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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03TEGUCIGALPA1284 2003-06-05 15:41:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tegucigalpa
Cable title:  

SOFT TARGET VULNERABILITY - TEGUCIGALPA RESPONSE

Tags:   ASEC CASC KSCA PTER HO 
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					  UNCLAS TEGUCIGALPA 001284 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR DS/DSS/OSAC, DS/IP, DS/OCS, AND WHA/CEN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC CASC KSCA PTER HO
SUBJECT: SOFT TARGET VULNERABILITY - TEGUCIGALPA RESPONSE

REF: A. STATE 133022

B. TEGUC 1153 (EAC 5/13/03)

C. TEGUC 839 (EAC 3/20/03)

D. TEGUC 1144 (THREAT COMMUNIQU)

E. TEGUC 912 (SEPQ ANTI-U.S. ORG LIST)

F. TEGUC 776 (ACEQ CRIME EVAL)

G. 12 FAM 334.2 (INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS)

H. 12 FAM 422.4 (PRIVATE SECTOR SUPPORT)

I. TEGUC 1221 (USAID SECURITY)



1. Reference (A) Para 6, this mission has had an outreach
program in effect with the Amcit private sector since well
before 9/11. The program addresses a number of long-standing
concerns related to violent crime, corruption and judicial
system problems. The number one concern of Americans and
Hondurans is the pervasive, ever-present threat of violent
crime characterized by robberies, carjackings, bank
robberies, home invasions, murder and street crime.



2. The Consul General meets with a wide range of Amcit
residents in various parts of the country including retirees
and those involved in education, NGOs, religious missions and
business. The Economic/FCS section does much the same on an
ongoing basis, as does RSO in terms of providing security
advice. The three major areas of concern are crime,
corruption and land dispute problems - all common to Honduras
and Central America.



3. Honduras has one of the lowest ratios of police to
civilians in Latin America, and the protection of personnel
and property has been effectively privatized by the use of
about 40,000 security guards countrywide versus 5,400 police.
The case closure rate for murder is 1.5 percent so the need
for caution is taken seriously. Businesses, fast food shops,
gas stations, schools, banks and many residences are
protected by private armed guards and patrols. Facilities
that might be termed "Soft Targets" already have armed
security protecting them from the one proven threat-crime.



4. Reference (B) and (C) RSO has worked with the local
schools attended by Mission family members - American and
Discovery school, (they close 6/12 for summer vacation and
reopen in late August). They are independent, non-U.S.
government institutions and have had security in place for
some time due to the local situation. The more affluent
students have their own bodyguards. These in-place measures
and the security at most other facilities is an added benefit
when faced with the possibility of the global terrorist
threat.



5. Reference (D) outlines the recent communiqu that
allegedly threatened American, British and Spanish diplomats
in Honduras - not the public. The threat was deemed to be of
concern, but not credible at this time. Reference (E) details
the politically active Anti-U.S. groups in country that
demonstrate, but have not been involved in terrorist-level
actions.



6. The Mission website has a RSO section
www.usmission.hn/english/secuirty.htm that provides a wide
range of Honduras-specific security briefings including
personal, residential, vehicle, travel, street, business and
tourist advice. Additionally, information is provided to
NGOs, religious missions, health workers and others to stay
safe. The business security advice notes the risk of
commercial vehicle hijackings and provides countermeasures.
The site has a direct hotlink to the RSO office, which is
used to quickly respond to questions regarding the security
situation. Issues that are of interest to the Consular
section are coordinated with the American Citizen Services
unit.


Pierce