Victims of Crime

Major Emergencies

Step 1: 
Call the police directly in Honduras by dialing 911, or go to the police station closest to where the incident took place to file a police report.
Step 2: Call the U.S. Embassy at (504) 2238-5114 (during regular business hours) or (504) 2236-9320 (for after-hours emergencies). An officer is on duty around the clock to respond to emergencies.

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.

Petty Theft, Minor Incidents, Stolen U.S. Passports

Step 1:
 Call the police directly in Honduras by dialing 911, or go to the police station closest to where the incident took place to file a police report.
Step 2: File a police report with the local police station and obtain a written copy to take with you.
Step 3: Report the theft of a U.S. passport online by clicking here.
Step 4: Make an appointment online for a new passport. Please do not call the U.S. Embassy in cases of stolen wallets or passports. Consular officers are only able to process passport applications during normal business hours.   
Step 5: 
You may wish to contact others, such as your family, financial institutions, or insurance company, to report a theft.

  • Visa Global Customer Care: 1-800-847-2911
  • MasterCard Assistance Center: 1-800-307-7309 or call collect by dialing 1-636-722-7111
  • American Express:  1-800-992-3404 or call collect by dialing 1-336-393-1111

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, please contact a local attorney for guidance.

If you are having difficulties filing your police report with an officer, check the National Association of Crime Victims Compensation Boards website for your state of residence. You may need to file a police report to apply for crime victims 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.

There are no rape crisis hotlines in Honduras. However, U.S. citizens may find additional resources for victims of sexual assault in the United States. In addition, you should seek medical attention immediately if you have been the victim of rape or sexual assault, even if you do not plan on reporting the crime to the police or pressing charges. Click here for a list of local hospitals where most doctors have their offices.

Physical evidence is very important in sexual assault cases and can deteriorate as time passes. As such, victims should not change clothes, avoid bathing if possible and have a physical exam at the first opportunity. You should take these steps even if you are unsure about whether to report the crime to police. If you decide to pursue a prosecution at a later time, these steps preserve evidence that will assist the prosecutor. A consular officer or after-hours duty officer from the U.S. Embassy may be able to accompany victims of sexual assault for the medical exam.

Forensic sexual assault exams are ordered by the Public Ministry. However, not all cities have access to this type of examination and therefore, they are not always ordered. When ordered, these exams are performed by a medical forensic doctor at their office. These exams normally include a pelvic exam, physical collection of body specimens for evidentiary purposes and blood samples. Pregnancy and HIV testing are also performed. Victims are allowed to bring a support person throughout the examination. These examinations are free of charge. If the victim decides not to have a medical exam, rape/sexual assault charges can still be filed. However, if there is no other evidence, it may affect the outcome of the trial.

You should get medical attention to determine if you have been injured in any way and to discuss treatment and prevention options for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Emergency contraception (the morning-after pill) is available in Honduras. HIV prophylaxis is also available.

The victim will be initially interviewed by the police and by the prosecutors and will be later cross examined by the defense attorney and the judge at the trial. Acquaintance rape (date rape) is considered rape as well as spousal rape. There are no special considerations for male sexual assault, it is legally considered the same as female sexual assault and prosecuted the same way.

There are no laws that protect the identity of sexual assault survivors, except when the victim is a minor. Media attention is always a possibility, but not customary.

There are no domestic violence hotlines in Honduras. However, U.S. citizens may find additional resources for the victims of domestic violence in the United States.

There are two categories of Domestic Violence in Honduras:

  1. Violencia Doméstica
  2. Violencia Intrafamiliar

“Violencia Doméstica” does not involve physical injury and is considered a civil matter not a crime. Whenever a police report is filed under this category, the aggressor will be detained for a few hours and a protection/restraining order may be issued.

“Violencia Intrafamiliar” involves physical injury and is considered a crime. Once the police report is filed, the aggressor will be detained and trial procedures will be initiated. A protection/restraining order can also be obtained under this category. If the aggressor violates the order, the victim must file a new police report.

There are very few domestic violence shelters in Honduras at this time. The U.S. Embassy is only aware of two, one in the city of La Ceiba and another in Tegucigalpa. These shelters are run by NGOs and have private security. They may house around 15 people at a time. They do not usually take clients on a walk-in basis, a referral by local authorities or other entities is usually requested. Children are allowed in the shelters if accompanied by their mother.

Stalking is considered a crime in Honduras if the stalker is an authority figure (i.e, teacher, boss, etc).

The Honduran government authority responsible for the protection of children is the “Dirección Nacional de la Niñez y la Familia (DINAF)”. Child abuse allegations are investigated by the District Attorney’s Office. Child abuse may be reported by anyone through a phone call, a letter or by filing a police report. A child who has been removed from his or her home is placed at a DINAF orphanage.

The Police’s forensic laboratories will provide physical and psychological evaluations for abused children only, and the results of said evaluations can be used at a trial. If the abuser is charged, the child will be expected to testify. Special accommodations for the child to minimize the trauma of testifying are sometimes provided.

Any cases of kidnapping of a U.S. citizen should be reported to the U.S. Embassy immediately.

Kidnappings are investigated by the local criminal investigative police (DPI). The U.S. Embassy’s Regional Security Office is the primary liaison with the U.S. and Honduran authorities in kidnapping cases.

Autopsies are required in all homicide cases. If the estate of the victim is seized by the Honduran authorities as evidence, the release of these effects will not become available until the trial is over.

If the personal effects of a victim are not seized by the authorities, the U.S. Embassy can assist the family with the disposition of the estate. The U.S. Embassy has made arrangements with the Honduran Attorney General’s office to create a special vetted unit that deals with criminal cases involving U.S. citizens.

The Bureau of Consular Affairs and the U.S. Embassy in Honduras receive calls daily from U.S. citizens who are victims of scams.  Many times, the citizens do not realize that they have been scammed.  Use the online resources below to help identify common scams.  In general, if someone who you have never met asks you for money, you should not give them money until you have verified their claims in person.

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 who have expressed interest in representing U.S. citizens.

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.  Please also review the website for the Office of Victims of Crime to see if there are additional resources that might be available to you.

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.