When Ret. Gen. Pacheco was appointed Honduras' new minister of security, many feared a militarization of the police. A few months into the job, Pacheco says this could be the turning point for violence and crime in Honduras.
Honduras' foreign minister wrote a stern letter after a think tank published a report saying more than 30 percent of Hondurans indicated they were victims of crime last year. Official crime statistics are lower, but many lack confidence in police and don't report all crimes.
Drug trafficking and extortion are expected to increase in Colombia as the government and FARC continue peace talks, and relationships between Guatemalan and Mexican drug gangs could strengthen.
The new security chief will oversee 14,000 police officers and collect data on crime. Honduras has the world's highest murder rate. Critics say the move is a dangerous step.
A full 80 percent of farmers in the worst-hit areas of El Salvador have reported losing all of their crops, while 75 percent of corn and bean crops in Honduras and Guatemala have failed.
The beauty queen's murder by her sister's boyfriend is just a high-profile example of the sort of violence – particularly against women – that has given Honduras the worst per capita murder rate outside a war zone.
Speakers from Latin America hit on global and regional themes, and scored some diplomatic points. Domestic politics shaped many speeches at the UN General Assembly, which continues today in New York.
For many minors from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, making a dangerous journey north outweighs the risks of staying behind.
Crime and the economy are motivating many Central Americans to leave the region, however, the link isn't straightforward. Murder rates, for example, improved slightly in El Salvador and Guatemala in recent years.
US and Central American campaigns are deploying ominous cartoon characters and catchy tunes – not to mention some grandmotherly advice – to deter children from migrating north.
Both successful and unsuccessful migration to the US cause problems back in Central America, from inflation to broken families.
Unleashing soldiers across Latin America may seem like an incongruity in a region that suffered from decades of military dictatorships and wars, but with drug-related violence on the rise, some nations say there's no other option.
The commission was created in 2012 in order to design, plan, and certify community police, public prosecutor, and judicial reforms. President-elect Hernandez is in favor of a militarized police force.