December 16, 2014 / 3:32 AM / 5 years ago

Honduras breaks tradition, names general as security minister

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Honduras on Monday appointed an active army general as security minister for the first time, to assist in battling violent drug gangs that have helped to make it the world’s most murderous country.

General Julian Pacheco Tinoco, head of the National Division of Investigation and Intelligence, will take up the post from January 15, Hilda Hernandez, minister of Strategy and Communications, said on her Twitter account.

Pacheco replaces Arturo Corrales, who started the job as President Juan Hernandez took office in January.

Pacheco is the first serving general to take on the security portfolio since the ministry was created in 1998 during the administration of then president Carlos Flores.

Rampant violence has given Honduras a homicide rate of more than 90 for every 100,000 inhabitants, the United Nations says. That has helped fuel a surge in illegal immigration to the United States, the market for much of the illicit drug trade.

Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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