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Commission begins work to purge Honduran police

A new anti-corruption commission began work Friday and it will be responsible for weeding out bad officials from Honduras' judicial system and the national police, President Porfirio Lobo announced.

Lobo said that both institutions have been infiltrated by drug traffickers and that the five-member panel will help address Honduras' "many security challenges."

"We're tired of not having a (security) system in which its members ensure justice and give confidence to the people," he said.

Shortly after Lobo's announcement, Security Minister Pompeyo Bonilla said he had suspended six top police commanders who will go through "confidence tests." He did not identify the officers or give any other details.

Over the last six months, Lobo has replaced two police chiefs and a security minister because of the lack of results in efforts to improve the dire security situation in the Central American country of 7 million people.

Honduras had the world's highest homicide rate in 2010 with 6,200 killings, or 82.1 homicides for every 100,000 inhabitants. Drug trafficking has spiked in recent years in remote, lightly patrolled regions where planeloads of cocaine from South America land on clandestine airstrips.

The new commission includes a top official at the Organization of American States, a retired Chilean army general, a former Honduran interior minister and two Honduran academics.