government: presidential republic
state of civil and political rights: Partly free
constitution: 20 January 1982; amended many times
legal system: based on Roman, Spanish and, to a lesser degree, Anglo-Saxon law
legislative system: unicameral National Assembly
judicial system: Supreme Court of Justice, judges are elected for four-year terms by the National Assembly
religion: 97% Roman Catholic, 3% Protestant
year of last executions: 0-0-0
death sentences: 0
international treaties on human rights and the death penalty:
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
1st Optional Protocol to the Covenant
Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (aiming to the abolition of the death penalty)
Convention on the Rights of the Child
Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
American Convention on Human Rights
Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture (1985) (signed only)
Statute of the International Criminal Court (which excludes the death penalty)
The Constitution of the Republic of Honduras at Art. 66 states: "The death penalty is prohibited."
The death penalty was introduced in 1936 but then abolished under the Constitution in 1957. The last execution in Honduras dates back to 1940.
However, human rights groups have accused the country’s security forces of carrying out extrajudicial executions of street children and prisoners. Youth gangs, known as maras, contribute significantly to a virulent crime wave overrunning the country, fed by poverty and rife economic inequality that is in stark contrast with the prospects offered by the drug trade. In 2004, a candidate for the ruling National Party’s nomination as presidential candidate for the November 2005 elections, Lobo Sosa, suggested instituting the death penalty for severe crimes such as murder, rape and kidnapping. These are crimes of which maras are often accused.
On December 19, 2016, Honduras co-sponsored and voted again in favour of the Resolution on a Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty at the UN General Assembly.