- From: Samoa271@xxxxxxx
- Date: 28 Nov 2005 15:04:14 -0800
Friday, November 25, 2005
Both offer to crack down hard on criminals who they say are terrorizing
this Central American country.
In a nation plagued by violent crime, much of it attributed to
dangerous youth gangs, how best to control delinquents has dominated
the political debate leading up to Sunday's presidential election.
Some observers say the battle - heavy on rhetorical speeches and light
on substantive proposals - has dragged the two main contenders into an
unprecedented level of personal attacks while distracting them from
equally important issues, including a 46 percent unemployment rate and
a devastated economy in which 71 percent of Honduras' 7 million people
live on $1 a day.
No one denies that gangs are a big problem. At one point, officials
estimated there were 100,000 gang - or "mara" - members in Honduras,
thugs who have been blamed for robberies, rapes, and killings as well
as for threatening and extorting businesses and entire neighborhoods.