HomeNewsBriefDrug Gangs Traffic Girls on Honduras-Nicaragua Border: UN
BRIEF

Drug Gangs Traffic Girls on Honduras-Nicaragua Border: UN

GENDER AND CRIME / 30 APR 2012 BY CHRISTOPHER LOOFT EN

A UN official has warned that drug gangs are trafficking young girls from indigenous communities on the border between Honduras and Nicaragua -- a phenomenon that could be driven by the countries' sex tourism industries.

Mirna Cunningham, president of the UN's Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, said girls between the ages of 10 and 15 in the Coco River area of the border region are sold to drug traffickers for as much as $2,000 each, reports El Nuevo Diario.

Cunningham, who based her statements on information from womens' organizations in the region, said that fear of reprisals by drug traffickers discouraged residents from reporting the practice to the authorities.

Melvin Duarte, spokesperson for Honduras' Public Ministry, said the special prosecutor for children's issues has ordered an investigation into the trafficking of young girls in the indigenous region of border, an area known on the Nicaraguan side as the Autonomous Region of the Northern Atlantic (RAAN).

In Nicaragua, Public Ministry official Odett Leyton said the armies of Honduras and Nicaragua were coordinating a joint investigation into the issue, AFP news service reported. El Nuevo Diario notes that Carmen Poveda, head of the Commission for Women in the RAAN, said that the region is an important drug trafficking route, and that the intelligence service of Nicaragua's National Police is already investigating human trafficking in the region.

InSight Crime Analysis

The reports offer further evidence of the links between drug trafficking and sex trafficking in the region.

The indigenous people of the Coco River area in Honduras and Nicaragua are particularly vulnerable to this practice, due to high levels of poverty and a low state presence. The victims are sometimes sold to traffickers by their own families, according to the UN's Cunningham.

According to the State Department's 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report, victims of sex trafficking in Nicaragua and Honduras are often taken from rural areas to work as prostitutes in urban areas, in many cases lured with false promises of better employment. Both countries are international sex tourism destinations, contributing to the demand for sex workers, which organized criminal groups have stepped in to fill.

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

HONDURAS / 16 DEC 2016

Gunmen riding in a car attempted to assassinate a member of the civilian-led Honduras Police Reform Commission, leaving one of…

CRIMINAL MIGRATION / 22 FEB 2017

In a number of ways, the Trump administration's plan to curb illegal immigration in the United States could facilitate…

COSTA RICA / 7 MAY 2014

An investigation into organ trafficking has seen experts refute the feasibility of organ theft, though this does not discount the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.