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Country profile for Honduras

Provided Courtesy of Security Exchange 24

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General Information

  • Capital: Tegucigalpa
  • Major Languages: Spanish
  • Currency: Lempira
  • Timezone: GMT -6:00

Country Map

Map of Honduras

Since President Manuel Zelaya was forced from office during a constitutional crisis in 2009, there have been several subsequent episodes of political turmoil in Honduras. In 2013 Juan Orlando Hernandez was sworn into office. Almost immediately his administration was engulfed in massive anti-government protests over allegations of corruption involving the Honduran Institute of Social Security (IHSS). He eventually acknowledged receiving more than $150k from companies involved in a scandal linked to his presidential campaign but denied any wrongdoing. In January 2016, President Hernandez launched the Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH), an international body backed by the Organization of American States (OAS). Political tensions significantly intensified when President Hernandez was re-elected in November 2017. For several months, a number of protests were called nationwide after opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla refused to accept electoral results. Nasralla called for a vote recount after President Hernandez recovered a massive gap – at one stage Nasralla was leading the election with a 30 percent advantage. Opposition-led protests continue to be frequent, especially in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula.

Honduras is one of the main transit points for narcotics trafficked from South American to Mexico and the US. The country is part of the infamous ‘Northern Triangle’, which alongside El Salvador and Guatemala, records one of the highest homicide rates in the Americas. Most violent crimes in the country are generated due to territorial disputes involving the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and their rivals, Barrio 18. Both gangs control the majority of neighbourhoods in the capital, Tegucigalpa, and major departmental capitals such as San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, Yoro and Comayagua. There is a high rate of kidnapping in Honduras and criminals often use violence against their victims. Most victims are local businesspeople whose family members are targeted and held for ransom. Foreign national are most likely to be the target of express-kidnapping, where the victim is held for a short period and forced to handover valuables and to withdraw money from ATMs. Carjacking is also common across Honduras, especially in the country’s northern region. Criminals are often armed and may also target public transport and airport transfers heading to and from San Pedro Sula.

Violence against protesters and activists is a serious problem in Honduras. In March 2016, prize-winning environmentalist Beta Caceres was killed when two armed criminals raided her house in La Esperanza. Caceres was the leader of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organisations of Honduras (COPINH) and was engaged in the resistance against the construction of the Agua Zarca dam, a multi-million dollar hydroelectric project in north-western Honduras. For years she had been the main voice behind the movement to pressure the government and private corporations to leave the indigenous lands along the Gualcaque River. Caceres’s death highlighted the long-feared threat to environmentalists in Honduras, where according to Rights groups over 120 have been killed since 2010.

Honduras may also be affected by the Atlantic hurricane season, which traditionally lasts from June to November. Landslides and widespread flooding are common during those months, especially along coastal and mountainous regions. In October 2017, Tropical Storm Nate triggered deadly rainfall across northern Honduras, killing two people near the El Salvadorian border. Earthquakes are relatively rare in Honduras; however, frequent seismic activities in Mexico and the Caribbean raised alerts in the country. The most significant incident was in 2009 when seven people were killed after a powerful 7.3-magnitude quake struck near the island of Roatan, located off the northern coast.

News articles

By AFP

TV journalist killed in Honduras

A television journalist was fatally shot late Thursday in front of his home in Honduras, one of the world's deadliest countries for reporters.

By AFP/La Prensa/El Heraldo

Journalist murdered in Honduras

A journalist was shot to death by unidentified assailants in northern Honduras, a colleague said on August 15, raising to 46 the number of media workers murdered in the Central American country since 2003.

By AP

TV news reporter found dead

The body of a television reporter was found in Honduras on Monday a day after he went missing. He had been shot twice.

By AFP

Journalist killed in Honduras

Honduran journalist Luis Alonso Fúnez Duarte, 47, was slain June 23 in the town of Catacamas, 200 km east from the country’s capital. 

By Amnesty International

Honduras: Media worker murdered in his home

He had been threatened in the past in apparent connection with his work on projects for the promotion of human rights and social justice.

View all articles for Honduras

Alerts for Honduras

Students shot during clashes with the police in Tegucigalpa

At least three university students have been injured after police officers stormed a campus of the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) in Tegucigalpa. EFE reported that the students suffered gunshot wounds during clashes with the police. Tensions broke out when masked protesters set barricades on fire just outside the campus in the Ciudad Universitaria. The demonstration took place amid a wave of civil unrest in Honduras against recent plans to introduce education and health reforms. For several weeks, violent protests became frequent across the country. At least three people have been killed so far.

Youngster shot dead during protest in La Paz

A 17-year-old has been shot dead during violent clashes between protesters and police officers in La Paz, central Honduras. Witnesses told AFP that the youngster was shot when armed soldiers stormed a roadblock near Yarumela. This is the third death reported in Honduras since violent protests broke out last month. Demonstrators are protesting against health and education sector reforms, which were already suspended by the government. Soldiers and additional police were recently deployed to address a wave of civil unrest nationwide. Roadblocks and some businesses were already targeted during the demonstrations. Further protests are expected to continue as opposition groups call for the immediate resignation of President Juan Orlando Hernandez.

Protests against health and education reforms continue across Honduras

Protests continue to be reported across Honduras since the government announced plans to introduce health and education reforms. Although President Juan Orlando Hernandez has revoked two presidential decrees, civil unrest in Honduras are still happening across major cities, including Tegucigalpa. Health and education professionals were joined by lorry drivers that launched a strike on Wednesday, leading to fuel shortages in some areas. An agreement was reached between lorry drivers and the government; however, protests continued on Thursday. Demonstrations are expected to persist as protesters demand the immediate resignation of President Hernandez. At least two people have been killed, dozens injured and several others arrested.

State of emergency declared due to dengue fever outbreak

Honduras's Health Secretary has declared a state of emergency across 12 departments due to the high incidence of dengue fever. In a statement released last week, the health secretary announced that the state of emergency will include the departments of Atlantida, Colon, Intibuca, Comayagua, Copan, Lempira, La Paz, Cortes, Olancho, Francisco Morazan, Santa Barbara and Yoro. Contingency measures have been launched nationwide after at least 37 people died after contracting the disease. Cases in Honduras are being considered of the hemorrhagic type, which is the most severe. Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease common in Latin America. Symptoms may include fever, muscle and joint pain, headache and red rash. In more severe cases, symptoms may include severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, cold and drowsiness. Currently, there is no vaccination available against dengue fever.

Fresh protests reported against education and health sectors reform

Health and education sectors workers have staged a fresh demonstration in Tegucigalpa on Thursday. Teachers and doctors continue to stage protests across Honduras against proposed government reforms. Demonstrations persist despite President Juan Orlando Hernandez repealed two presidential decrees. Since May, sporadic protests are being reported in major cities. Besides Tegucigalpa, violent demonstrations took place in the northern town of Villa Nueva. Protesters claim that reforms to the country's health and education system may fuel mass layoffs and privatisation.

Three killed after contracting haemorrhagic dengue fever in Honduras

Three people have died after contracting dengue haemorrhagic fever - a more serious type of dengue fever - in Honduras. Official data shows that 34 people have died so far this year after contracting the disease. Reports say that more than 10,000 cases of dengue fever were confirmed nationwide, more than half of them being of the haemorrhagic type. Cases have been reported in the departments of Atlantida, Yoro, Olancho, Colon, Santa Barbara, La Paz, Itibura, Comayagua and Francisco Morazan. In Cortes, the outbreak is the worst, where Doctors Without Border (MSF) deployed a team to address the outbreak. Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease common in Latin America. Symptoms may include fever, muscle and joint pain, headache and red rash. In more severe cases, symptoms may include severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, cold and drowsiness.

Subsidiary of US-based company suspend contracts amid unrest

A local subsidiary of the US-based Dole Food Company has called for the temporary suspension of contracts in Honduras after 30 of their containers ships were set ablaze during violent protests over the weekend. Government sources told Reuters that the Standard Fruit Company is requesting the contracts' suspension until operational guarantees are re-established. Dole Food's lorries were targeted while heading to a port city in Atlantico. Honduras has been facing a wave of nationwide demonstrations due to government plans to reform the health and education sector. Protests continue to engulf the country despite President Juan Orlando Hernandez suspending two main decrees.

Dozens of shipping containers set on fire in Colon

Dozens of shipping containers have been set ablaze as nationwide protests escalated in Colon, northern Honduras. Local media reported that more than 30 shipping containers were burned when a convoy was targeted in the rural area of Guadalupe Carney. It is believed that the lorries belong to the US-based company Dole Food Company, which has not yet commented on the incident. Protests are brewing across Honduras due to recent plans to reform the country's education and health sectors. Although mostly peaceful, on some occasions demonstrations have escalated and turned violent. Honduras is a close commercial partner of the US. According to official data, the US has imported $755m of Honduran agricultural products in 2018 - nearly half of it comprised of bananas, plantains and other fresh fruit.

Government revokes two decrees to ease current wave of protests

President Juan Orlando Hernandez has revoked two controversial decrees aimed at introducing education and health reforms. Demonstrators of the education and health sectors in Honduras took to the streets to protest recent plans to privatise some public services. Teachers and doctors are already taking part in strikes against the measures, which are affecting classes and operations in some hospitals. Despite some concessions made by the government, protests are still expected to persist. Major syndicates and opposition parties called for new nationwide strikes on Monday and Tuesday.

2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins Saturday

The 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season is set to kick off on Saturday and last until late-November. During this period, powerful hurricanes and tropical storms become frequent across the US Southeast, the Caribbean and Central America. Last year, the Atlantic experienced one of the busiest hurricane seasons in recent decades. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has already named 15 storms for the current season. Typically, the Atlantic hurricane season starts in June; however, earlier this month, Andrea became the first named storm of 2019. Travellers are highly advised to monitor local media and official updates from reputable sources, such as the US National Hurricane Center (NHC). Updates and useful information are also provided by official meteorological and weather agencies. Among the main threats during this period are storm surges, flooding and landslides. Adverse weather may also affect flights and sea travel across the Caribbean and North Atlantic.

Government denies drug-trafficking allegations against President Hernandez

The government has denied any connection between President Juan Orlando Hernandez and drug-trafficking. AFP reported that the Honduran government said that the current administration is closely allied with the US in tackling organised crime in Central America. Allegations emerged after US media reported that President Hernandez and some of his aides were investigated back in 2013 by the US Drugs Enforcement Administration (DEA). His brother, Juan Antonio Hernandez, was detained last year for drug-trafficking and remains jailed after being charged by a court in New York.

Major roadworks near Copan to last until July

Major roadworks along the CA-11 highway near Copan are expected to be completed until July. Road disruption may impact travellers heading to and from the El Florido border crossing, one of the main roads of access to Guatemala. Traffic in the area has been restricted between 06:00 and 21:00 local time. Roadworks were scheduled to be completed earlier this year. The road is one of the main routes to the Copan Ruins Archeological Park.

Thousands march to protest law aimed at reforming education and health sectors

Education and health professionals have taken to the streets of Tegucigalpa is a fresh wave of demonstrations. For several weeks, teachers and doctors have been marching across the capital to protest against reforms to the health and education system in Honduras. Protests kicked off in late-April and have persisted despite some government concessions. President Juan Orlando Hernandez has called syndicates and unions to hold a dialogue. In order to ease the current wave of civil unrest, the government has issued a decree that forbids mass layoffs of teachers and doctors. Main disagreements concern guidelines to a law which is aimed at restructuring the country's health and education sectors.

Five killed in light aircraft crash near Roatan

Five people have been killed in a light aircraft crash near Roatan Island. Reuters reported that the aircraft crashed just after taking off from Roatan on Saturday. Reports suggest that the aircraft was transporting foreign tourists to the port city of Trujillo. It is still unclear what caused the crash. Roatan Island is a popular tourist destination located off Honduras's Caribbean coast.

Protests held about power outages

The residents of multiple cities took to the streets on 8 May to protest about ongoing power outages.  The current round of blackouts started on Sunday in the departments of Atlantida, Colon, Cortes and Olancho, causing significant disruption to both commercial and residential properties.  Some of the demonstrations turned violent, particularly in San Pedro Sula, where barriers were erected across streets and tyres set alight.  The police used tear gas to disperse the crowd.  State-run energy company Empresa Energia Honduras (EEH) said that the power disruptions were due to high temperaturs and overloaded circuits caused by people illegally accessing the network, and that emergency maintenance in the El Paraiso department was scheduled for 9 May.  

Violent protests reported in Tegucigalpa against health and education reforms

At least three public and private buildings have been targeted in suspected arson attacks during a massive protest in Tegucigalpa. A large-scale demonstration took place on Monday to protest planned reforms to the country's health and education system. The bill was already approved last week in Congress. Protesters claim that the new legislation will privatise both sectors, while the government claims that only some areas will be included. President Juan Orlando Hernandez argues that the new reforms are key to improve the quality and efficiency of both sectors. Health and education professionals have been on strike since Monday, while further demonstrations are scheduled to occur in Honduras on Wednesday. Congress Speaker Mauricio Oliva has called an emergency session to suspend the reforms.

