Cutting Crime in Cortes
Community Involvement Helps Reduce Murders by Half in Five Years
While Honduras was gaining notoriety in recent years for having the world’s highest homicide rate, Puerto Cortes, the country’s main port, was quietly cutting its murder rate in half. Part of this reduction may be attributed to physical improvements such as better street lighting, security cameras and a 24-hour call center. But the city’s security coordinator gives most of the credit to “preventive” strategies, including a citizen oversight committee that holds the police accountable to the community.