Here’s what the U.S. could be doing differently to help fix the crime epidemic in Honduras, according to Eric Olson, the associate director of the Latin American program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, D.C.

1. Promote more government transparency

Drug gangs have entrenched themselves in the Honduran government and judicial system. And national police have been involved in extortion and corruption schemes, undermining criminal enforcement.

2. Recalibrate the drug war strategy

“It’s a little bit like spooning water out of the ocean,” he said. “For each one you take out, there’s more behind them.”

3. Make sure aid programs are working

In 2012, the U.S. gave roughly $100 million in aid to Honduras. But the federal government needs to do a better job determining whether the programs it funds are successful, Olson said.

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