President Hernandez criticises court ruling in favour of 22 gang members

President Juan Orlando Hernandez has criticised a court ruling which would benefit 22 members of the Barrio 18 gang, who are accused of a number of crimes, including murder and racketeering. President Hernandez raised concerns over their potential release from maximum security prisons. He claims that they are responsible for the deaths of 27 people back in 2014. The court said that the rulings are impartial and that most of them will not be immediately released as most of them still face multiple charges in other tribunals. Similar to neighbouring El Salvador and Guatemala, street gangs are often accused of fuelling homicide rates in Honduras. Most clashes involve rival gangs and factions, including the Barrio 18 and Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13). President Hernandez has launched a number of policies to tackle gang-crime in Honduras. In November, he announced the National Force to Control Detention Facilities (FNCCP), which is in charge of reinforcing security across high-risk prisons nationwide.

Minor killed as anti-government protest escalates in Choluteca

A 17-year-old has been killed after tensions escalated during a protest in southern Honduras. EFE reported that the minor was killed after being shot in the city of Choluteca. Protesters marched to demand the resignation of President Juan Orlando Hernandez. Since being re-elected in late-2017, a number of protests have broken out against the election's results. The opposition claims that they were fraudulent. President Hernandez defeated opposition leader Salvador Nasralla after a controversial vote recount. In early-2018, both the government and the opposition agreed to hold talks to solve the current political crisis.

Hundreds take part in fresh US-bound caravan from San Pedro Sula

Hundreds of people part of another US-bound migrant caravan have started their journey from northern Honduras. AP reported that more than 1,000 migrants left from the restive city of San Pedro Sula in an attempt to reach the US border. Reports suggest that most of them gathered around bus stations to be transported cross border into Guatemala. Central American countries are under enormous pressure from the US to tackle migrant caravans. Most people in Honduras leave the country due to endemic levels of violence, mostly attributed to street gangs, and hampering rates of unemployment.

US cut aid to Central American countries for failing to curb migration

US President Donald Trump has announced that he is cutting aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras due to their inefficiency in tackling migration. A week after another US-bound migrant caravan took off from Central America, President Trump has said that Central American governments are not doing enough to block migrants from heading to the US. He said: "We stopped payment to Honduras, to Guatemala, and to El Salvador. We were paying them tremendous amounts of money, and we're not paying them anymore because they haven't done a thing for us". The US significantly contributes to financing security and development programmes in Central America. In October, President Trump had already threatened to cut aid to Honduras after accusing President Juan Orlando Hernandez of not doing enough to curb migration. Thousands of Central American migrants took part in multiple migrant caravans towards the US. Most are currently in the bordering town of Tijuana, northern Mexico.

Several killed in road crash in Olancho

At least four people have been killed and three others have been injured after a pickup truck overturned in Olancho, north-eastern Honduras. The accident happened on Sunday along the RN39 road between the towns of Gualaco and San Esteban. It is still unclear what the causes of the accident are. Road accidents in Honduras are common and often lead to fatalities. Official reports show that more than 240 people were killed in road accidents in Honduras this year. Inter-provincial roads in Honduras are usually poorly maintained and road accidents in the country are mainly caused by reckless driving.

Wildfires continue to affect several areas around Tegucigalpa

A number of wildfires are currently affecting several areas around the capital, Tegucigalpa. Hundreds of firefighters have been deployed to battle several fire fronts in southern Honduras. Areas affected include Amarateca, El Picacho, El Hatillo and El Carpintero. Parts of the La Tigra National Park have also been affected. Low-scale evacuations have been reported in some areas. According to the Forest Conservation Institution (ICF), most wildfires in Honduras are intentional. Since the beginning of 2019, more than 5,000 hectares of land have been consumed by wildfires.

Journalist shot dead in Valle Department

A Honduran journalist has been shot dead in the city of Nacaome in Valle Department. Gabriel Hernandez, who worked for Canal Valle TV and Radio Globo, was shot several times in the La Ceiba neighbourhood on Sunday. It is the first recorded killing of a journalist in Honduras in 2019.

One killed in targeted shooting in Copan

On 15 March, one man was killed in a shooting in La Entrada, Copan.  According to preliminary reports, two men entered a petrol station and fired two shots into the vehicle of the victim, who died at the scene.  Police believe the incident was gang-related as the deceased was a member of the Valle Valle family.  

Colombian national gunned down in San Pedro Sula

A Colombian national has been killed after being attacked in San Pedro Sula, northern Honduras. EFE reported that the victim was shot dead on Tuesday when gunmen in two vehicles targeted him in the El Playon neighbourhood. Reports suggest that a young woman, believed to be the victim's daughter, was kidnapped after the incident. It is still unclear what the circumstances behind the incident are. Local media reported that the woman was safely found several hours later. San Pedro Sula is one of the most violent cities in Honduras, where street gangs, such as the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18, are often engaged in extortion, kidnapping and organised crime.

Brother of extradited drug lord arrested in Copan

A dozen people linked to the infamous Valle Valle Cartel have been arrested in a joint police operation in Copan, western Honduras. EFE reported that among the arrested is Jose Reynerio Valle Valle, one of the heads of the cartel. The Valle Valle leadership was dismantled back in 2014 when three Valle Valle brothers were extradited to the US. The operation also took place in the departments of Atlantida, Cortes and Santa Barbara. It is estimated that more than 20 people have already been extradited from Honduras to the US since 2014. It comes as part of the so-called 'Kingpin Act', which was signed back in 1999 by President Bill Clinton to tackle individuals and organisations engaged in drug-trafficking into the US.

Opposition-led protests turn violent in Tegucigalpa

Opposition-led protests turned violent after demonstrators set barricades on fire in Tegucigalpa. Clashes broke out in the capital after protesters took to the streets to demand the resignation of President Juan Orlando Hernandez. Protests were called on by the opposition Liberty and Refoundation Party (LIBRE), headed by former President Manuel Zelaya. Demonstrations happened as President Hernandez completes one year in office. Political tensions in Honduras have remained high since President Hernandez was elected for his second term. The opposition claims that the electoral process was fraudulent. Last week, the parliament has approved a bill to introduce electoral reforms in Honduras.

Parliament approve bill to reform electoral court

Lawmakers have approved a series of constitutional reforms to replace the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE). Members of parliament overwhelmingly approved the dissolution of the TSE and the creation of the National Electoral Council (CNE). Parliament Speaker Mauricio Oliva said that the measure comes as part of talks being held with the UN and the Organisation of American States (OAS). The creation of the CNE seeks to promote more transparency to electoral processes in Honduras. Since the re-election of President Juan Orlando Hernandez, tensions remain high. The opposition claims that last year's presidential vote was engulfed in fraud, leading to the defeat of Salvador Nasralla, who narrowly lost the election after a contested vote recount.

Border security beefed up as migrant caravan heads to the US

Security measures have been enhanced along the borders with Guatemala and El Salvador as more than 1,500 people part of a migrant caravan head to the US. Notimerica reported that security was beefed up across 54 border crossing points. According to the government, the main reason for the operation is to check if parents are legally taking their children abroad. Migrants claim that the government is using the move to block migrants from heading to the US. US President Donald Trump has previously criticised Central American governments for failing to stop previous migrant caravans heading northwards.

US-bound migrant caravan starts journey from San Pedro Sula

Hundreds of people are reportedly joining a new US-bound migrant caravan from the northern city of San Pedro Sula. Rights groups estimate that more than 800 people are part of the new caravan, which is expected to reach the US-Mexico border within months. Migrant caravans became common in October. They mainly started in crime-ridden areas in Honduras, where street gangs such as the Barrio 18 and Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) widely operate. The Mexican government already announced plans to enhance security measures along the Guatemalan border ahead of the caravan's arrival.

Former President Zelaya calls for anti-government protests

Former President Manuel Zelaya has announced plans to nominate the so-called 'comandos de insurreccion' in Honduras to counter the government of President Juan Orlando Hernandez. In a statement released on social media, Zelaya said that a set of protests and strike actions are planned to take part in January, especially on 27 of January, when President Hernandez completes one year in office. Zelaya and the opposition accuse President Hernandez of fraud in the elections last year, where he defeated opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla after a vote recount. 'Comandos de insurrecion' are organised civil society groups that often gather to launch joint protests to counter government repression and alleged violations to the constitutional order - such is prohibited under Article 3 of the Honduran constitution.

Thousands affected due to heavy rainfall in northern Honduras

More than 5,000 people were affected after heavy rainfall hit northern Honduras. According to the Permanent Contingency Commission (COPECO), the most affected areas were Colon and Atlantida. Local media reported that due to low visibility, the airport of Roatan island was temporarily closed. Inclement weather comes as a cold front system approaches the country. COPECO has informed that heavy rainfall may continue to affect the Caribbean region and the islands, while adverse weather may persist in northern Honduras in the next few days. Inclement weather may also trigger road and air travel disruption.

OAS special mission delivers set o recommendations amid election row

A special mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) has submitted a set of recommendations to the Honduran Congress regarding potential reforms to its electoral process. The document seeks to recover the country's electoral confidence through following concerns from several political parties and entities. Political tensions in Honduras broke out last year when President Juan Orlando Hernandez was re-elected in a highly contested vote against opposition leader Salvador Nasralla. The OAS and the Spanish government were brokering a dialogue that ended on Tuesday, where both parts refused to reach a deal.

Three buses set on fire during protest in Tegucigalpa

Three minibusses have been set on fire during a protest in Tegucigalpa. EFE reported that university students ordered passengers to alight the vehicles before setting them ablaze. The protest happened along the Suyapa Boulevard near the campuses of the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH). Protests broke out after authorities announced an increase to taxi and bus fares in the capital.

Seven men convicted over murder of environmentalist Berta Caceres

Seven men have been convicted of the killing of Berta Caceres, a prominent environmentalist who was murdered in 2016. A court in Honduras handed down the verdict on Thursday, which included the conviction of a staff member of the Desarollos Energeticos SA (DESA), a company that was in charge of the Agua Zarca project which Caceres publicly opposed. Reuters reported that one of the defendants was exonerated. The conviction also included the attempted murder of Mexican environmentalist Gustavo Castro, who was with Caceres when armed men raided her house in Honduras. Sentencing is scheduled to take place in mid-January and may include up to 30 years in prison. Caceres's family and rights groups claimed that the convictions were not wide enough as they did not include other DESA executives.

Court in Honduras to hand verdict on Berta Caceres murder trial

A court in Honduras is set to release the verdict of the murder trial of prize-winning environmentalist Berta Caceres, who was killed back in 2016. Her trial was engulfed by several allegations of irregularities and cover-ups. Caceres was an active indigenous advocate against the construction of the Agua Zarca, a mega-project feared to threaten indigenous lands. Eight defendants are being trialled for her death and the attempted murder of Gustavo Castro, who was with Caceres at the time of the shooting. Some of them are linked to the Desa, the company in charge of the project.

Opposition-led protest turns violent in Tegucigalpa

An opposition-led march to demand the resignation of President Juan Orlando Hernandez has turned violent as protesters marched towards the presidential palace in Tegucigalpa. Demonstrators accuse President Hernandez of fraud in the last presidential vote, where he narrowly defeated Salvador Nasralla. The march was endorsed by former President Manuel Zelaya, who was forced out from office in 2009 over a deep constitutional crisis in Honduras. Tensions erupted when police clashed with protesters after they set barricades on fire and blocked traffic in the capital.

President Hernandez questioned amid corruption probe

President Juan Orlando Hernandez has been questioned amid a long-standing corruption probe. President Hernandez is being accused of diverting public funds to finance his 2013 presidential campaign. He, alongside 38 high-level government officials, is accused of diverting nearly $12m from the parliament, the agriculture and planning ministries, and several other government bodies. Investigations are being led by the Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH). In an unrelated issue, his brother was arrested over the weekend in the US for previous drug-related charges. Juan Antonio is a former lawmaker. He is accused of benefitting a drug cartel in exchange for bribes.

New anti-gang task force launched to tackle prison crime

President Juan Orlando Hernandez has announced on Tuesday the official launching a new police task force to tackle criminal activities on Honduran prisons. The National Force to Control Detention Facilities (FNCCP) will be in charge of reinforcing security across high-risk prisons nationwide while assisting prison officers. This is the second anti-gang task force launched this year. Street gangs such as the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18 are known for operation from inside prisons. In some occasions, they fully control detention centres and coordinate criminal activity in Honduras and abroad.

Four killed as criminals raid house in Nacaome, Valle

At least four people have been killed when criminals wearing military outfits stormed a residence in Valle department, south-western Honduras. Police reports revealed that the attack happened in the town of Nacaome, where two women tied up with rope were found dead. Two other men, including a former police officer, were killed after being taken to a bridge over the Guasirope river. It is still unclear what the motive was behind the attack. Honduras suffers from endemic levels of criminality, which are mainly attributed to street gangs such as Barrio 18 and Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13).

Police reinforce border security amid migrant caravan row

Honduran authorities have reinforced border security along the Guatemalan border after thousands of people part of a migrant caravan started a US-bound march from San Pedro Sula. EFE reported that the police has erected fortified barricades in the border crossing of Agua Caliente, which has been used as the main route to cross into Guatemala. US President Donald Trump has previously announced to cut aid to Central American countries if they failed to stop the migrant caravan, which is currently crossing through southern Mexico. Travellers should anticipate heavy delays in border crossings between Honduras and Guatemala.

President Trump threatens to halt aid over migrant caravan

US President Donald Trump has warned his Honduran counterpart, Juan Orlando Hernandez, that the US will withdraw aid to Honduras if it does not stop a migrant caravan heading to the US. In a statement released on Twitter, President Trump said: “The United States has strongly informed the President of Honduras that if the large Caravan of people heading to the U.S. is not stopped and brought back to Honduras, no more money or aid will be given to Honduras, effective immediately!” Nearly 1,600 people are part of a migrant caravan that left the northern city of San Pedro Sula. On Monday, the group reached Guatemala, while Mexican authorities are monitoring the march as it moves closer to the border.

