HomeNewsBriefHonduran Mayor Killed by Gunmen 'in Military Uniforms'
BRIEF

Honduran Mayor Killed by Gunmen 'in Military Uniforms'

HONDURAS / 5 DEC 2012 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

The mayor of a town in western Honduras was killed by three armed men reportedly wearing "fake" military uniforms, raising questions about the degree of military corruption in the Central American country.

On December 4, the mayor of the western Honduran town of Dolores Merendon, Manuel de Jesus Guzman, was fatally shot while driving in a vehicle with his family. According to La Prensa, a preliminary investigation by authorities suggests that the official was killed by at least three gunmen, all of whom were reportedly wearing military uniforms.

After opening fire, the assailants immediately fled the scene. Guzman was declared dead upon his arrival at a local hospital.

InSight Crime Analysis

Although the paper, which appears to be the only Honduran media source to report the military attire of the gunmen so far, refers to them as "false uniforms," there is reason to question this narrative. While the Honduran armed forces are seen as more trustworthy than the country's notoriously corrupt police force, the military has a less than sterling reputation. Corrupt military officers have  sold weapons to drug trafficking organizations, and retired soldiers have provided military training to the Zetas, one of the most powerful drug cartels in the region.

Because of its strategic location -- it shares a border with both Guatemala and El Salvador -- Ocotepeque, the province where Dolores Merendon is located, has been identified by Honduran officials as a hotbed of drug trafficking activity. In April 2011, Security Minister Oscar Alvarez named Ocotepeque as one of the four main areas in the country which Mexican drug cartels are believed to use as an operations base.

Given the extent of corruption among Honduras' army and the area's importance to the illicit drug trade, there is reason to question whether Guzman was murdered by corrupt elements of the military. If this turns out to be the case, it would cast doubt on the Honduran government's current strategy of relying on the military in its fight against drug trafficking.

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.

Tags

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 / 27 AUG 2015

Lawmakers in Honduras are considering copying a recent decision by authorities in El Salvador to label gangs as terrorist groups,…

BRAZIL / 2 JUN 2017

US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from a global agreement to fight climate change hinders efforts to tackle environmental…

BARRIO 18 / 3 SEP 2014

Police in Honduras say they have decoded the symbolic meanings of common tattoos used by the country's "mara" street gangs,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…