San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

U.S. offers Honduras help in fighting crime

TEGUCIGALPA – U.S. National Security Adviser Denis McDonough on Wednesday promised U.S. support to Honduran President Porfirio Lobo to combat crime in this Central American nation with the highest homicide rate in the world.

“I am here today to reconfirm the commitment of the United States,” which includes programs such as the Central American Regional Security Initiative and ACCESS (Food for Peace), McDonough said in a statement in Spanish at the Government House.

The U.S. official arrived in Honduras on Tuesday, and on Wednesday met with Lobo and members of his Cabinet.

In September, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on citizen security, more cooperation in combating illicit drug trafficking, and broader programs to prevent and prosecute financial crimes,the U.S. official said.

That document was signed by Honduran Foreign Minister Arturo Corrales and U.S. Under-Secretary of State Maria Otero. A bilateral working group on human rights, which will address the culture of violence in Honduras, also was created.

According to the latest U.N. homicide report, Honduras registered in 2011 a rate of 92 murders per 100,000 citizens, the highest murder rate in the world outside of war zones.

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