Severe weather affects thousands across western Honduras

Nearly 18,000 people have been affected as heavy rainfall hit most western Honduran departments last week. According to the Honduras Permanent Commission of Contingencies (COPECO), the most affected areas are located in the departments of Francisco Morazan, Choluteca and Valle. Adverse weather is being caused due to the formation of a potential low-pressure system in the south-western Caribbean, which is forecast to move further inland on Tuesday. COPECO and the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) are currently monitoring the system. Heavy rainfall is forecast to continue over the next few days. Travellers are advised to follow alerts from COPECO and the NHC.

Heavy rains kill 12 across Central America

At least 12 people have been killed after heavy rains battered several countries across Central America. Two children and their mother died when a landslide hit their house in Honduras, while four others died and 7,000 evacuated in the country. Two people died and 10 others were wounded in El Salvador, while one death was recorded in Costa Rica and in Guatemala, a child is missing and feared dead.

OAS to assist Congess to introduce electoral reforms

The Organisation of American States (OAS) is set to form a working group to assist the Honduran Congress to introduce electoral reforms. Last week, Congress Speaker Mauricio Oliva asked the OAS's President Luis Almagro to assist the country in drafting new electoral legislation to shield the system from irregularities. The request comes amid ongoing tensions between the government and the opposition. In November, President Juan Orlando Hernandez was re-elected after recovering from a massive vote difference against opposition leader Salvador Nasralla.

Major road works currently taking place near Copan

Major roadworks are currently taking place along the CA-11 highway from the border crossing in El Florido to the town of Copan. According to the UK FCO, a new road is being built in the area until February 2019, leading to severe travel disruption and limiting border crossings from 06:00 to 21:00 local time. The El Florido crossing is one of the main points of access to and from Guatemala. It also provides road links to the Copan ruins. 

Authorities issue alert over potential mumps outbreak in Cortes

Honduras's health secretary has issued an alert after more than 5,000 cases of mumps were reported nationwide since the start of the year. The head of the government's immunisation programme, Aida Berecine Molina, has confirmed a significant hike in the number of cases compared with last year - 138 cases were reported in 2017. Most cases have been reported in the town of Choloma, located in the northern Cortes department, and affected patients aged between 20 and 49 years of age. Mumps is a highly viral contagious infection. Symptoms may include high fever, headache and swelling of the parotid glands. Travellers are advised to keep up to date with their measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination when heading to Honduras.

Berta Caceres's trial indefinitely suspended due to pending appeals

Berta Caceres's murder trial has been indefinitely suspended due to a number of pending injunctions filed within a criminal appeals court. The trial was set to start on Monday but her family claimed that the court is biased and requested the case to be trialled at another court. Caceres was a prize-winning environmentalist who was killed back in 2016. Eight suspects are being investigated for her murder, including members of the company Desarollos Energeticos (Desa), which was engaged in the construction of a controversial dam in sacred indigenous lands.

Trial into environmentalist's death to start in Honduras

The trial on the death of environmentalist Berta Caceres is set to kick off on Monday. Caceres was a prize-winning environmentalist who opposed a key dam project on indigenous lands. She was killed back in March 2016 at her home in western Honduras. Eight suspects, some of them linked to the company Desarrollos Energeticos SA (Desa) are being investigated. The trial will be closely monitored by a team of international lawyers over claims of court irregularities. Desa, which was in charge of the Agua Zarca project, denied any involvement in the incident. Activists and environmentalists are systematically targeted in Honduras. Reports suggest that more than 130 activists were killed in the country since 2009.

Four killed during fake police operation in Comayaguela

Four people have been killed after armed criminals targeted several youngsters at a bar in Comayaguela, outskirts of Tegucigalpa. El Heraldo reported that armed men wearing fake police outfits simulated a security operation and opened fire while they were asked to line up against a wall. Preliminary reports suggest that the incident is linked to a dispute involving two criminal factions. According to La Tribuna, more than 35 mass shootings were reported in the country during 2018. Most of the incidents are gang-related and often involve divergent factions of the same group.

Guests evacuated as fire breaks out at luxury resort in Roatan

A luxury Caribbean resort in Roatan has been evacuated after a fire broke out on Sunday morning. Reports revealed that the Little French Key resort was severely damaged as the fire spread across several nearby buildings. The resort is a popular destination for tourists in the northern Bay Islands. No casualties have been reported. It is still unclear what caused the fire, but local media reported that it was due to a potential gas leak.

Government to hold talks with the opposition amid political crisis

The opposition and the government are set to hold talks to put an end to the country's political crisis, which emerged in late-2017 over the aftermath of the general elections. According to the UN, talks will kick off on 28 August. Political tensions in Honduras remain high since President Juan Orlando Hernandez was declared the winner against Salvador Nasralla. The opposition has accused the government of fraud and irregularities during the electoral process.

Government calls opposition to resume dialogue to end political crisis

Honduras' Minister of the Presidency Ebal Diaz has called on the opposition to resume dialogue to put an end to the country's current political tensions. Diaz said that the government of President Juan Orlando Hernandez is calling on Wednesday for a renewed attempt to launch negotiations. Political tensions remain high since last November's presidential vote, where President Hernandez was re-elected after a dramatic recovery against opposition leader Salvador Nasralla. The unrest generated a wave of protests after Nasralla claimed irregularities in the electoral process.

Public transportation strike to continue after failed deal

A current public transportation strike action is expected to continue after syndicates and the government failed to reach an agreement. Taxi, bus and van drivers launched the protest last week to demand that the government lower fuel prices. Major public transport disruption is currently being reported across more than 20 sectors in the capital, Tegucigalpa. Travellers have been advised to avoid the areas of the protests. Caution is advised. Although protests in Honduras are usually peaceful, they may suddenly turn violent.

High-profile officials detained in government corruption probe

Dozens of high-profile politicians have been detained amid investigations linked to the embezzlement of public funds. According to prosecutors, they are accused of funnelling more than $12m towards the 2013 presidential campaign of President Juan Orlando Hernandez. Among them are three congressmen of the ruling National Party and a government's undersecretary. The investigations are being backed by the OAS anti-corruption mission in Honduras, the MACCIH.

Public transportation strike triggers travel disruption nationwide

Travel disruption has been reported across Honduras due to an ongoing strike on public transportation. Bus and taxi drivers have been engaged in demonstrations since earlier in the week to protest against fuel prices. Traffic has been facing severe delays across 20 sectors across Tegucigalpa, while other major urban areas also being affected. Travellers have been advised to avoid the areas of the protests and avoid parking their vehicles in central Tegucigalpa and Comayaguela. Caution is advised. Although protests in Honduras are usually peaceful, they may suddenly turn violent.

Newlywed couple suffers zip-line accident in Roatan, Bay Islands

A 24-year-old Israeli man has died after he and his wife were injured in a zip-lining accident in the island of Roatan, located north of mainland Honduras. The couple were travelling through the Royal Caribbean Cruises as part of their honeymoon. Authorities told The Washington Post that the accident happened on Thursday when the man's wife got stuck mid-way while zip-lining near French Harbor neighbourhood. The man later collided with his wife and succumbed to his wounds hours later. Zip-lining is one of the main attractions in Roatan, which is part of Honduras's Bay Islands.

Ash clouds reach three departments after Guatemalan volcano eruption

The emergency services have reported that ash from Guatemala's Fuego Volcano has fallen across three departments in south-western Honduras. According to reports released on Monday, a massive cloud comprised of thin volcanic particles has reached some areas across Copan, Lempira and San Barbara. No major harm is posed to the general public, but people have been advised to exercise caution to avoid the inhalation of ash. According to authorities, there is no further risk of further ash fall unless the Fuego Volcano faces a new eruption.

Six injured as private jet veers off runway in Tegucigalpa

At least six people have been injured after a private jet crashed in Tegucigalpa. The accident happened on Tuesday at the capital's Tocontin International Airport (TGU), known as one of the most difficult approaches in Central America. Preliminary reports suggest that the Gulfstream G200 aircraft split in half after veering off the runway. The chartered plane was flying from Austin, Texas.

US Government announces end of TPS to Hondurans

The US Department of Homeland Security has confirmed on Friday that the so-called Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Hondurans is being shut down. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said that Hondurans part of the programme will have until early-January 2020 to regularise their immigration status. Honduras is the latest country to join others in the recent TPS crackdown, which is estimated to affect more than 400,000 people. The TPS is a programme which grants special immigration protection to people from countries hit by natural disasters, war or violence.

Anti-government protests turn violent in Tegucigalpa

Protests during the International Workers' Day in Tegucigalpa escalated as demonstrators clashed with riot police. A government building was partially set on fire, while two commercial vehicles were destroyed in the town of Villanueva. The march intended to celebrate the bank holiday but turned into a protest against recently re-elected President Juan Orlando Hernandez, who is accused by the opposition of electoral fraud.

Wildfire kills two firefighters near Tegucigalpa

Two firefighters have been killed and three others were injured while battling a massive wildfire on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa. The blazes were reported in the area between the Uyuca Biological Reserve and La Montanita. Several wildfires have been reported across the Uyuca Reserve since the start of the month.

Syndicates call for protests ahead of International Workers' Day

Associations and syndicates are set to march across major cities ahead of the International Workers' Day. Protesters are scheduled to the take to the streets on Tuesday to demand more rights and better working conditions. El Heraldo confirmed that the main march will take place in Tegucigalpa, where protesters will march towards the city centre. Travellers are advised to remain vigilant as peaceful demonstrations may suddenly turn violent. Travel disruptions are also likely throughout the day.

EU calls for electoral reforms after contested presidential vote

The EU has urged the Honduran government to consider a number of reforms to its electoral system after an electoral observer mission identified a number of irregularities in the latest presidential vote. Marisa Matias, the head of the EU observer mission in Honduras, has said that 15 recommendations have been made. Earlier in the year, a wave of violent unrest broke out as opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla refused to accept President Juan Orlando Hernandez's victory. 

Dam executive detained for masterminding activist's assassination

A high-level energy executive has been detained for masterminding the assassination of Berta Caceres, a prize-winning environmental activist who was killed at her home back in 2016. Honduras prosecutor's office revealed that Roberto Castillo was detained in San Pedro Sula just before boarding a flight to the US. Castillo is the head of the Desarollos Energeticos (Desa), a company which was in charge of the construction of the Agua Zarca dam. The project was widely criticised by Caceres, who reportedly received a number of death threats from politicians and executives. Castillo is the ninth individual arrested for involvement in Caceres's death.

Head of anti-corruption mission resigns over OAS leadership row

The head of the Mission to Support the Fight Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH) has handed in his resignation due to alleged lack of support from the government. Juan Jimenez has said that he is leaving the body over grievances with local authorities and a recent row with the chief of the Organisation of the American States (OAS), Luis Almagro. The MACCIH is an anti-corruption mission under the OAS. It was requested by the Honduran government back in 2016 to investigate corruption in the country.

US Embassy warns for homicides in San Pedro Sula

The US Embassy in Tegucigalpa has issued a warning for a new crime trend in San Pedro Sula, northern Honduras. An alert has been issued due to rising levels of criminality in the Los Andes neighbourhood, which recently reported a triple homicide. Such crimes, however, are not known to be directly targeted at foreign nationals. San Pedro Sula is one of the most dangerous cities in Honduras due to the heavy presence of street gangs such as the Barrio 18 and the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13).

Five killed in road crash near El Progresso

Five people have been killed when a bus crashed into a car in northern Honduras. The head-on collision happened on Sunday morning on the highway between El Progresso and Tela. It is still unclear what caused the accident. Road accidents are common in Honduras. Official data revealed that more than 100 people were already killed this year in road crashes in the country.

Police kill demonstrator in Choloma, Cortes

A protester has been shot dead when police officers opened fire at a demonstration in Cortes department, northern Honduras. Rights groups told AFP that the victim was killed when military officers were deployed to disperse a crowd blocking the streets of Choloma. Demonstrators were protesting the recent re-election of President Juan Orlando Hernandez, who was sworn into office in late-January amid a turbulent wave of unrest over potential irregularities in the electoral process.

President Orlando Hernandez swears in office amid protests

A wave of demonstrations broke out on Saturday as President Juan Orlando Hernandez was sworn into office for his second term. Thousands of police officers and soldiers were deployed across Tegucigalpa to secure the main routes surrounding the Tiburcio Carias Andino Stadium, where the ceremony was held. The defeated opposition candidate, Salvador Nasralla, had previously called for protests as the Opposition Alliance party continues to reject November's elections results. President Henandez faces a strong challenge to break a deal with the opposition and avoid further demonstrations, which has already led to the death of more than 30 people.

OAS accuses Congress of interference in anti-corruption investigation

The Organisation of American States (OAS) has accused the Honduran Congress of obstructing an ongoing anti-corruption investigation where more than 60 high-level officials are implicated. OAS's Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH) revealed that a recently approved bill will heavily compromise the investigation as it will protect several officials. MACCIH is currently engaged in the investigation often referred as 'Deputies Network', which regards the misappropriation of social funds reaching up to $55m. Among the investigated is the recently elected Congress speaker, Mauricio Oliva.

