For many years San Pedro Sula was at the top of lists chronicling the most violent cities in the world, but it finished 2017 with a bit of a stunning statistic: it seems that within the city homicides have dropped by more than 50%.
Jair Meza, spokesperson of the secretary of security says that since 2015 there’s been a series of preventative actions/measures taken by the Interinstitutional Security Force to lower the number of violent deaths nationwide but most especially in Tegucigalpa and in San Pedro Sula. “In San Pedro Sula specifically there were 110 homicides for every 100,000 inhabitants in 2015, there were 107 homicides for every 100,000 inhabitants in 2016, but in 2017 that measure has dropped by 50% with a figure indicating that there were about 50 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.” Says Meza whose statistics were validated by the National Violence Observatory of the National Autonomous University of Honduras (Ov-Unah).
“International media have kept using statistics from past years. These statistics that we’re supplying are accurate.” Says the sub-commissioner of police. Meza added that the Prohibition on Firearms law which was approved prior to November 26, 2017’s, election and is still in effect has contributed to the reduction of violent deaths throughout the past month. “We’ve registered that 396 weapons have been decommissioned as of right now, of which 243 are pistols, 103 are revolvers, 16 rifles, 26 shotguns, and 8 homemade weapons (chimbas)” says Meza.
Josue Mejia, director of the center of 911-coordination and emergencies in the northwestern zone has stated that San Pedro Sula’s reputation of being the city most filled with violent deaths has changed due to the work of security and law-enforcement officials and that the city is now the 3rd-ranking city in terms of violent deaths. Mejia indicated that in December the homicides dropped by 52% compared to December of 2016. “In terms of homicides this is historic and that this trend is likely to continue resulting in an even lower ranking in the near future. We are ranked 3rd in this context after spending a long time ranking number one and we’re likely going to end the year with a reduction of 50% which is a considerable improvement.” Says Mejia.
The city has seen the installation of many security cameras which work to support authorities in terms of detecting crimes and capturing criminals.
“Even more than the role of security cameras in improving the streets there’s the reality that the institutions are working effectively together. The cameras are just a tool used to assist in our collaborations, but the reality is that the police and the military police are out there every day, we just provide technical support and the information we’ve ascertained through our tools.” Says the functionary.