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

BRAZIL / 18 DEC 2020

“Plata o Plomo” is an overused phrase to describe the way criminals threaten officials and civilians to ensure compliance with…

BRAZIL / 24 MAY 2021

Of the nearly 140 reporters killed in Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and Honduras during the past decade, about half covered organized…

CACHIROS / 13 JAN 2021

It was in 2012 that former Honduran congressman Fredy Renán Nájera Montoya agreed to provide Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa Cartel with…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…