Catholic Auxiliary Bishop Juan José Pineda of Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, urged his flock to act consistently with Catholic teachings and resist the wave of violence racking the Central American nation. Delivering a homily on September 2, the bishop recalled that "in the history and lyrics of our national anthem, our heroes and our people have been stained with blood, today Honduras continues to be 'blood-stained' because of violence in the country."
The bishop continued on the theme of the criminal violence that has stained Honduras, one of the poorest countries in Latin America. He said, "In our country there is violence, there is no peace. There is still hatred and do we not see fraternity. For a Christian, it is not enough to go to Mass on Sundays. I am not saying that this celebration is not important, but it must correspond to a coherent life. "
Bishop Pineda urged Christians to fulfill their faith and help the needy, not to "get their hands dirty with violence and the things of this world ," or turn away from God. A just person is not necessarily engaged in extraordinary things, said Bishop Pineda, but lives in an honest manner and has good intentions, and does no harm to others nor slanders his neighbor, or lends money usuriously or burdens the innocent.
A report by the the Observatory of Violence, drafted by the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH), noted recently that in 2011 the average daily number of murders had reached 20 victims. The report noted an increase compared to 2010. The total number of deaths due to external causes was 9,799 (7,104 murders, 1,098 road accidents, 730 deaths due to undetermined causes, 551 due to other causes and 316 suicides). Honduras currently has a population of approximately 8.2 million. Approximately 3.7 million people live below the poverty line in this heavily indebted country, while the unemployment rate hovers at around 27 percent. The state of the economy and the infrastructure, heavily damaged by floods and hurricanes over the last 10 years, has driven thousands of impoverished Hondurans to seek employment in the U.S. by traversing Mexico and taking the risk of murder and rape at the hands of criminals along the way.