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Honduras Institutes Public Gun Ban Hoping to Curb Trafficking and Murder

Article Summary:

The Honduran Congress approved a law on August 1 which prohibits the public possession and transportation of guns in a region of Colon plagued by trafficking and murder. The legislation also authorizes the president to extend the measure to other regions if he deems it necessary.

Photo Credit: Honduran Streetgangs

Original Article Text From Reuters:

Honduras Institutes Public Gun Ban for Violence-Hit Region

The Honduran Congress approved a law on Wednesday that prohibits the public possession and transportation of guns in a region of the country where drug trafficking and other agrarian conflicts are blamed for the killings of more than 60 people in the past three years.

The gun law covers Colon, one of the Central American country’s 18 departments, and was advocated by President Porfirio Lobo.

Located on Honduras’ Atlantic coast, Colon has seen a dramatic increase in violence due to drug cartel activity as well as a deepening conflict pitting poor farm workers against agricultural businesses and the private guards they employ.

“The bloodshed that continues taking place in this region must stop and the disarmament of the local population is needed,” said Honduran Security Minister Pompeyo Bonilla.

Over the past few months, the government has deployed about 1,000 soldiers and police to the region in an effort to stem the violence, but without much success to date.

The new law bans the possession of firearms in public places as well as their transportation in any vehicle, but police, military and private security guards are exempt from the prohibition.

The legislation also authorizes the president to extend the measure to other regions if he deems it necessary.

According to the United Nations, Honduras has one of the world’s highest murder rates, at 86.5 homicides per 100,000 residents. By comparison, the U.S. rate is 4.7 per 100,000 residents.

Link to Original Article:

From Reuters

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