó una guerra contra los campesinos de Guadalupe Carney, que terminó en la muerte de su FAMILIARES ASÍ COMO EL CAMPESINO ARNULFO GUEVARA. LA SANGRE ES EN LAS MANOS DE LOS OSORTOS. JOSE ISABEL “CHABELO”

Henry Osorto

Henry Osorto

MORALES FUE CONDENADO POR ASESINATOS DE QUE NO HAY EVIDENCIA.

Melvin Osorto hermano de Henry Osorto, Comandante del Policia Nacional de Olancho. Esta familia empiezó una guerra contra los y las campesinos y campesinas de Guadalupe Carney. Esta guerra resultó en la muerte del miembros de la familia Osorto y en various campesinos que incluido Arnulfo Guevarra. Esta sangre es en los manos de los Osortos. Es sus influencia que resultó en la injusticia contra Chabelo Morales. No hay evidencia de culpabilidad solo las palabras del esto Comandante de Policia Nacional y “testigos” fueron pagado por Osorto.Melvin Osorto