[private] On October 7, 2011, I received a telephone call from a good friend who informed me that he was holding a newspaper published in Tegucigalpa which proclaimed in bold print that Honduras had become the most violent country on the planet. I wish I could say that I was surprised. Unfortunately, I was not.
If you recall earlier in the year, crime statistics were made public which named San Pedro Sula the third most dangerous city on earth and Tegucigalpa the seventh.
The fact that Honduras has two of the top ten most dangerous cities in the world tells me is that a near total lack of law enforcement exists in Honduras. According to the United Nations no less, Honduras is considered a lawless society, a failed state.
As Bay Islanders contemplate this scenario going forward, our only way out of this mess is to separate from Honduras through autonomy, form a separate state and take our chances on our own. A commission is already in place and a petition is being circulated on all three islands. I urge Bay Islanders and all other interested parties to sign said petition to show your approval, solidarity and support. In the meantime, however, something drastic must be done to combat this climate of crime, fear and violence that has gripped the country.
The central government must issue a strong reaction about the growing violence. This is a national crisis and the international community is watching closely. President Lobo, I appeal directly to you as commander in chief to take personal charge in this matter. I believe that moral leadership is stronger than any weapon and that a president can set the mood for a country.
You have to try, Mr. President. Do not be afraid to fail, after all failure is not the worst thing in the world. The very worst is not to try. People know leadership when they see it–when they see someone taking a political risk, not just talking about doing so, not just saying, “I’ll jump if the other guy jumps.”
In times of crisis, leaders jump first, lay out what truly needs to be done to fix the problem, and thereby earn the right to demand that others do the same. Mr. President, my gut tells me that if you were to lay out such a plan, a bold plan, even if it involves evoking a state of emergency and declaring martial law for a period of time in the major cities, others would get on board.
You would in effect be defining both yourself and the future in a way that would earn you so much support and respect that any opponent would be left in the dust, no matter how obstructionist they are or want to be. You would also earn the respect, admiration and support of the international community.
Do not overlook the international community, Mr. President, it stands ready, willing and able to assist you in many ways. What caught my eye was the difference in the crime rates in Honduras and in the United Kingdom. Honduras had 82 homicides per 100,000 people; in the U.K. that number was two. In the United States, that number was just 5 per 100,000 people. That is a far cry from 82. They must be doing a lot of things right, and we could learn from them. [/private]