The Human Rights Commissioner of Honduras, Blanca Izaguirre, speaks in an interview with Efe on 12 March 2021 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. March 15, 2021. EFE/Gustavo Amador

Tegucigalpa.- Crime or gang violence caused the forced displacement of 8,200 people in Honduras between 2016 and 2023, the National Commissioner for Human Rights (CONADEH).

CONADEH’s Internal Forced Displacement Unit assisted with around 8,200 cases of forced displacement between 2016 and 2023, of which 3,116 were victims of displacement and 5,084 were at risk of displacement, the organization said in a report.

The head of CONADEH, Blanca Izaguirre, said that traders and housewives were among those most affected by forced displacement in 2023.

According to the human rights organization, at least 1,699 people were forcibly displaced from their homes in 2023, an increase of 20% compared to the 1,417 cases registered in 2022.

The coordinator of CONADEH’s Human Mobility Ombudsman’s Office, Elsy Reyes, said that violence is the main aspect behind forced displacement in the Central American country.

«The bigger the cities and the more violence is reported, the more people are displaced and flee their homes because of threats, extortion, murder, and the expropriation of their property,» she said.

Reyes pointed out that the forced recruitment of children by criminal structures is forcing many families to be forcibly displaced.

She also highlighted that the departments of Francisco Morazán (center) and Cortés (north) have had the highest number of complaints related to forced displacement in the last two years.

Francisco Morazán reported 1,458 cases between 2022 and 2023. Cortés reported 679, according to CONADEH figures.

According to their testimonies, many of the displaced are entire families fleeing death threats, extortion, murder of family members, and attempted murder.

The Honduran Parliament passed a law in 2022 to protect people displaced by violence in the country, which human rights organizations say is a «big step» towards finding lasting solutions to the plight.


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