National Party elects house speaker amid wave of unrest

While a tense wave of unrest is reported nationwide, the Honduran Congress has elected Mauricio Oliva as the Congress speaker. Oliva is a member of the right-wing National Party (PN) and a close ally to President Juan Orlando Hernandez. He was re-elected for the post after the PN brokered a deal with the Christian Democrat bench and the Patriotic Alliance party. Oliva garnered 67 out of 128 votes to head the Honduran legislative power for another four-year term. Tensions broke out in the Congress chamber during the vote while thousands of people continue to protest the controversial re-election of President Hernandez. 

Protester killed amid fresh wave of nationwide unrest

A 60-year-old protester has been killed when police officers opened fire at a roadblock in Saba, northern Honduras. Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets nationwide to protest against the re-election of President Juan Orlando Hernandez. The opposition presidential candidate, Salvador Nasralla, has called his supporters to demonstrate until President Hernandez is sworn in next Saturday. Last November, Honduras faced a deadly wave of unrest after the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) declared Hernandez the winner of the highly contested election. It is widely advisable to remain vigilant and avoid large gatherings as tensions may suddenly escalate, especially around major urban centres.

Defeated opposition candidate calls for nationwide protests

The defeated opposition presidential candidate, Salvador Nasralla, has called supporters of the Opposition Alliance party to take to the streets in a renewed wave of nationwide protests. In a party meeting, Nasralla and other officials - including former-president Manuel Zelaya - called supporters to launch a nationwide strike action on Saturday morning. According to El Heraldo, demonstrators are set to march towards the National Congress in Tegucigalpa on Sunday, while further nationwide protests are scheduled to take place from 25 January. Nasralla also called protesters to boycott the swearing-in ceremony of President Juan Orlando Hernandez, which is scheduled for 27 January. Nasralla continues his quest to pressure the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) over the presidential elections results that granted a narrow victory to President Hernandez.

Powerful 7.6-magnitude quake strikes Central America and the Caribbean

A powerful 7.6-magnitude earthquake has been recorded off the northern Honduran coast. According to preliminary data released by the US Geological Survey (USGS), the quake occurred on Tuesday evening at a shallow depth of 6.2 miles nearly 125 miles off the Honduran coast. Reports revealed that windows in the capital Tegucigalpa were shattered, while residents in some areas in Honduras evacuated their homes. A temporary tsunami alert was issued and later lifted for Puerto Cortes and Trujillo as well as several locations across Central America and the Caribbean.

Thousands march against election results in San Pedro Sula

Tens of thousands of people marched across the northern city of San Pedro Sula in a fresh wave of demonstrations against the contested re-election of President Juan Orlando Hernandez. Presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla and his Opposition Alliance party have called for demonstrators to march against the election results that gave a narrow victory to Hernandez. Last week, Nasralla called for insurrection against the election results until the day President Hernandez is set to be sworn in for his second term in office, 27 January. Nationwide protests are widely expected in the coming weeks. Elections were held last November, where President Hernandez was declared the winner after garnering 1,53 percent more votes than Nasralla.

Three attacks on public transport reported in less than 12 hours

Three attacks targeting public transportation units nationwide were recorded in less than 12 hours. In Tegucigalpa, a 22-year-old taxi-driver has been shot dead when armed criminals raided his vehicle on Tuesday evening. Reports revealed that assailants approached the victim to demand extortion payment. Olman Herrera Paz was rushed to hospital but succumbed to his wounds. A similar attack was reported in the capital's La Hoya neighbourhood at a taxi station near a campus of the Autonomous National University of Honduras (UNAH). In the northern city of San Pedro Sula, a bus driver was shot dead in the early hours of Wednesday in the Lempira neighbourhood. Extortion groups often target public transportation companies, whose employees are often attacked during working hours.

Opposition candidate calls for month-long insurrection against electoral results

Opposition centre-left candidate, Salvador Nasralla, has called his supporters to take to the streets throughout January to protest against the re-election of President Juan Orlando Hernandez last November. A wave of deadly protests erupted last month nationwide over claims of irregularities in the electoral process that granted a narrow victory to President Hernandez. In a news conference in Tegucigalpa, Nasralla said: "We have a strategy that we are going to develop in this month of January." Protests are scheduled to take place on Saturday in the northern city of San Pedro Sula, while further demonstrations across major cities are also expected until and after 27 January, the day President Hernandez is set to swear in to office.

US State Department backs contested electoral results

The US Department of State issued a statement on Monday in support of the Honduran electoral results released last week. The US government has called on opposition parties to avoid further unrest and violence. The Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) has declared incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez - a long-time ally of the US - the winner of the contested presidential elections after a vote recount. However, despite all recommendations being followed, the Organisation of American States (OAS) is still calling for a new vote due to alleged irregularities.

President Hernandez to hold talks with the opposition amid political turmoil

President Juan Orlando Hernandez has called on the opposition to engage in dialogue to put an end to the current political turmoil in Honduras. In a televised speech, President Hernandez said: "As president-elect, I extend my hand and open my mind to listen with attention to others to reach a national accord for peace and security for all citizens of the republic." Opposition Alliance's candidate Salvador Nasralla has agreed to meet despite calls for new internationally-monitored elections. Nasralla claims that the elections were riddled with irregularities that benefit the ruling party. Political tensions triggered a wave of deadly demonstrations that forced the authorities to issue a night-time curfew, which has now been lifted.

OAS calls for fresh elections over alleged irregularities

The Organisation of American States (OAS) has called on the Honduran government to launch new elections after President Juan Orlando Hernandez was declared the winner on Sunday. OAS's chief Luis Almagro said that his mission has concluded that the electoral process was marred by irregularities and deficiencies, an opinion also shared by European Union monitors. CNE's head, David Matamoros, has announced that after a vote recount and lengthy revision process, President Hernandez got 1,53 percent more votes than his rival, Opposition Alliance's Salvador Nasralla. The opposition candidate is currently in Washington DC to meet with the US State Department and the OAS to appeal CNE's final decision. For several weeks deadly protests have been reported nationwide and are likely to continue in the coming days, especially in the capital Tegucigalpa.

President's sister and five others killed in helicopter crash in San Matias

Six people have been killed in a helicopter crash in the outskirts of the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa. The accident happened on Saturday morning while a Eurocopter AS350 Acureuil aircraft was en route from Tegucigalpa's Toncontin International Airport towards Comayagua. Among the victims was the sister and close political advisor of President Juan Orlando Hernandez, Hilda Hernandez. Rescue operations were heavily compromised due to poor weather conditions and rough terrain. It remains unclear what caused the crash. Hilda was in the communications team of the ruling National Party during the elections.

Government lifts night-time curfew to most cities in Honduras

Despite the Honduran government ordering the current night-time curfew to be lifted in most cities, the measure continues in place in Trujillo, Tela, Siguatepeque and Cortes. In early December, the Army started to enforce a curfew amid rising political tensions that erupted due to the contested outcome of the country's general elections. Currently, people have been advised to stay indoors during the curfew, which lasts from 22:00 to 05:00. Protests are likely to continue nationwide as the Opposition Alliance party refuses to accept the results of the recent vote recount, which grants the advantage to incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez.

Fresh vote recount gives advantage to President Hernandez

On Sunday afternoon, the President of the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE), David Matamoros, announced that President Juan Orlando Henandez had the advantage as the TSE recounted 4,753 ballot boxes. As part of recommendations made by monitors within the Organisation of American States (OAS), the TSE announced that the candidate for the ruling National Party garnered 1,53 percent more votes against Opposition Alliance's Salvador Nasralla. The announcement triggered a wave of street protests that were called amid a nationwide strike on Monday. Protests are set to continue until and after the new president is officially announced on 26 December.

Czech Republic's wanted criminal detained in Islas de la Bahia

Honduran authorities have detained one of Czech Republic's most wanted men after an operation in Islas de la Bahia, located off the country's northern Caribbean coast. Klima Jiri was detained after a surveillance operation supported by the FBI in Jose Santos Guardiola municipality. Czech authorities said that Jiri is accused of being behind a high-profile robbery of an antique shop. The detention came days after one of FBI's most wanted men was detained in La Ceiba. Eric Christopher Conn was a fugitive lawyer who is accused of financial and postal fraud in Kentucky.

TSE agrees to recount votes from more than 4,700 ballot boxes

Honduras's Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) has announced that it will recount votes from more than 4,700 ballot boxes, whose delivery to TSE offices was delayed during last week's election day. TSE's President David Matamoros said on Thursday evening that most ballot boxes from the departments of Lempira, La Paz and Intibuca will also be included in the process. The announcement comes after the Organisation of American States (OAS) submitted a series of recommendations to the TSE in order to put a halt to the country's escalating political crisis. Earlier in the week, President Juan Orlando Hernandez has been given a one-point-six-percent advantage against Opposition Alliance's Salvador Nasralla, who called supporters to the streets to protest electoral fraud allegations.

FCO and OSAC advise against travel to mainland Honduras

The UK Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) has advised travellers against all but essential travel to mainland Honduras due to the country's ongoing volatile political situation. According to the advisory, major cities are currently prone to violent protests as the results of last week's elections are being gradually released. US State Department's OSAC has also advised the same. The travel alert excludes the Bay Islands of Roatan, Utila and Guanaja. Last week, the government introduced a night-time curfew between 22:00 and 05:00, which is scheduled to last until Monday.

OAS submit series of recommendations as tensions escalate

As political tensions remain high, the monitoring mission of the Organisation of American States (OAS) has issued a set of six recommendations to avoid further escalation. The six points were recommended and later accepted by David Matamoros, the President of the Honduran Supreme Electoral Court (TSE). Among the points is the review of more than 1,000 ballot boxes that were already subjected to a recount, the verification of around 5,000 ballot boxes that were delivered after the night of the elections and the analysis to votes cast in three western departments, Lempira, Intibuca and La Paz. Further demands relate to opposition challenges and the reliability of the electoral system SIEDE. Meanwhile, the opposition candidate, Salvador Nasralla, has refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the TSE and requested the establishment of an international-led tribunal as he demands all 18,000 ballot boxes be recounted.

OAS mission uncertain about presidential elections results

The Organisations of American States (OAS) mission in Honduras has announced on Monday that the definitive presidential elections results are still unclear due to alleged irregularities in the process. OAS's mission chief, Jorge Quiroga, said that due to a very narrow vote gap, the mission is still uncertain about the results while further analysis is still to be carried out. After the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) recounted more than 1,000 ballot boxes, President Juan Orlando Hernandez garnered a contested advantage of one-point-six-percent against his main contender, Opposition Alliance's Salvador Nasralla. The OAS recommended the recounting of further 5,000 ballot boxes that were delivered several hours after the initial vote counting. Final results are still to be announced on Wednesday. Widespread protests have broken out after Nasralla accused the government of electoral fraud. NGOs reported that at least a dozen people have been killed and more than 100 others were injured since political tensions escalated.

Police revolt amid election tensions

Hundreds of the Honduran riot police known as the "Cobras" refused to enforce a night-time curfew on Monday.  The curfew was imposed because of a bitterly disputed poll.  Electoral authorities say that current President Juan Orlando Hernandez has the lead, but they have not yet officially declared him the winner.  Rival candidate Salvador Nasralla has objected and his supporters have taken to the streets to protest. Some striking police have said that confronting protestors and enforcing the curfew is tantamount to taking the side of President Hernandez, and a small number have joined the protestors on the streets. Electoral authorities carried out a recount of approximately six percent of the votes on Monday, and have not ruled out a wider recount of ballots. 

Vote recount gives advantage to President Orlando Hernandez

The head of the Honduran Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) has announced on Monday morning that President Juan Orlando Henandez holds a one-point-six-percent advantage as the vote recount is concluded. David Matamoros said that after more than 1,000 ballot boxes were manually recounted due to alleged irregularities and fraud, President Henandez maintained his widely contested lead against opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla. Results revealed that the National Party's candidate garnered 42,98 percent of the votes, while the Opposition Alliance's candidate got 41.39 percent. The vote recount was followed by neither of the parties but was closely monitored by the European Union and the Organisation of American States (OAS). The TSE is set to officially announce the election's winner next Wednesday. Opposition-led protests are expected to continue in the following days despite the current 10-day-long curfew.

Army enforces curfew as political tensions escalate nationwide

The government has introduced a 10-day curfew - between 18:00 and 06:00 - as political tensions escalate further nationwide. Hundreds of people have been detained as police officers and soldiers were deployed to the streets to dismantle road blockades mainly erected around the capital, Tegucigalpa. At least one protester has been killed and dozens of others injured in the northern port city of La Ceiba. More than 100 demonstrators were also detained in San Pedro Sula due to looting. Protests erupted after the opposition candidate, Salvador Nasralla, accused President Juan Orlando Hernandez of electoral fraud. Votes from more than 1,000 ballot boxes - the equivalent to six percent of the votes - are currently being manually recounted over claims of irregularities. Preliminary results revealed a one-point-five-percent lead to Henandez, after being nearly five percentage points behind Nasralla.

Preliminary results give victory to President Orlando Hernandez

Honduras' Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) has released on Thursday the preliminary results of Sunday's elections. TSE's chief David Matamoros confirmed that preliminary results give the victory to President Juan Orlando Hernandez after he garnered 42,92 percent of the votes. Opposition Alliance's candidate Salvador Nasralla came in a close second place with 41,42 percent. The vote-difference is translated in 46,586 votes. TSE said the final official announcement will be delayed after more than 1,000 ballot boxes are reassessed due to suspected irregularities. As political tensions escalate, on Wednesday both candidates signed an agreement to respect the electoral results. However, Nasralla called his supporters to the streets over electoral fraud allegations after he suddenly lost a wide five-percent lead. Violent protests have broken out across the country, mainly in the capital, Tegucigalpa. The electoral process is being closely monitored by the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the European Union (EU).

