Honduran Lawyer Who Battled Drugs and Organized Crime Murdered

A Honduran lawyer who worked in a special unit of the Public Prosecutor’s office to combat organized crime was killed in the capital of Tegucigalpa, according to a statement by the presidential palace.

Orlan Arturo Chavez was shot and killed yesterday while driving his pick-up truck after leaving Honduras’s National Autonomous University, where he taught classes, according to Tegucigalpa-based newspaper La Prensa. No suspects have yet been identified, the presidency said.

Honduras has one of the world’s highest homicide rates, with 86 out of every 100,000 citizens suffering violent deaths in 2012, according to the Violence Observatory at Honduras’s National Autonomous University. Much of the violence is attributed to drug-trafficking. About 79 percent of cocaine smuggling flights to the U.S. from South America first land in Honduras, according to a State Department report last year.

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