June 23, 2006

U.S. says to resume visas to Hondurans next week

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (Reuters) - The United States will
renew travel visa applications for Hondurans on Monday after
suspending them over what it called lax documentation rules in
the Central American nation, the U.S. Embassy said on Friday.

The embassy in Honduras ceased issuing the visas last week,
saying third-country nationals had been able to obtain local
passports in Honduras used for travel to the United States.

U.S. officials said they were concerned about the ease with
which people were able to obtain Honduran birth and marriage
certificates, identity cards and passports.

The embassy said it would renew the visa process after the
Honduran government agreed to tighten up official
identification and documentation programs and clean up
corruption in which applicants can bribe bureaucrats for

The United States is working with Honduras "to reduce the
threat to our national security as well as that of Hondurans,"
the embassy said.