Opposition candidate calls for protests as vote-gap narrows

Opposition presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla has called his supporters to take to the streets of Tegucigalpa as President Juan Orlando Hernandez narrows his vote-gap disadvantage. After the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) released the lastest preliminary results, Nasralla's advantage had significantly dropped from five to around one percent. Nasralla said: "We already won the elections. I‘m not going to tolerate this, and as there are no reliable institutions in Honduras to defend us, tomorrow the Honduran people need to defend the vote on the streets.” Officials within the Organisation of American States (OAS) are in the country and urged people to remain calm and wait for official results - so far 72 percent of the votes have been counted.

President Hernandez narrows opposition's lead

Latest results released overnight on Tuesday revealed that President Juan Orlando Hernandez has come significantly closer to his opponent Salvador Nasralla. As preliminary results of Sunday's elections are being gradually counted and released, the difference between both candidates has narrowed to around one percent. Nasralla continues in the lead with 42,68 percent, while Hernandez follows right behind with 41,64 percent. According to the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) President David Matamoros, all 18,000 ballot boxes are already held by the TSE as final results are expected to be released late on Wednesday evening or Thursday morning. Meanwhile, the monitoring mission of the Organisation of American States (OAS) continues in the country.

Five murdered in boat massacre in Gracias a Dios

A religious leader and four members of his family were murdered late on Saturday evening in Gracias a Dios, north-eastern Honduras. Local media revealed that the incident happened when Mauricio Eude, his daughter, his young grandchildren and two men were travelling on a speedboat at the Brus Laguna. During the trip, both men suddenly attacked the pastor and his relatives. All victims were thrown at the lagoon as both assailants fled the scene. Days later, a 15-year-old youngster handed himself to the authorities and confessed the crime, while motives behind it remain unclear.

Ruling party member killed during robbery in Choluteca

A member of the ruling National Party has been shot dead during a presumed robbery attempt in Choluteca, southern Honduras. Armando Ordonez was killed on Saturday afternoon when armed criminals targeted his vehicle in Orocuina. One suspect was detained after a police investigation. Four political members have already been killed across Honduras days before the country's general elections that were held on Sunday.

Preliminary results gives victory to opposition's Salvador Nasralla

Preliminary results of Sunday's general elections give an early lead to Opposition Alliance's Salvador Nasralla. According to reports, Nasralla so far garnered around 45,1 percent of the vote, closely followed by President Juan Orlando Henandez, who got 40,2 percent. Liberal Party's Luis Zelaya came in a distant third place with 13,8 percent. Honduras's Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) chief David Matamoros said that official results are still to be announced as more than 40 percent of the votes are still to be counted. Local media reported that more than 90 percent of the votes in the capital Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula were already counted - they are the two largest electorates. Honduras adopts the plurality voting system, which means that there is no second round.

Hondurans head to polls as President Hernandez seeks re-election

Hondurans are set to head to the polls as President Juan Orlando Hernandez seek a historical re-election ahead of the 2017 general elections. President Henandez is set to face a fierce challenge posed by his main opponent, Salvador Nasralla, who is the candidate of the newly-created Opposition Alliance coalition. Preliminary polls suggest a significant advantage for Hernandez, while in third place is Luis Zelaya Medrano, who is running for the liberals. The electoral process is already engulfed in controversy with the death of a number of political activists from several political platforms. Also, the re-election bid of Henandez that was only allowed after a Constitutional Supreme Court ruling. The 128 members of Congress and around 300 mayors are also set to be elected.

Political party member found dead in Comayagua

A member of the Opposition Alliance Party has been found dead in Comayagua, central Honduras. Local media reported that Jose Mario Discua Henriquez was found dead in the Santa Lucia neighbourhood on Wednesday morning. Preliminary reports revealed that Discua sustained severe wounds to his head. The incident came a day after another political member was killed in La Ceiba. In less than a month, at least four political activists have been reported dead ahead of the Honduran general elections.

Political activist shot dead in La Ceiba, Atlantida

A 33-year-old political activist has been shot dead when attacked by presumed criminals in Atlantida, northern Honduras. Ilsia Raquel Portillo Guevara was returning from a Honduras Liberal Party rally when she was killed in Gonzalo Rivera neighbourhood in La Ceiba. The incident came weeks after another political activist was shot dead in the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa.

Ruling party's supporter shot dead at his home in Tegucigalpa

A 40-year-old member of the ruling National Party has been shot dead when heavily armed criminals stormed his home in Tegucigalpa. Mario Reinieri Gonzalez was killed late on Monday evening when criminals raided his residence in the capital's 21 de Octubre neighbourhood. Local media reported that Gonzalez was part of a political campaign to support President Juan Orlando Hernandez's re-election bid. His brother told El Heraldo that he had received a number of threats warning him to withdraw his support for the campaign.

Three killed as robbers raid bus in Atlantida

Three people have been killed when criminals stormed a passenger bus in Atlantida, northern Honduras. According to El Heraldo, the vehicle was travelling along the Tela-El Progreso highway when armed assailants raided the bus near El Guano. Criminals reportedly opened fire while stealing the passengers' belongings. The incident happened hours after three unknown individuals were found dead in Catacamas. Violence targeting public transportation in Honduras is common and is mainly attributed to gangs linked to extortion activities.

Thousands evacuated as heavy rains hit Honduras

More than 10,000 people have been evacuated after heavy rains triggered flooding and landslides in 10 departments across Honduras. In La Lima, hundreds of families were forced to evacuate when the Chamelecon River burst its banks and threatened the colonies of Jerusalen, San Cristobal, Guayamuras and Canaan. In other parts of the country, the Comision Permanente de Contigencias (Copeco) has reported nearly 500 incidents mainly across San Pedro Sula, Omoa, La Ceiba and Distrito Central. In San Pedro Sula, two people were killed while several families were also evacuated. It is expected that severe weather conditions will continue to affect those regions until the end of the week.

State of emergency declared as heavy rains hit Honduras

Honduras Presidency Minister Ricardo Cardona has announced that a state of emergency has been declared for six departments due to potential rainfall that is expected to hit the country overnight on Wednesday. According to the Comite Permanente de Contingencias (Copeco), a red alert has been declared to Islas de la Bahia, Cortes, Atlantida and Colon, while a lower yellow warning was issued to Santa Barbara and Gracias de Dios. Meanwhile, Copeco also advised local authorities to proceed with evacuations in high-risk areas. It is expected that severe weather conditions will continue to affect those regions until the end of the week.

Cameraman shot dead in La Entrada, Copan

A cameraman for a local TV channel has been shot dead while heading to work in Copan, western Honduras. Carlos Lara was killed on Monday morning in La Entrada. Local media reported that the 20-year-old Canal 12 employee was shot twice in the El Dorado neighbourhood. It remains unclear who is behind the attack, but reports suggest that Lara had previously received death threats due to a family issue. The incident happened weeks after a TV presenter was also killed in Copan.

Police rescue kidnapped businessman in Jocon, Yoro

Police officers launched an operation to rescue a 61-year-old businessman in Yoro department, northern Honduras. Reports suggest that the victim was kidnapped moments after leaving his home. Criminals demanded a ransom of 4 million lempiras ($170k) from his family. The operation took place in Jocon after investigations led to the detention of two criminals. The police's anti-kidnap unit (DPI) believe that the suspects were part of a wider network dedicated to kidnaps in Colon, Yoro and the surrounding areas.

Psychiatrist kidnapped and killed in San Pedro Sula

A 36-year-old psychiatrist has been found dead after being kidnapped in San Pedro Sula, northern Honduras. Police revealed that Farah Evelyn Archa Reyes was asphyxiated in a suspected attempt to make the death appear a suicide. Her body was recovered inside her vehicle in Zeron colony. Police said that similar incidents happened in the last few months, which were mostly attributed to members of a local gang known as 'La Banda del Gordo'. Three people were detained in connection with the kidnap and murder, which preliminary investigations suggest was linked to extortion.

Tropical Storm Nate triggers deadly rainfall in Honduras

At least two people drowned and a number of others remain missing as Tropical Storm Nate batters Honduras. Intense rainfall hit the country on Thursday and killed two youngsters in Goascoran, near the El Salvadorian border. Landslides and widespread damage were also reported nationwide. Emergency services have declared a 48-hour alert to 16 areas mainly located along both coastal areas. So far, Tropical Storm Nate killed more than 22 people across Central America.

Tropical depression to bring severe weather to northern Honduras

The US-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC) has issued a tropical storm warning to northern Honduras as Tropical Depression Sixteen is forecast to batter the country between Thursday and Friday. Emergency services extended an alert to the departments of Colon, Atlantida, Cortes, Ocotepeque, Copan, Lempira, Olancho, Intibuca, Islas de la Bahia and Gracias a Dios over fears that it may be strengthened later in the week to a tropical storm. Authorities have advised extra caution as thousands of people are expected to take to the roads ahead of the country's national holidays.

Several killed in multiple vehicle collision in northern Honduras

At least six people have been killed when multiple vehicles crashed in northern Honduras. Local media reported that the accident happened in the early hours of Sunday when three vehicles collided near Las Brisas, on the CA-13 highway between El Progresso and Tela. Among the casualties are three children, while five people were also injured in the collision. Deadly road accidents are common across Honduran highways mainly due to poorly maintained roads and vehicles.

Congress approves bill ruling tougher sentences for protesters

The Honduran Congress has approved a controversial piece of legislation which allows judges to charge people promoting protests in the country with accounts of terrorism. Lawmakers voted to include the new bill in Article 590 of the Honduran penal code. The bill will introduce tough sentences of up to 20 years for people promoting and financing demonstrations. Opposition members widely rejected the bill over claims that it compromises the country's constitutional order and presents a retrocession in public liberties such as the defence of indigenous, labour and political rights. In February, President Juan Orlando Henandez sanctioned a new terrorism bill aimed at supporting the government in the fight against criminal groups.

Three kidnapped men found dead in Comayaguela

The Honduran police have recovered the bodies of three people who were reported missing on the outskirts of the capital Tegucigalpa. Preliminary reports suggest that two brothers and a friend were abducted in Comayaguela on Monday evening. According to the police, two of the bodies were found along a road near El Lolo, while the other victim was recovered near the Olancho area. All victims were found with signs of torture, while the motives behind the abductions remain unclear.

Anti-government protest escalates in Tegucigalpa

Hundreds of riot police officers were deployed across Tegucigalpa after thousands of demonstrators launched a protest against President Juan Orlando Hernandez. Demonstrators gathered in the capital to reject Hernandez's presidential bid to run for a second term ahead of November's general elections. Protesters, mainly endorsed by the opposition Liberal Party of Honduras, rejected a court rule that scrapped a constitutional one-term limit for presidents. The protest happened while more than 20,000 people took to the streets to celebrate Honduras's independence day.

Police station set on fire in Macuelizo, Santa Barbara

A local police station in north-western Honduras was set ablaze after locals accused the police of unlawfully killing a man. Reports suggest that more than a dozen people attacked the Macuelizo police station in Santa Barbara department on Friday. The incident came a day after a suspect was shot dead during a police pursuit in the area.

Hundreds of MS-13 members detained in joint operation

More than 450 criminals, mostly members of the gang Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), have been arrested in a massive police crackdown across El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Local authorities revealed that 14 MS-13 leaders were detained in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, while 262 were arrested in El Salvador and nearly 180 others across Guatemala. All suspects are accused of links to homicides, drug-trafficking, extortion and money-laundering. Northern Triangle countries, supported by the US, recently engaged in a fight to shut down MS-13 operations.

Mexican earthquake triggers tsunami warning for Central America

A tsunami warning has been issued for the Pacific coast of all Central American countries after a massive 8.1-magnitude earthquake hit southern Mexico late on Thursday. Residents have been urged to take caution and to closely monitor changes in maritime conditions as large waves are expected to hit the coast due to powerful aftershocks. Central America is highly prone to seismic activity, especially in the Mexican state of Chiapas due to the interaction of five different tectonic plates.

TV presenter rescued in San Pedro Sula

A Honduran TV journalist has been released nearly a month after being abducted in the outskirts of San Pedro Sula, northern Honduras. Authorities announced on Sunday that Victor Manuel Pineda - who is also a candidate for parliament - was rescued in the mountainous region of Santiago de La Masica in Atlantida. No ransom was paid despite two ransom demands of $600k and $60k respectively. Reports suggest that two people who were part of a kidnapping gang were detained shortly after the abduction in late-August.

Hundreds protest in Tegucigalpa amid education crisis

Hundreds of students and activists marched towards the National Congress (CN) to protest the country's ongoing education crisis. Demonstrators endorsed by the Movimiento Estudantil Universitario (MEU) demanded the immediate resignation of Julieta Castellano, rector of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras (UNAH). Protesters also demanded that the charges for 23 students linked to a previous act back in 2015 be dropped. A special CN commission is set to be created in order to tackle the issue, which already raised concerns from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Honduras.

