Weekly Report - 29 June 2023 (WR-23-26)

HONDURAS: Prison massacre sparks security shake-up

A massacre which took place last week in a women’s prison (PNFAS), leaving 46 women dead, has led President Xiomara Castro to replace her security minister, Ramón Sabillón, and order the military police (PMOP) to assume control of the country’s prisons. One of Honduras’s worst incidents of prison violence in recent years, the massacre has again subjected to scrutiny the policies of the leftist Partido Libertad y Refundación (Libre) government, which in April announced a plan to intervene in the penitentiary system [WR-23-15] and, in December 2022, a state of emergency to combat gangs [WR-22-50], since extended. The continued reversal of Castro’s pledge to demilitarise citizen security and apparent adoption of policies identified with the authoritarian president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, will alarm rights institutions which highlight the cost to human rights and question their efficacy in tackling the issue.

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