Honduras is a constitutional multiparty republic with a population of approximately eight million. Pursuant to November 2009 elections, which theinternational community generally recognized as free and fair, on January 27,Porfirio "Pepe" Lobo assumed the presidency and formed a government of nationalunity representing all five registered political parties. The Lobo governmentundertook efforts to reintegrate the country into the international community andaddress political polarization and human rights concerns that had arisen out of theJune 2009 coup. There were instances in which elements of the security forcesacted independently of civilian control.Human rights problems reported included the following: unlawful killings bypolice and government agents, which the government took some steps toprosecute; arbitrary and summary killings committed by vigilantes and formermembers of the security forces; harsh prison conditions; violence againstdetainees; corruption and impunity within the security forces; lengthy pretrialdetention and failure to provide due process of law; politicization, corruption, andinstitutional weakness of the judiciary; corruption in the legislative and executivebranches; government restrictions on the recognition of some civil society groups;violence and discrimination against women; child prostitution and abuse;trafficking in persons; discrimination against indigenous communities; violenceand discrimination against persons based on sexual orientation; ineffectiveenforcement of labor laws; and child labor.On November 22, the government swore in Ana Pineda as minister of the Secretariat of State for Human Rights and Justice, created by the legislature onSeptember 28 to promote inter-institutional coordination of respect for humanrights and to design policies and programs to strengthen rule of law, access tojustice, and protection of vulnerable groups. On December 20, the NationalCongress allocated 35 million lempiras ($1,842,100), of 50 million lempiras($2,632,500) requested for the operation of the secretariat.
RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS