HomeNewsBrief400 Arrests This Year as Honduras Cracks Down on Extortion
BRIEF

400 Arrests This Year as Honduras Cracks Down on Extortion

BARRIO 18 / 18 AUG 2016 BY LUIS FERNANDO ALONSO EN

Data released by a special Honduras police unit formed to combat extortion indicates the country is making progress against an illegal industry responsible for many deaths and massive economic losses.

The National Anti-Extortion Force (Fuerza Nacional Antiextorsión - FNA) said it had arrested 404 people for extorting of public and private transportation organizations, a common target of gangs throughout Central America, La Tribuna reported. The paper said adult males made up 77.5 percent of those captured while minors -- who are often used to deliver threats and payment instructions -- accounted for 11.4 percent and another 11.1 percent of those taken into custody were adult females.

The FNA reportedly has received a total of 600 complaints this year. Of that number, 221 cases went to court, resulting in 168 convictions. That is a 76 percent conviction rate.

An FNA spokesman quoted by La Tribuna said the majority of those affected by extortion are public transportation groups or private providers of transportation. These victims are often intimidated and threatened with death by various criminal bands, including gang members from MS-13 and Barrio 18.

InSight Crime Analysis

Extortion is a huge issue that continues to plague the Central American countries of the Northern Triangle -- El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Just this week a government investigator in Guatemala was murdered near a market where vendors had begun to publicly protest extortion.

While extortion continues to plague the region, it appears that the Honduran Government is now taking a tougher approach to the crime, recognizing the political and economic toll it is having on the population of the Central American nation.

    SEE ALSO: Honduras News and Profiles

The Honduras’ National Human Rights Commission (Conadeh) has attributed the deaths of hundreds of transportation workers to the work of extortionists groups. In addition to this deadly toll, the FNA estimates that extortion costs Honduras $200 million per year. For a country whose gross domestic product is only about $20 billion, that figure represents about 1 percent of the total economy.

These figures are not small amounts for a nation beset by poverty and also plagued by corruption. One former social security director there has been accused of embezzling $300 million.

While criminal groups such as gangs are often behind extortion rackets, the FNA has previously said that soldiers, police, government officials and even the transportation companies themselves are active participants in extortion rackets. But it appears that the FNA is making inroads in countering the malicious practice which is taking a devastating toll on common Honduran citizens.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COCAINE / 6 MAY 2022

The US has offered a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest of leaders of the Montes Bobadilla…

COVID AND CRIME / 30 MAR 2021

The seizure in Mexico of COVID-19 vaccine smuggled aboard a private plane linked to a Honduran textile magnate marks the…

HONDURAS / 19 JAN 2022

The MS13 has grown rich by controlling the way trash is collected and dumped in parts of Honduras.

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…