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Honduras, long one of the poorest countries in Latin America, is now also among the most violent and crime-ridden. The violence is carried out by local drug trafficking groups, gangs, corrupt security forces and transnational criminal organizations mainly from Mexico and Colombia.

Latest News

US Senators Seek Sanctions Against Honduras President

NEWS / 24 FEB 2021

Eight Democratic senators have sent the first signals that the United States will divorce itself from Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández amid mounting allegations of drug trafficking, saying in a…

Hide and Seek: How Drug Traffickers Get Creative at Sea

NEWS / 20 FEB 2021

Drug traffickers engage in a creative game of hide and seek with coast guards and other security forces that board their ships at sea.

Drugs, Porous Borders, Politics and Crime in Honduras

NEWS / 17 FEB 2021

Following the capture of some of its biggest criminal names, organized crime in Honduras has gone through a metamorphosis that has opened the door to ambitious politicians and gangs alike.

Honduras Profile

Criminal Actors

Armed Groups

Honduras’ major drug trafficking groups – like the Cachiros and the Valles – have largely been dismantled with the arrest and extradition of top leaders, but vestiges of these clans continue to operate. Political power brokers also have ties to drug smuggling and have even run trafficking operations themselves. The MS13 and Barrio 18 street gangs control urban neighborhoods in the country’s two major cities – Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula – and rural towns close to the border with El Salvador.



Juan Antonio ‘Tony’ Hernández Alvarado


Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernández Alvarado is a former Honduran congressman, the brother of the current president of Honduras and a convicted drug trafficker sentenced in the United States for his…



COCAINE / 16 FEB 2021

The party that has governed Honduras since 2010 has become a federation that welcomes politicians and officials involved in criminal businesses ranging from timber to drug trafficking to the misappropriation…

COCAINE / 16 FEB 2021

Cortés is a major organized crime hub. Vast quantities of drugs, arms, and contraband pass through the department’s busy Atlantic port – Puerto Cortés – on a daily basis.

COCAINE / 16 FEB 2021

In Copán – a major transit point for cocaine – drug trafficking groups collaborate with local authorities to smuggle narcotics over the department’s porous western border with Guatemala.


Intibucá is not a major organized crime hub, though there is a notable gang presence along the department’s porous southern border with El Salvador and some signs of drug trafficking.

COCAINE / 16 FEB 2021

Valle is an important transit point for cocaine being shipped from South America to Honduras, bound for other Central American countries and the United States.

COCAINE / 16 FEB 2021

Corruptible customs officials and porous borders facilitate the smuggling of migrants and drugs from Ocotepeque into Guatemala, along with flows of arms and contraband to and from adjacent departments in both Guatemala and…