National Alliance Demands Investigation on Honduras’ Jail Fire

CHICAGO, Illinois.- On February 14, three hundred and fifty five prisoners died in a horrific fire in an overcrowded Honduran jail.

According to recent news, many of those who perished in the fire were inmates who had never been charged or convicted and who awaiting trial while living in harsh prison conditions, with severe overcrowding, malnutrition and lack of adequate sanitation.

In response to this abhorrent tragedy, leaders of the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC) call on the government of Honduras and all the governments in North and Central America to rethink their approach to promoting security in the region.

“This incident is a direct consequence of the “Iron Fist” approach that several Central American countries have adopted in their anti-violence campaigns,” stated Oscar Chacon, NALACC’s Executive Director.  “

As governments move toward ever-more repressive tactics, such as imprisoning people for having a tattoo,” he added, “there will continue to be overcrowding and the potential for more disasters.” This is a particularly dangerous trend given that many of the countries in the region are moving toward privatized prisons that will have even less oversight.

“The Honduran government must guarantee international standards in order to protect inmates’ lives and integrity,” stated Patricia Montes, from Centro Presente in Boston and NALACC board member, “It is the government’s responsibility to guarantee basic human rights of prisoners,” she added.

“Tragedies of this sort could easily happen again in Honduras and across Central America if we continue down a path of filling the jails, without offering a long-term solution to violence in the region,” said Mirtha Colon, one of NALACC founders and representative of Hondurans Against AIDS in New York.

NALACC urges governments across the region to promote long-term security through on a positive agenda for civic engagement and policies that provide meaningful opportunities for young people to work and participate in their home countries.

 

About Ramón Jiménez

Ramón Jiménez, actual Managing Editor de MetroLatinoUSA. Periodista que cubre eventos de las comunidades latinas en Washington D.C., Maryland y Virginia. Graduado de la Escuela de Periodismo de la Universidad del Distrito de Columbia. Galardonado en numerosas ocasiones por parte de la Asociación Nacional de Publicaciones Hispanas (NAHP) y otras organizaciones comunitarias y deportivas de la región metropolitana de esta capital. También premiado en dos ocasiones como Mejor Periodista del Año por la cobertura de la comunidad salvadoreña; premios otorgados por la Oficina de Asuntos Latinos del Alcalde de Washington (OLA) y otras organizaciones. Ha sido miembro del jurado calificador en diferentes concursos literarios, de belleza y talento en la región metropolitana. Ha visitado zonas de desastre en Nicaragua, Honduras y El Salvador e invitado a esos países por organizaciones que asisten a personas de escasos recursos económicos. Antes trabajó en otros medios de prensa de Virginia y Washington, D.C., incluyendo reportajes para una agencia noticiosa mundial.

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