Honduran Congress increases penalties for extortion
TEGUCIGALPA – Honduran lawmakers increased penalties for crimes of extortion and blackmail by a reform of the Penal Code, in an effort to stop a so-called “war tax” charged by gangs, legislative sources said on Wednesday.
The measure was passed in a single debate on Tuesday night, although normally laws require bills to be passed in three debates.Congress’ 128 members from five parties agreed to pass the reform and avoid the two remaining debates.
The reform to Article 222 of the Penal Code establishes a penalty of up to 20 years in prison for the crime of extortion, which was previously punished by up to nine years.
The crime of blackmail will be punished with prison terms up to 12 years instead of three to nine years.
In addition to stiffer prison terms, the crimes will bring fines of up to 50 minimum monthly salaries, approximately $15,000.
According to lawmaker Tony Zambrano,“in recent years more than 6,000 businesses went bankrupt in Honduras because of the collection of the ‘war tax’ and more than 200 people were killed for refusing to pay.”
You may be interested
Avianca to offer direct flights between Miami and Costa RicaAlejandro Zúñiga - April 10, 2021
Avianca announced a daily nonstop flight between the San José area and Miami, Florida, scheduled to start July 1. According…
Panama authorizes use of Chinese vaccine against Covid-19AFP - April 10, 2021
Panama authorized "emergency" use of the CoronaVac vaccine, from the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac, to combat Covid-19, the government announced…