Fugitive Honduran TV camera reporter killed in Mexico

A fugitive Honduran TV camera operator has been assassinated in a drive-by shooting in Veracruz, south-eastern Mexico. Edwin Rivera Paz was killed on Sunday when criminals on a motorcycle attacked him in Acayucan. Paz fled to Mexico after the assassination of his boss and reporter Igor Barra, who was killed in January in the northern Honduran city of  San Pedro Sula. According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist; where at least six reporters have been killed nationwide this year.

Women's rights groups condemn gender-based violence

Dozens of women's rights organisations have condemned increasing levels of gender-based violence in Honduras. A group of more than 20 organisations claim that the country is on a 'red alert' after more than 18 women were reportedly killed in recent weeks. On Tuesday, protesters gathered around government buildings in Tegucigalpa to demonstrate against high femicide rates nationwide. Most countries in Latin America sporadically face protests against gender-based murders targeting women, where most cases are perpetrated domestically.

Three indigenous activists attacked in La Paz

The Civil Council of Popular and Indigenous Organisations (COPINH) has condemned an attack on activists. The incident happened on Friday evening in La Paz, where three men wielding machetes attacked three COPINH members in Santiago de Puringla. All victims escaped unharmed; including Berta Isabel Zuniga Caceres, daughter of the murdered environmentalist Berta Caceres. COPINH and Rights groups raised concerns of attacks targeting activists in Honduras, blaming them on high levels of impunity and the weak judicial system.

Journalist shot dead in La Ceiba, Atlantica

A Honduran journalist has been killed just moments after leaving his news studio in La Ceiba, northern Honduras. Victor Funes was gunned down near his home on Thursday evening. Authorities arrested a local drug dealer, who confessed to the crime. Funes was the host of the News Night programme on Channel 25 and a congressional candidate of the ruling National Party of Honduras for November' general elections. This is the second journalist killed in Honduras in 2017.

Two lawyers killed in separate incidents in Honduras

Two Honduran lawyers have been assassinated in two separate incidents in less than 24 hours. In the capital Tegucigalpa, a prosecutor was killed on Tuesday evening when criminals approached her vehicle and opened fire. Sendy Morales succumbed to her wounds moments after being taken to a local hospital. Hours later, in the northern city of San Pedro Sula, another lawyer was attacked when leaving his home in the Medina neighbourhood. Honduras presents a high level of assassinations targeting lawyers - usually attributed to gangs - especially in Francisco Morazan and Cortes departments.

Four football fans killed in Honduras stampede

Four football fans have been killed and dozens more wounded in a stampede in Honduras.  The incident happened during a match between Motagua and Honduras Progreso in the capital, Tegucigalpa.  Police claim that the sale of fake tickets led to overcrowding at the stadium.

Four Barrio 18 leaders arrested in San Pedro Sula, Cortes

Seven members of the subversive gang Barrio 18 have been arrested in San Pedro Sula, northern Honduras. The Military Police and the National Anti-Extortion Force (FNA) raided a luxurious residence in Las Mesetas colony overnight on Wednesday, where Honduran military and police uniforms were found along with five high-calibre weapons.  Among the arrests are four gang leaders believed to coordinate criminal activities in northern Honduras.

Couple killed as heavy rains trigger landslides in Comayagua

Two people have been killed after heavy rains triggered landslides in Comayagua, central Honduras. Both victims were missing since Monday after their home in Rio Negro was destroyed. The community remains isolated as the main road of access was also blocked. The rainy season in Honduras initiates in May and usually lasts until November.

Several killed in violent shooting in Tegucigalpa

At least seven people have been killed and three others injured in a fierce shootout in Tegucigalpa. The incident happened on Saturday evening near a football field in Villanueva area. Among the victims was a 13-month-old baby. According to the National Police, more than 40 cartridges were recovered at the scene. In July, two other massacres led to the death of nine people in Villanueva.

Hundreds transferred to maximum security prison in Santa Barbara

A massive military operation has been launched to transfer 300 inmates from the San Pedro Sula prison in northern Honduras. Since the early hours of Tuesday, members of the military and emergency services initiated the transfer to the maximum security prison of El Pozo, Santa Barbara. Among the criminals are members of the subversive Los Paisas gang and several foreign nationals. The operation labelled 'Arpia II' came after 755 members of the Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 gangs were transferred to the same facility in March.

Liberal Party politician kidnapped and killed in Choloma, Cortes

A Honduras's Liberal Party (PLH) politician has been killed after being kidnapped in Cortes department, northern Honduras. Roberto Alejandro Pastrana Castaneda was stabbed to death on Wednesday in Choloma. Pastrana ran as a candidate in PLH's primary to represent Cortes department and was part of a movement led by former presidential candidate Eduardo Martell. It remains unclear what motivated the murder. 

US Embassy request extradition of two drug-traffickers

The US Embassy in Tegucigalpa has requested that the Honduran justice authorities extradite two criminals linked to drug-trafficking. Sergio Neptali Mejia Duarte and Jairo Ali Arias Mejia are suspected of smuggling cocaine and methamphetamine into the US. James Nealon - US Ambassador to Honduras - said that more extraditions are expected to come in crimes related to drug-trafficking and money laundering.

Woman killed by stray bullet in San Pedro Sula, Cortes

A 25-year-old woman has been killed by a stray bullet during a robbery attempt in San Pedro Sula, northern Honduras. The victim was heading to work when a shooting between criminals and currency exchange dealers broke out in El Centro neighbourhood. High levels of criminality are recurrent in San Pedro Sula, where collateral casualties often occur during robbery attempts and rival factions disputes.

Student killed during beach robbery in Monjaras, Choluteca

A 17-year-old business school student has been shot dead during a robbery attempt in Monjaras, southern Honduras. The victim and his girlfriend were at a beach in Cedenito area when armed men approached them to rob their mobile phones. Although most robberies occur overnight, criminals often carry out opportunistic attacks during the day.

Police rescue abducted youngsters in Valle department

The Police Investigation Unit (DPI) has rescued two youngsters kidnapped in Pespire, southern Honduras. Both victims were abducted by four men on Tuesday 28 March and were rescued on Sunday 02 April during a police operation in Nacaome, Valle department. Kidnappings are often carried out by local extortion groups targeting local businesses and taxi drivers. In February, three abducted teenagers were found dead near a river bank in Yoro province. 

Gang leader arrested in Atlantida

A suspected gang leader has been arrested in the Atlantida department of northern Honduras.  Edgar David Flores Ramirez, also known as "El Terrible", was arrested by the FNA (Fuerza Nacional Antiextorsión) in Tela on extortion charges.  Ramirez is believed to be one of the leaders of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) in the area.

Massive cache of firearms found inside San Pedro Sula's prison

An enormous cache of weapons and ammunition were found along with nearly 2 million lempiras (US$ 85,000) in cash inside San Pedro Sula's prison. Among the weapons are grenades, high-calibre weapons and pistols. The raid came after a massive operation transferred 755 members of the subversive Barrio 18 and Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gangs to the 'El Pozo' maximum security prison in Santa Barbara.

Authorities investigate wave of violence in Valle del Angeles

Honduran authorities are investigating a wave of violence which in recent days has spread across Valle del Angeles, central Honduras. The town - located in Francisco Morazan department - had recently reported seven separate murder cases. Police blame rival criminals factions which often engage in drug-related territorial disputes; while the population claim that the lack of police presence in the area facilitates criminals to demand 'war tax' from businesses and locals.

Shootings erupts at court's park in San Pedro Sula

Three men driving an SUV have been attacked by heavily armed men in San Pedro Sula, northern Honduras. The victims were targeted near the Metropolitan Olympic Stadium, forcing them to drive towards the city's central court of justice to seek refuge. The assailants followed the victims to the court's parking, killing two of them. It remains unclear what motivated the attack.

Police officers targeted at liquor store in Siguatepeque

Three people have been shot dead in an armed attack in Siguatepeque, central Honduras. Preliminary reports revealed that heavily armed men stormed a liquor store in the Las Flores neighbourhood to attack a couple of police officers. Another unidentified victim was also killed during the raid.

Massive prisoners transfer take place in western Honduras

Nearly 750 inmates have been transferred from a prison in San Pedro Sula to a maximum security facility in Santa Barbara, western Honduras. According to El Heraldo, at least 43 prisoners were senior members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18. The move came as criminals were still operating from within prisons through assassinations, extortion and kidnapping. Over 200 police vehicles and aircraft were deployed to assist the operation overnight on Wednesday.

Three minors reported missing in Las Vegas, Santa Barbara

Three minors were reported missing in the Santa Barbara department, western Honduras. According to their family, they were heading to the supermarket in Las Vegas on Tuesday afternoon when they did not return. National Police launched a search operation and so far have not released further information. 

Soldiers clash with protesters in Tegucigalpa

Soldiers clashed with demonstrators during a protest on Thursday afternoon in Tegucigalpa. The military fired tear gas to disperse crowds gathered in Suyapa Boulevard. The protesters were mainly attended by students of Honduras's National University (UNAH), who demand justice for the death of the environmentalist Berta Caceres - who was killed one year ago.

Passenger bus sprayed with bullets in Comayaguela

Heavily armed men opened fire on a passenger bus in Comayaguela, on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa. A bus en route to Tela, northern Honduras, was sprayed with bullets on Thursday afternoon when two men on motorcycles opened fire. No one was injured in the attack, which was believed to be linked to extortion schemes - also known as 'war tax' - led by local criminal groups.

Armed robbers attack man near ATM in Tegucigalpa

A man has been robbed by armed criminals in Tegucigalpa. The victim was approached in his car by heavily armed criminals after withdrawing money from an ATM machine at Centroamerica boulevard. According to El Heraldo, the assailants took one million lempiras ($42,000). Reports of similar robberies have been reported in the same area.

Attorney's office agent killed in San Pedro Sula

An attorney's office agent was killed on Tuesday afternoon in San Pedro Sula, northern Honduras. Preliminary reports revealed that an armed man attempted to rob the victim, who was part of the Criminal Investigation Technical Agency (Atic). A passerby was collaterally injured during the attack. San Pedro Sula is a gang-ridden area, where violent robberies, extortion and assassinations take place amid gang disputes.

President sanctions controversial anti-terrorism law

President Juan Orlando Hernandez has sanctioned the controversial Honduran penal reform. Among the points included in the bill, is the promotion of terrorism through media, which critics say that might hinder freedom of expression. The law labelled as the anti-terrorism bill was proposed by the government to support the ongoing crackdown on criminality and violent attacks, and also to speed up the judicial processes.

Student shot dead during robbery attempt in Tegucigalpa

A 20-year-old student has been killed during a robbery attempt in Tegucigalpa. The victim was riding his motorcycle in Las Minitas neighbourhood on Saturday evening when criminals assassinated him and took his vehicle. Authorities have been investigating a recent wave of killings targeting students in Tegucigalpa. In less than a week, five separate cases were reported across the capital.

Four minors hit by stray bullets at school in Tegucigalpa

At least four minors have been injured during a shootout in Tegucigalpa. The incident happened on Monday when a shooting between rival factions broke out near a school in the Sagastume colony. According to El Heraldo, all victims were hit by stray bullets and taken to the local hospital. Shootings between rival gangs over territorial claims, often result in collateral victims. 

Hundreds protest controversial penal reform in Tegucigalpa

Hundreds of people supported by the main opposition coalition gathered around the National Congress to protest against the controversial penal reforms concerning terrorism and extortion crimes. Both leaders of the 'Opposition Alliance' led the demonstration claiming that the new law aims to criminalise public demonstrations. The reform is set to expand the scope of the designation of extortion and terrorist activities along with speeding up respective prosecution processes.

National congress approves anti-terrorism bill

The Honduran National Congress has approved a debated penal reform concerning extortion and terrorist activities. The bill, highly criticised by the opposition, is set to harden prison sentences and expand categories to designate extortion or terrorist acts. The new regulations were proposed by the government to support the ongoing crackdown on criminality and violent attacks, and also to speed up the judicial processes.

Two injured during violent protest in Choluteca department

Two people have been injured during a violent protest in the Choluteca department, southern Honduras. The casualties were reported as more than 2,500 workers stormed the streets near a local agrarian company in Orocuina over fears of massive lay-offs. The concerns come after the company had seven plans seized by the government over alleged irregularities.

One killed and two injured as criminals raid bus in Tegucigalpa

One person has been killed and two others have been injured during an armed attack on a passenger bus in Tegucigalpa. The incident happened on Monday evening in the Comayaguela area when criminals opened fire on the bus driver. Two people were taken to the hospital after being collaterally hit by the bullets. Attacks on transport services such as buses and taxis often occur in Tegucigalpa, often carried out by extortion groups.

Indigenous leader shot dead in Francisco Morazan

An indigenous leader has been killed in Francisco Morazan, central Honduras. Official sources told AFP that Jose Santos Sevilla was shot dead on Friday as five armed men raided his house in the La Ceiba community. Sevilla was the leader of some 18,000 indigenous Tolupan people. Rights activists and indigenous leaders have been under alert due to the ongoing wave of assassinations since the death of the prominent environmentalist Berta Caceres in March.

Triple homicide reported in Tegucigalpa

At least three people were murdered in the capital, Tegucigalpa, on Wednesday afternoon. Witnesses told the authorities that around a dozen heavily armed men sprayed a vehicle with bullets in the La Sosa colony. The target was a couple and the third victim was a pedestrian who was hit by stray bullets.  In January, the authorities recorded 341 violent deaths nationwide.

