Jobs and Safety, Unmet Promises in Honduras

Tegucigalpa, Nov 17. -Nearly two years after taking office, President of Honduras Porfirio Lobo continues failing to meet his main campaign promises: jobs and safety.According to predictions made by human rights organizations, the country´s homicide rate will close 2011 with 86 homicides per every 100,000 inhabitants while the National Statistics Institute (INE) confirmed that unemployment rose 7.67 percent this year.

Lobo, who took office on January 27, 2010, has not been able to stop the lack of safety in the country, including a recent scandal in the National Police, which is said to be involved in the killing of two students on October 22, one of them the son of the rector of the National Autonomous University of Honduras.

After the tragic event, all sectors of society have requested a thorough probe into the Police involvement, also said to extend to drug trafficking, car hijacking, kidnapping and extortion.

La Tribuna newspaper revealed on November 14 that business people, attorneys, officials and journalists are included in a secret list in the hands of police officers involved with the organized crime.

Yesterday, the paper said that legal director of the Ecumenical Human Rights Observatory, Leonel Casco Gutierrez, said to have received death threats for denouncing the said list.

He lamented that "many criminal acts are planned from the very State structures."

Meanwhile, more than 1.80 million Hondurans have problems to find a job, an increase of 245,000 people against last year, and 52.1 percent of the total number of jobless are under 24 , said INE.

At least 200,000 jobs have been lost so far this year only in the maquila sector, according to Head of the Maquila Association Daniel Facusse.

According to INE, 61.9 percent of households live in poverty in this country of 8.20 million inhabitants. (Prensa Latina)