For the first time since 1963, there is no longer a Peace Corps presence in Honduras. All 158 volunteers exited the country yesterday, making good on a move announced in late December by the US group. The decision was made for safety reasons, explained the Corps. To wit, Honduras President Porfirio Lobo yesterday admitted that Peace Corps volunteers had been affected by the country's gang violence, but neither he nor US officials provided details on any specific attacks that may have led to the withdrawal, reports the AP.
The Peace Corps also put on ice training for new volunteers in El Salvador and Guatemala, though volunteers were not pulled from those countries. A UN report recently awarded Honduras and El Salvador the dubious honor of having the world's highest murder rates in 2010: 82.1 and 66 per 100,000 inhabitants, respectively. (Read more Honduras stories.)