Couple assassinated near Tegucigalpa

A couple in their mid-30s have been shot dead on Monday morning near their home in Tegucigalpa. Both victims owned their own business in Comayaguela and were heading to the area when attacked by heavily armed men. Witnesses told La Prensa, that despite the area being prone to extortionists and criminality, the couple was not known to receive any threats. 

Three killed as criminals storm funeral in Tegucigalpa

At least three people have been killed and seven others have been injured when armed criminals stormed a funeral in Tegucigalpa. The incident happened in the early hours of Tuesday in Mirador de Oriente area. Initial reports suggest that the men raided the facilities and opened fire on the attendees. The police launched an investigation in what seems to be related to a retaliatory attack.

Two kidnapping victims found dead in Yoro province

Two kidnapping victims have been found dead near a river in the Yoro department, northern Honduras. Firefighters found both youngsters' bodies inside plastic bags on Sunday. According to reports both victims were kidnapped on 31 January near the area the bodies were found. No further information was provided by the police and, according to EFE, no reports of ransom demands were filed. The Ulua river is located on the regional border with Cortes department, which is ravaged by high criminality levels.

Several killed and dozens injured in bus crash in Tegucigalpa

At least 16 people have been killed and 34 others have been wounded in a road accident near the capital Tegucigalpa. Official sources stated that a bus and a lorry crashed while heading southbound along the road. The lorry driver fled the scene as the authorities are investigating the cause of the accident. Bus accidents in Honduras recurrently occur due to reckless driving and poorly maintained vehicles.

Driver killed as criminals raid bus in Cortes department

A bus driver was shot dead on Thursday by criminals in Cortes department, north-eastern Honduras. The incident happened near Choloma, where heavily armed men killed the 40-year-old driver. Three suspects were arrested and several high-calibre assault rifles seized in Victoria colony. According to the police, the bus was raided by at least six assailants. Dozens of drivers are targeted across Honduras as extortion gangs target transport companies.

Several killed in separate incidents in western Honduras

Seven people have been killed in separate incidents across western Honduras. In San Pedro Copan, four men were found dead on Monday evening. According to the police, the victims were tortured before being stabbed to death. In the northwestern Cortes department, two men and a woman were targeted by criminals on a moto-taxi in Cofradia area, where a previous shooting injured four people. The motives for both incidents remain unclear. Western Honduras is known for a heavy presence of criminal gangs, and has high levels of cross-border criminal activity.

Salesman assassinated in Tegucigalpa

A salesman was killed on Tuesday evening in the capital Tegucigalpa. The 32-year-old victim was shot multiple times when several armed men stormed his home in La Cruz neighbourhood. The police revealed that the victim was also the manager of a moto-taxi company and announced that an investigation was launched. Workers and managers of transportation businesses are often targets of extortion carried out by criminal gangs in major Honduran urban areas. 

Congress approves round of talks on crime legislation reforms

The National Congress has approved the first of the three debates regarding a judicial reform and legislation related to organised crime and extortionist groups. The debate aimed to introduce more strict measures to tackle criminality before the illegitimate criminal acts are carried out. Also, it plans to consider a terrorist act as the membership of one or more individuals to illicit groups aimed to target the civil society. Some of the legislation has been called controversial, however the Supreme Court has reinforced its commitment to comply any changes with international law.

Journalist gunned down in San Pedro Sula

A journalist has been gunned down in San Pedro Sula, northern Honduras. Igor Padilla was working on video footage in Suyapa colony on Tuesday afternoon, when a group of armed men approached him and opened fire. Witnesses told El Heraldo that criminals specifically targeted Padilla, however one of his colleagues said that there were no known threats against the journalist. San Pedro Sula suffers from one of the highest levels of criminality in the world, especially assassinations and extortion targeting local businesses.

Local treasurer assassinated in El Paraíso

The treasurer of a local constituency in south-western Honduras has been assassinated by armed criminals. The incident was reported on Wednesday, in the Guinope area of El Paraíso department where the victim was shot several times on the head. The authorities are investigating the incident as reports have revealed that the victim was previously targeted in early 2016.

Four killed as severe weather ravages Honduras

Emergency authorities of the Contingencies' Permanent Commission (Copeco) have reinforced a yellow warning ahead of severe weather across Honduras. The alert, which has been active since Saturday, is set to remain live in the northern and Atlantic regions of the country, such as Cortés, Atlántida, Colón, Yoro and Islas de la Bahía. At least four people have been killed and 15 others remain missing, including a 73-year-old Canadian national. The Copeco urged the population to be vigilant across the country, especially in areas of high risk.

Four killed in targeted attack in San Pedro Sula

Five heavily armed men have stormed a shop in San Pedro Sula, north-western Honduras, and have killed four people. The incident happened on Monday afternoon, in the Las Acacias neighbourhood, where the assailants, wearing bullet proof vests, approached the victims. Preliminary police investigations have suggested that the motives for the crime may be connected to extortion, however investigations into further possible causes are ongoing. San Pedro Sula is one of the most dangerous cities in Central America, and in the world. Gangs such as the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) widely operate in the area.

President announces cabinet reshuffle

The Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez has announced a cabinet reshuffle. Hernandez said in a press conference on Monday, that key members of his cabinet are set to resign over political or personal reasons. Some of the ministries to be affected are the defence, infrastructure and public services, and health. Also, Marlon Tabora has been appointed as the new ambassador for the US and will remain as the country's representative in the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington. The general elections in Honduras are scheduled to take place on the 26 November 2017 and Hernandez has announced intentions to seek re-election as the candidate for the centre-right National Party of Honduras (NP).

Five ambushed and killed in San Pedro Sula

On 21 December, five people were killed in San Pedro Sula, northern Honduras. The incident happened in the Boulevard del Este where five bodies were found in a vehicle. Reports revealed that the victims were travelling from the neighbouring area of La Lima when they were attacked by heavily armed men that reportedly fired on the vehicle at least 100 times. According to the authorities, some of the victims had links with the criminal gang known as Los Olanchanos.

Clashes escalate amid police operation in Tegucigalpa

Police officers and illegal street vendors have clashed on the streets of Tegucigalpa. The fierce confrontation was triggered by a police operation to expel the vendors from the area near the Miguel de Cervantes Avenue. Reports state that gunshots were fired and one of the vendors was injured. The clashes escalated as more street vendors engaged in the fight with the police in the Paseo Liquidámbar. During the holidays season, street vendors in Honduras are allowed to sell their goods in some areas of the capital, however, some sellers opt to move to more attractive areas generating grievances with local business owners.

Electoral authority allows president Hernandez to re-run for office

Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez has been authorised to run for the 2017 general elections for another four-year term. The decision was made by the Supreme Election Court (TSE) that ruled in favour of the Hernandez candidacy through the ruling National Party (PN). Opposition members declared that the potential reelection violated the constitution, which does not allow a president to run for a second time for office.

Two killed during shooting in Tegucigalpa

On 9 December, two people were shot dead in the Los Jucos neighbourhood of Tegucigalpa. Local witnesses told El Heraldo that a vehicle carrying two men, believed to be in their mid-20s, entered into the area and was targeted by heavily armed men. Both victims tried to escape in the vehicle but were shot multiple times and died at the scene. The police are still investigating the motives for the attack. Shootings and armed attacks often occur in the Los Jucos area, which is located near the National Stadium.

Five brutally murdered in northern Honduras

On 12 December, five people were found dead in less than 12 hours in northern Honduras. In the Choloma's industrial area, two bodies were recovered at the Norte boulevard. A message was found with the victims, allegedly issued by the criminal group Barrio 18. Another three bodies were later found inside sacks in separate locations in San Carlos Sula and San Pedro Sula. Criminal activity in several areas of the Cortés department is very high. Some incidents are believed to be retaliation over the ongoing police crackdown on Barrio 18 and Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) members.

Dozens storm electoral court to support Hernández re-election bid

On 12 December, dozens of supporters of the National Party (PN) gathered in front of the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) to protest in favour of the candidacy of Juan Orlando Hernández for the 2018 presidential elections. Hernández was elected as Honduras's president in 2014 and recently accepted to be PN's candidate to run for the 2018-2022 term of office. However, the move generated much criticism from the opposition, as Honduras legislation does not allow a president to be re-elected. The TSE has until 21 December to decide if the PN's nomination will be accepted.

Family murdered by armed group in Catacamas

On 11 December, an entire family was assassinated by a criminal group in Catacamas, eastern Honduras. Witnesses told the authorities that at least five heavily armed men followed the 31-year-old son as he was heading to his home in the El Caliche area. The masked assailants, riding a motorcycle, opened fire, killing all the occupants of the residence. Preliminary reports state that the attack was a retaliation over a family land dispute.

Woman target of brutal assassination in San Pedro Sula

A young woman has been victim of a brutal assassination in San Pedro Sula, northern Honduras. The victim's body was found decapitated in the River Hernández sector on 5 December. The police launched an investigation to identify the victim and the motives for the attack. According to the Violence Observatory of the Autonomous National University of Honduras, one woman is killed in the country every 18 hours. San Pedro Sula is also known to be a safe-haven to violent criminal gangs such as the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and the Barrio 18.

Maritime transportation worker shot dead in La Ceiba

On 3 December, a man was shot dead on the roads of La Ceiba, northern Honduras. Preliminary investigations revealed that the man worked for a maritime transportation company and was travelling on the Villa Nen colony with his company's vehicle. Transportation companies' employees are often targeted by extortionists, which can lead to assassinations or retaliatory attacks across Honduras.

Police arrest six extortionists in Santa Cruz de Yojoa

The anti-extortion division of the Honduran police has arrested six people involved in extortion schemes across Santa Cruz de Yojoa, western Honduras. The group was known for targeting local business owners and transportation companies. Also, the assailants were suspected of involvement with other criminal gangs that operate in the region, which provided the suspects with weapons. Extortionists operate widely in western Honduras, where they often target business owners and other companies by charging a 'war tax'.

Armed criminals attack taxi stand in Tegucigalpa

A taxi driver has been killed and three others have been injured in a shooting on Monday afternoon in Tegucigalpa. The victims were reportedly attacked by a couple on a motorcycle that opened fire at a taxi stand in La Hoya neighbourhood. An investigation has been launched into the motives behind the attack, which authorities believe could be connected to an extortion case. Criminal groups in Honduras often employ extortion targeted at transportation services such as taxi and bus companies. Shootings and targeted assassinations often occur across the country as result of grievances between the criminals and its victims.

Two killed during shootings in San Pedro Sula

On 20 November, two men were killed aftersix heavily armed men opened fire on their vehicle in the Estadio Olimpico area of San Pedro Sula, northern Honduras. Reports state that one of the victims tried to flee the scene but was gunned down. The authorities are investigating the motives for the attack. Targeted assassinations often occur in San Pedro Sula, with gangs and drug-traffickers operating in the area. 

Two passenger buses set ablaze in northern Honduras

On 20 November, two passenger buses were simultaneously attacked by criminals in northern Honduras. Heavily armed men intercepted a bus heading from La Ceiba to Tegucigalpa and set it on fire after demanding the passengers step out of the vehicle. The incident happened near the Marisol colony. Another similar incident took place in La Lima, Cortés department, when a minibus heading from San Pedro Sula to Olanchito was set on fire by five armed men. Police believe that the first attack, in which a bus from the Hedman Alas company was targeted, is related to extortion, as the police discovered that the company has been paying criminal gangs to avoid being attacked.

Three men murdered in San Pedro Sula

On 17 November, three men were murdered in the Lomas de San Juan neighbourhood of San Pedro Sula, northern Honduras, near a local Mormon church. Two of the victims were from the same family and were working at a construction site in the area. San Pedro Sula is home to several criminal gangs and targeted assassinations often occur in some areas of the city.

Three killed during heavy shooting in San Pedro Sula

Three people were killed and another was wounded after a shooting in San Pedro Sula, northern Honduras. Cristian Hernández, a former convict, was driving with his brother on the Roberto Micheletti boulevard when they were attacked by heavily armed men. Hernández was previously convicted in 2014 to serve 13 years in prison, however for an undisclosed reason he was released earlier. Preliminary investigations revealed that the victim was part of the local criminal group known as "Los Aguacates". The casings of more than 200 rounds were found at the scene at the scene, having been fired by AK-47 assault rifles. Police also found a military-grade hand-grenade on the victim's body, along with a pistol.

Transnational task force to initiate counter-gangs operations

A transnational task force targeting organised crime is set to initiate its activities on Tuesday, 15 November. The agreement was signed on 23 August by the governments of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. The joint force will comprise members of the national police, public ministry, intelligence agencies and the military. The move also plans to bring the US government on board in order to assist in the operations in the region. The three countries, known as the 'Northern Triangle', report one of the highest murder rates in the world and they are the ground of operations for several international organised crime groups.

Elections to the High Court of Auditors trigger political grievances

The election of the new magistrates for the High Court of Auditors (TSC) created some grievances between the government and the Mission of Support against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH), part of the American States Organization (OEA). The MACCIH issued a statement on 9 Novemberq saying that the parliament fully ignored their recommendations and that the elections were executed without transparency. Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández was incisively against the MACCIH playing an active role in the process, once he refused to accept their influence on domestic matters. The TSC has been blamed over the inefficiency against corruption, one of the main problems of the country.

Duo murdered in car park in Tegucigalpa

On 10 November, two people were assassinated in Tegucigalpa. The crime happened at a car park in the capital's Kennedy neighbourhood. Preliminary investigations revealed that one of the victims was a security guard who died at the scene. Another unknown victim was taken to the local hospital, where he later died of his wounds. Tegucigalpa reports higher murder rates than the national average and one of the highest in the world.

