by Staff Writers
Tegucigalpa (AFP) Dec 9, 2015
Honduras will deploy security forces on public buses, which have been targeted by violent gangs extorting money, the government said Wednesday.
Public transport workers and passengers in the Central American country have been killed by gangs embroiled in bitter turf wars, which demand that bus companies moving through their territory pay a "war tax."
No date was given for the start of the operation, which will see police and soldiers put on the buses, along with human rights activists, as part of an integrated taskforce.
Honduras has one of the highest murder rates in the world, spurred by vicious gang warfare.
On November 24, eight transport employees were murdered in a bus terminal in the town of Choloma north of the capital.
According to the Violence Observatory in the National University, 34 people have been killed this year in the public transport network. A state Human Rights Commission has counted 285 deaths in the past three years.
Lawmakers are examining a law to further boost security on buses by outfitting them with cameras and panic buttons linked to the police.
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