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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

Women Taking Bigger Role in Central America Extortion Schemes

NEWS / 11 MAY 2021

A new report suggests women are increasingly playing an active role in the extortion activities of Central American gangs -- part of a larger pattern in which women's roles in…

Cocaine Spike Puts Spotlight on Honduras Atlantic

NEWS / 16 APR 2021

A string of bumper cocaine seizures on the Honduras Atlantic has provided a stark reminder of the region's importance in the transnational drug trade.

Uncertainty for Honduras President After Brother’s Life Sentence

NEWS / 31 MAR 2021

A judge in the United States sentenced the brother of Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández to life in prison for drug trafficking, closing one case but increasing tensions between the…

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…




The seizure in Mexico of COVID-19 vaccine smuggled aboard a private plane linked to a Honduran textile magnate marks the first instance of alleged transnational vaccine smuggling in Latin America…

CACHIROS / 23 MAR 2021

Usually loath to name sitting presidents in criminal cases, prosecutors in the United States have made an exception for Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, painting a clear picture of him…

CACHIROS / 15 MAR 2021

Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández once again stole the limelight in a major drug trafficking trial in the United States, raising serious doubts about future cooperation between the countries.

COCAINE / 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…

BRAZIL / 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.

COCAINE / 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.