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Honduras: Crime warning from Canadian Government

Chamelecón, Choloma and Cofradía – Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to Chamelecón, Choloma and Cofradía in the department of Cortés due to high levels of violence and crime.

There is a high level of violent crime in Honduras, and the country has one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Drug trafficking, transnational organized crime and the presence of street gangs pose significant security concerns. The government of Honduras lacks sufficient resources to properly respond to, investigate and prosecute cases. As a result, criminals linked to organized crime operate with a high degree of impunity throughout Honduras.

Kidnapping, extortion, home invasion, robbery, sexual assault and other forms of aggravated assault are carried out by criminals acting individually or as a group. Assault, armed robbery and carjacking are serious problems along Honduran highways. A large percentage of the population in Honduras is armed. Incidents of armed robbery occur mainly on urban streets during the day and on intercity buses at night. Guns and other weapons, such as machetes and knives, are frequently used. Although most criminals do not target tourists, some travellers have been victims of crime in major cities and in areas frequented by tourists, especially at night. If you are threatened by robbers, do not resist; injuries and deaths have occurred when victims have resisted.

Remain aware of your surroundings at all times and avoid walking or travelling alone and after dark (including travelling in vehicles leaving the airport). Due to the threat of violent crime, particular vigilance is recommended in and around the cities of La Ceiba, San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa–Comayaguela; in Atlántida, Copán, Cortés, Ocotepeque and Yoro departments; along the border with Guatemala; in rural areas north of Nacaome, in the department of Valle; and north of Choluteca, in the department of Choluteca.

Narcotics smuggling and violence pose threats to the security of travellers in the northern departments of Colón, Gracias a Dios and Olancho. In Colón, there have also been incidents involving roadblocks and violence related to land disputes, particularly in the Aguán valley and in the north coast area near Trujillo. Remain alert to local conditions and maintain a high level of personal security awareness in these areas.

In resort areas, stay on supervised, populated beaches and avoid isolated areas. Whenever possible, walk in a group; attacks on tourists walking alone have occurred. Foreigners have been assaulted on beaches in the Bay Islands and along the Atlantic Coast, mainly at night.

On Roatán Island, robbers have targeted homes and long-term leased residences. Since 2009, four Canadian citizens have been murdered in the Bay Islands. Coxen Hole should be avoided after dark. Use discretion when discussing your travel plans in public. Be cautious when dealing with strangers or recent acquaintances and be extremely careful when accepting rides or invitations.

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, is prevalent. Be highly vigilant at all times, including in the vicinity of hotels, airports, bus terminals, shopping malls and other public places. Do not display signs of affluence, such as jewellery, watches, cameras, phones, cash and bank or credit cards. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times. Carry photocopies of your travel documents, and leave the originals in a secure hotel safe.

Use only automated banking machines (ABMs) found in well-lit public areas or inside banks or hotels, and do so during the day only. Remain alert to your surroundings after using ABMs and avoid carrying large sums of money. Credit card skimming is a concern. Keep your credit and debit cards within sight while making transactions at hotels and restaurants.

Hitchhiking is strongly discouraged throughout Honduras. Campers should always stay in well-lit campgrounds that have security patrols.

Exercise caution at borders with Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua and use official border crossings only. You should cross borders in the morning, as crossings sometimes close unexpectedly early in the evening.

Exercise caution when dealing with police officers because corruption exists within parts of the police force.