Being the victim of a crime in a foreign country can be a devastating and traumatic experience. While no one can undo the emotional trauma, physical injury, or financial loss you may have experienced, the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa is very concerned about crimes committed against U.S. citizens, and we are ready to help.
We will assist you in managing the practical consequences of being a crime victim and provide you with information about accessing the local criminal justice system, as well as other resources for crime victims abroad and in the United States. We can also help you to better understand the criminal justice system in Honduras, which is very different from the system in the United States.
The information included in this guide relating to the legal requirements in Honduras is provided for general information purposes only. Questions involving the interpretation of Honduran laws should be addressed to legal counsel licensed to practice law in Honduras. The investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, and the U.S. Embassy cannot interfere in the local judicial process.
You can start by contacting the Embassy at:
(504) 2238-5114 ext. 4400 (during regular business hours)
(504) 2236-9320 ext. 4100 (for after-hours emergencies)
Please read the Department of State’s page for victims of crime overseas for more details on what we can and cannot do to help victims of crimes.
Reporting a Crime
Victims of crime can file police reports or register complaints at the local investigative police (Dirección Policial de Investigación) in the jurisdiction where the crime took place. There are no special police officers that assist foreigners. Police reports must be filed by the victim as soon as possible. The victims will receive a copy of the report. Police does not provide interpreters.
If the victim has left the country, they may file a report with the Police or the District Attorney’s Office through a letter. The crime may also be reported to the U.S. Embassy which in return can file it with the Police or the District Attorney.
If you have difficulties filing your police report with an official, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate immediately. You may need a police report to file for crime victim compensation or insurance reimbursement.
If you do decide to file a report, please send a copy to us, along with your address and phone number in the event we need to communicate with you. While we are not authorized to act as your legal representative, prosecutor or investigator, our office can help you track the progress of your case and advise you of any developments.
Hiring an Attorney
The U.S. Embassy can monitor your case, but we cannot provide legal representation, investigate crimes, or provide you with legal guidance.
As such, you should consider hiring a local attorney for appropriate guidance. Legal procedures in Honduras differ significantly from those in the United States. Although the District Attorney’s Office (Ministerio Público) is responsible for prosecuting your case, your attorney can promote your interests with the police and the court.
While the Embassy cannot recommend specific law firms or lawyers, we provide you a list of attorneys (PDF 132 KB) who have expressed interest in representing U.S. citizens.
Victim Compensation in Honduras
In Honduras, there is no national crime victim assistance office, and the Honduran government does not provide monetary compensation to crime victims. Unfortunately, the U.S. Embassy does not offer any victim compensation programs either.
However, some cities and communities in the United States do offer victim compensation programs for U.S. citizens who are victims of crimes overseas. You can find information about each state’s compensation program and how to apply for benefits at the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Board website.
Hiring Private Security
U.S. citizens who feel as though they are in danger, have been directly threatened by a group or individual, or who have special security concerns, should consider hiring the services of a private security firm while they are in Honduras.
Many crimes fall under special categories in Honduras, and may be treated differently and require different standards of evidence in Honduras. Please read the following cases carefully if they apply to you.