Farm workers ambushed by masked men in Cortés

On 10 November, a farmer and his worker were shot dead during an ambush in Cortés department, north-western Honduras. According to the authorities ,the assassination happened on a road heading towards the Agua Azul Sierra village in Santa Cruz de Yojoa. The victims were driving a pick-up truck when they were approached by four masked men who opened fire at them and set the vehicle on fire. The police are investigating the motives behind the murders. The village is located in the department of Cortés, one of the most dangerous areas in Honduras. 

Four bus passengers injured in San Pedro Sula shootings

Four people have been wounded during a shooting in San Pedro Sula, north-western Honduras. The bus passengers were heading to Puerto Cortés when they were attacked near the Guamilito neighbourhood. According to witnesses, the bus was targeted by armed men in a car. Local media reported that another bus from the same company, Impala, was attacked moments later in a nearby location. San Pedro Sula has one of the highest levels of criminality across the country.

Man shot dead on the streets of Choloma

A man has been assassinated on the streets of Choloma, San Pedro, north-western Honduras. According to the authorities, José Alfredo Gómez Contreras was attacked by two armed men when he was walking home on Sunday evening. Gómez worked as bodyguard, however his family believe that his work nor personal life were the cause of the attack. The incident took place in the Armando Gale neighbourhood, where during previous weeks several violent murders were reported.

Wife of prominent druglord arrested in Olancho

On 30 October, the wife of a prominent Hondurean druglord was arrested by the police's Counter-narcotics unit. Hilda Godoy, wife of Aguinaldo Amador, the leader of the Los Amador group, based in Catacama, east Honduras's Olancho region, was detained under allegations of money laundering. She was arrested along with five employees of the family who possessed illegal firearms. The move comes amid the Olimpo Operation, which also seized hundreds of assets of the family, including vehicles and land allegedly obtained through drug money.

Woman killed after pick-up truck sprayed with bullets in Comayaguela

On 27 October, one person was killed and another was wounded when they were targeted by armed assailants in Comayaguela, on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa. The incident happened at night in the town of Torocagua, when armed men fired automatic weapons into a pick-up truck. Laura Rodriguez Vasquez was killed in the attack and her passenger was hit in the face and wounded. The authorities have launched an investigation to assess the motives behind the attack and the relationship between the victims.

Student kidnapped and executed in La Lima

On 31 October, the body of a 21-year-old student was found in the town of La Lima, in northern Honduras's Cortés department. Josué Alexander Alvarenga Tróchez, a student of the Universidad Tecnológica de Honduras (UTH), was found near the Chamelecón River. Police are analysing a warning message pinned to the body by his killers. The authorities stated that the victim was kidnapped on 29 October after leaving his work place in San Pedro Sula. He was then taken to an undisclosed location and executed.

Rural leader assasinated in Honduras

The president of the Unified Peasant Movement of Aguan (MUCA), Jose Angel Flores, has been killed in northern Honduras.  According to preliminary reports several masked gunmen shot Flores several times in Tocoa in the Colon department.  MUCA's former president, Johnny Rivas, said forces opposing the rural struggle for land rights were behind the assassination.  At least 150 rural activists are now reported to have been killed in the area.

Eight cases of Zika-linked microcephaly recorded in Honduras

The Honduran Ministry of Health announced that over the last 10 days, eight babies were born with congenital defects linked to the Zika virus. Yolani Batres said on Monday that five of the new-borns were diagnosed with microcephaly, a condition that causes babies to born with underdeveloped heads and brains. Batres also reported that across the country nearly 500 cases of pregnant woman with the mosquito-borne disease had been recorded. The Pan American Health Organization reported that until 14 July no cases of microcephaly linked to the Zika virus were recorded in Honduras. 

Environmentalist found dead in south-western Honduras

Honduran authorities are investigating the death of an indigenous activist in the south-west of the country. Police sources confirmed that the body of the 49-year-old Lesbia Janeth Urquia was found with severe head injuries in a dumpster near the municipality of Marcala. Judicial officials said that a possible motive for her murder was “the supposed robbery of her professional bicycle”Urquia was member of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Honduras (COPINH), the group that was founded by the award-winning environmentalist Berta Caceres, who was shot dead at her house in La Paz department four months ago.

Honduran journalist wounded in attack

A Honduran journalist has been shot and wounded in an attack in the capital, Tegucigalpa.  Felix Molina was shot twice on Monday while travelling in a taxi in the city and was taken to the University Teaching Hospital for treatment.  “Regrettably, we continue to live in a highly dangerous country, where we journalists who practice our profession independently and touch sensitive subjects expose ourselves to these kinds of things,” Molina told EFE by telephone from the hospital.

Four men arrested over activist murder

Four men have been arrested in connection with the murder of Honduran indigenous activist Berta Caceres.  Two of the suspects - Mariano Chavez and Edilson Duarte Meza - are members of the Honduran military, while the other two are linked to the company building the hydroelectric dam which Caceres campaigned against.  She was shot dead at her home in La Esperanza in March, sparking mass protests in the country.

Nine environmentalists injured in attack near wildlife reserve

At least nine people have been wounded by unknown assailants during a demonstration on Friday. The incident happened during a protest, which was organized by the Honduran Social and Popular Movement Platform (PMSPH) in memory of the environmental activist Berta Caceres, who was murdered in March. According to the PMSPH a group of foreign environmental activists were threatened and beaten by members of the Desarrollos Energéticos S. A (DESA) when they were returning from an event at the Gualcarque River, near Montana Verde Wildlife Reserve, in western Honduras.  DESA has been accused of involvement in the killing of Berta Caceres, who was a vocal opponent of their Agua Zarca Dam project.

Indigenous activist shot dead in Rio Chiquito

A chair of the Civil Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) was killed in north-western Honduras on Monday. According to witnesses Garcia was shot dead when the military carried out forced eviction operations against members of the activist organisation, although police deny any involvement.  This comes after the assassination of another chair of the organization, Berta Caceres, who was shot dead in her own home in La Esperanza.

Gunmen kill 12 in Tegucigalpa shooting

Gunmen have shot dead at least 12 people at a pool hall in the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa.  Police spokesman Edgardo Barahona said three of the assailants were wearing police uniforms when they carried out the attack in the northern 1 de Diciembre neighbourhood on Saturday.  Local officials said the pool hall was controlled by the Barrio 18 gang.

Human rights activist murdered in La Esperanza

A famous indigenous human rights activist was murdered in western Honduras on Thursday. According to local sources, Berta Cáceres, the leader of the indigenous community Ienca, died when two armed men invaded her farm in La Esperanza in the early hours of the morning.  She had previously received death threats for her high-profile campaigns against illegal loggers and plantation owners.  Many high-profile politicians condemned the attack, including the Honduran President, Juan Orlando Hernandez, who stated that the "murder of Berta Cáceres is an attack to Honduras".

Four killed in Yoro robbery

Four people were killed in an apparent armed robbery in the northern province of Yoro on Sunday.  According to reports the victims, who were all labourers from the western province of Ocotepeque, were forced to hand over money before they were shot.  Police said three assailants managed to escape from the scene in the Locomapa sector.

Honduras declares national emergency over Zika virus

The Honduran government has declared a state of emergency over the rising rate of Zika virus infections in the country.  Since the mosquito-borne disease was first identified in December there have been more than 3,649 confirmed cases.  The announcement came after the World Health Organization (WHO) called the Zika outbreak in the Americans an international emergency.

Honduran football player shot dead in La Ceiba

Honduran footballer Arnold Peralta has been shot dead while on holiday in the country.  Peralta, 26, was killed at a shopping mall car park in La Ceiba on the Caribbean coast. "We won't rest until those responsible for this act are identified and detained so that they can face justice," the government said.

Eight dead in bus station shooting

At least eight people have been killed and three others wounded in a shooting at a bus station in northern Honduras.  Witnesses said several heavily armed men wearing balaclavas carried out the attack in Choloma in Cortes department.  Local media reported that the bus terminal was targeted because the drivers refused to pay extortion to a local criminal gang.

Honduras arrests US-bound Syrians with stolen passports

Authorities in Honduras have intercepted six Syrian nationals who were travelling on stolen Greek passports.  Five suspects were detained after arriving at Tegucigalpa airport from El Salvador on Tuesday night, while a sixth man was turned away last Friday.  According to police the suspects were planning to travel to the city of San Pedro Sula before heading through Mexico to the United States.

Attempted carjacking near US embassy

An attempted kidnapping/carjacking has been reported outside the El Hogar Bakery near the US embassy in Tegucigalpa.  Shots were fired but nobody was injured.

Four student protest leaders found dead in Honduras

Four student protest leaders have been found dead in dead in the capital, Tegucigalpa. According to the National Network of Human Rights Defenders in Honduras "three students were assassinated (two boys and one girl), students in night classes at Jesús Aguilar Paz Institute of Comayaguela, who had just left the school grounds after class. On the morning of Wednesday, March 25th, the cadaver of a 13-year-old girl was found wrapped in a sheet".

Three killed in Honduras prison riot

Three inmates have been killed and seven others wounded during a riot in a prison in San Pedro Sula.  A spokesman for the Honduras National Police said 400 additional troops had been dispatched to the San Pedro Sula prison to restore order at the facility, adding that eight guards were also injured.  The prison is heavily overcrowded, with a population of 2,900 despite it being designed to hold only 1,300.

Kidnapped Aids activists released in Honduras

A prominent teenage Aids activists has been released in San Pedro Sula, hours after she was kidnapped in the city.  Keren Dunaway Gonzalez, 18, and her mother were abducted by three gunmen on Tuesday while they were in a parked car outside the offices of the Llaves NGO. Security Minister Arturo Corrales confirmed the release of the young woman who was appointed by the United Nations (UN) as goodwill ambassador in her country.

Honduras beauty queen found dead

A Honduran beauty queen and her sister have been found dead, less than a week after they were abducted.  Maria Jose Alvarado, 19, and her sister Sofia Trinidad, 23, went missing after leaving a party in the Santa Barbara region last Thursday.  Their bodies were found by police in the nearby village of Cablotales.

Cartel leaders arrested in Honduras

Two leaders from the Los Valles cartel have been arrested in western Honduras.  Brothers Miguel Arnulfo Valle Valle and Luis Alonso Valle Valle were captured in the Copan department near the Guatemalan border on Sunday.  The cartel is thought to be responsible for the trafficking of thousands of kilos into the US via Central America.

Five killed in San Pedro Sula jail unrest

Five gang members have been killed in an attack by rivals at a prison in San Pedro Sula.  The victims, all under 18, belonged to the M18 gang and died during fighting with members of the rival Mara Salvatrucha gang.  The incident comes days after a report claimed that children as young as seven are being tortured to death for refusing to join the mara street gangs.

Four killed in drive-by shooting in San Pedro Sula

Four women have been killed in a drive-by shooting at a bar in the city of San Pedro Sula.  The incident occurred in the early hours of Monday morning in the El Benque neighbourhood.  The city's police have suggested that the shooting might be linked to a local extortion gang.

Thousands take to the street to protest election results

Thousands of opposition supporters have taken to the street of Tegucigalpa to protest against last week's presidential election result, which they say was fraudulent.  The peaceful protest was led by the defeated candidate Xiomara Castro, who ran for the Liberty and Refoundation Party (LIBRE).  The country's election tribunal has said that it is willing to review the results; however, it stopped short of promising a full recount.

Honduras hit by protests as Hernandez announced president

Riot police have been deployed in Honduras after the country's electoral tribunal announced conservative Juan Orlando Hernandez as the winner of the presidential vote, leading to a series of protests.  Supporters of leftist Xiomara Castro have accused the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of manipulating the vote in favour of Hernandez.  Manuel Zelaya, ex-president and husband of Castro, has called for mass protests on Saturday, saying that they "have been robbed of their victory".

Ruling party candidate on course for poll victory

The candidate of the ruling National party is on course to become Honduras's next president with half of the ballots counted.  According to election officials Juan Orlando Hernandez leads with around 34% of the vote, while his main opponent Xiomara Castro has 28%.

Body of Honduran journalist found dead

The body of a Honduran cameraman has been found in the capital, Tegucigalpa, with three gunshots in his head.  Back in February 2010 Manuel Murillo Varela was kidnapped and tortured at a secret prison by plain clothes police officers.

Gang shootout leaves 10 dead in La Mosquitia

At least 10 people have been killed in a shootout between rival drug gangs in the eastern region of La Mosquitia.  Local authorities in Honduras said that the gangs were fighting over drug trafficking routes.

State of emergency declared over dengue fever outbreak

A state of emergency has been declared in Honduras after an outbreak of dengue fever left 16 people dead.  A further 12,000 people have been diagnosed with the disease, which is spread by mosquitoes.  In 2010 more than 80 people were killed in the country's worst outbreak of the disease.

Rival street gangs declare truce

Two of Honduras's largest street gangs have declared a truce from inside San Pedro Sula prison in the north of the country.  Members of Calle 18 and Mara Salvatrucha said they were committed to "zero crimes, zero violence on the streets".

Honduras Data Sheet

Population:
8.25 million
Major Religion/s:
Christianity
International dialing code:
+504
International dialing prefix:
00
Emergency services:
199
Drives:
Right
Voltage:
110V
Climate:
Tropical
Ohter Major Cities:
San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, El Progreso
Borders:
Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua