A total of 176 Honduran police officers in the same unit have been arrested in an attempt to clear out corrupt law-enforcement, government officials said Thursday.
The detained police officers have been accused of having links to criminal groups who’ve been involved in murder, kidnapping, robbery and drug trafficking.
The wide sweep of arrests late Wednesday come in the midst of public furor over the release of four policemen suspected of murdering two students in October. The suspects are from the same police unit.
"We have to get rid of the rotten apples in the National Police," Honduran President Porfirio Lobo said on Wednesday, after he gave the boot to the country’s top police commanders.
Crime is an endemic in the country with homicides being one of the highest in the world at a rate of 77 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the US State Department. Police efforts to control high crime levels have been futile due to the fact that drug gangs are better weapons and more money than the police, the AFP reports.