Despite the precautions, thousands of people are murdered every year, creating an outsized demand for coffins and new opportunities to serve the poor.
Neither the political ties to the charities nor their government funding violate the law. Under the constitution, the Honduran congress may approve spending by other agencies but not spend money itself. In the case of Helping Hand Up, representatives created a social fund, which the congressional chief, Hernandez, distributes. He apportioned $127,000 to the charity last year.
Congressman Ineztroza, the manager, said that without the charities, yet more families would see their loved ones disappear into mass graves.
"Now it's easy for them to get the money," he said, "thanks to Juan Orlando Hernandez."
Funeral home directors complain that the free coffins may be good politics, but they're bad for business.
Jose Gutierrez, who works at the Santa Rita Mortuary, said that the charities are politically motivated, looking for votes. "They only come around before elections and favor people who can vote and come recommended."
At times, the coffin charities compete among themselves. At the Judicial Morgue the morning Luis waited for his brother's coffin, the relatives of two other murder victims shot that day searched for caskets.
The family of 19-year-old Joseph Jamaco received a coffin from a third charity, run by Congressman Tito Asfura, who hopes to become Tegucigalpa's next mayor.
"Tito Asfura does it better. He doesn't ask questions or ask for documents. He even gives you the gas money and sometimes food," said Felipe Leon, who helped recover Jamaco's body.
Meanwhile, the People's Mortuary collected Marvin Membreno's body from the morgue and trucked it to a church in one of Tegucigalpa's most marginalized neighborhoods, where Marvin's mother could barely stand for her grief. Johnny Osorio expressed his condolences on behalf of People's Mortuary and arranged to take the casket to the cemetery the following day.
His job, he said, "is humanitarian work. It is painful, it requires great flexibility and respect. It is a ceaseless wake, bathed in tears."
As Jamaco and Membreno were buried, other bodies continued to pile up at the morgue, so many that Public Minister spokesman Marvin Duarte said 25 had to be buried in a mass grave.
"Maybe no one knew they had died, or maybe their families didn't have money," said spokesman Marvin Duarte. "It's the third time we've had to do that this month."
And it is getting worse, said the spokesman.
"We are not only saturated at the morgue, we are running out of space in the cemetery."