Honduran army ordered to fight crime in cities

September 23, 1994

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras -- The Honduran government ordered army troops into the streets of the country's cities yesterday to combat a crime wave.

President Carlos Reina's move followed a surge in bank holdups and armed robberies of businesses and residences in Honduran cities.

Mr. Reina, elected in November on a campaign promise to roll back the army's influence in political affairs, has clashed with armed forces chiefs over a number of policy moves.

The army, which controls the police, ruled Honduras for 20 years before ceding formal control of the government to civilians in 1990.

"The army troops will be on the streets to reinforce the police. We're doing everything in our power to repress delinquency," said Gen. Luis Discua, Honduras' highest-ranking military officer.

"This is a titanic job, in which all of society needs to get involved."

About 100 Hondurans from a poor neighborhood of the capital stormed the Economy Ministry Wednesday and held it for several hours to protest price increases.

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