Kidnapping remains a serious security risk throughout Honduras. According to social activist groups, the number of incidents is difficult to determine because many cases go unreported for fear that police may be involved in the kidnapping. On Wednesday, June 13, three Honduran police officers were arrested in the capital Tegucigalpa for alleged participation in several kidnappings.
Honduras is the poorest and most economically unequal country in Central America, with two-thirds of the population living below the poverty line, including 20 percent in extreme poverty. Extremely high crime rates are fueled by this lack of economic opportunities and the widespread presence of gangs (maras), notably the powerful Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) and Barrio 18 organizations. While the vast majority of crime victims are Hondurans, foreigners can be affected, e.g. targeted due to perceived affluence.
Individuals present in Honduras are advised to remain vigilant, vary daily schedules and itineraries, and refrain from sharing personal information with unknown persons to limit the risk of being targeted by potential kidnappers. If attacked, remain calm, do not offer any resistance, and adopt a cooperative attitude. Do everything in your power to keep the situation as calm as possible (accept offered food, engage in conversation initiated by your captors, avoid all political or potentially inflammatory topics, do not do anything that would spook your captors, etc.).
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