HomeNewsBriefEl Salvador Soldiers Accused of Selling Weapons to Guatemalan, Honduran Gangs
BRIEF

El Salvador Soldiers Accused of Selling Weapons to Guatemalan, Honduran Gangs

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 2 APR 2012 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

Prosecutors in El Salvador ordered the arrest of eight soldiers and one civilian linked to an arms trafficking network that may have supplied thousands of weapons to drug gangs in Guatemala and Honduras.

On March 30, the office of El Salvador’s Attorney General (FGR) ordered the arrest of the nine suspects, alleging that they had participated in a scheme which involved siphoning off weapons that were slated to be destroyed, and selling them to drug trafficking organizations.

Six of the men have already been convicted in a military court of stealing 1,800 grenades with the intention of passing them on to drug cartels. However, Salvadoran officials now suspect these men, plus three others, had already conducted illicit sales. According to court documents, the group may have sold more than 10,000 grenades and several anti-tank rocket launchers.

According to La Prensa Grafica, six of the soldiers involved were already in custody following their conviction, and the other two were arrested. The civilian has not yet been apprehended.

Julio Arriaza, director of the FGR’s Social Interests section, told reporters that his office is investigating the whereabouts of these weapons, and added that they may have been sold to the Zetas in Guatemala and to Honduran drug trafficking groups.

InSight Crime Analysis

One of the most alarming aspects of the case is the fact that two of the men were officers. This is troublesome given the Salvadoran government’s increased reliance on the military for internal security.

The military arsenals of Central America are a significant supply of arms for Mexican drug cartels, and some calculate that they are a more important source of weapons than gun stores in the United States. Members of the Guatemalan and Honduran militaries have also been accused of transferring guns to cartels. This is an especially dangerous trend, as the kinds of weapons that drug gangs can gain access to from militaries are far superior to those that can be bought or stolen from local police forces.

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

BARRIO 18 / 12 APR 2022

With a near unprecedented wave of arrests, the El Salvador government is doubling down and expanding on heavy-handed security policies,…

BARRIO 18 / 27 MAY 2013

The MS-13 and Barrio 18 street gangs in Honduras may be set to declare their own version of the El…

EL SALVADOR / 2 DEC 2016

Local police and justice officials are convinced that the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) has strengthened its presence along the East Coast…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…