HomeNewsBriefHonduras Approves Drug Plane Shoot-Down Law, Bolivia Set to Follow
BRIEF

Honduras Approves Drug Plane Shoot-Down Law, Bolivia Set to Follow

BOLIVIA / 20 JAN 2014 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Honduras' congress has approved a drug plane shoot-down policy aimed at attacking the cocaine air bridge into the country, a policy Bolivia seems set to emulate.

The "Law of Aerial Exclusion" authorizes the Air Force to shoot down suspected drug planes flying through the country's airspace at the orders of the defense secretary, legislator Marvin Ponce told EFE. The law also establishes an "exclusive aerial zone" in certain Caribbean provinces of Honduras that are common entry points for drug consignments and limits night flights throughout the country, reported El Heraldo.

SEE ALSO: Honduras News and Profiles

Ponce -- the only legislator to vote against the law -- expressed concern that it violated an international accord prohibiting the shooting down of civilian airplanes.

In Bolivia, similar shoot-down legislation titled the "Law of Security and Defense of the Bolivian Airspace" has been passed through the lower Chamber of Representatives and awaits approval by the Senate, reported La Razon. Bolivian President Evo Morales has also expressed plans to acquire radar technology, which the country currently lacks, reported El Deber.

InSight Crime Analysis

Honduras and Bolivia are both major air bridges in the region's drug route, with Bolivia a common stopover for Peruvian cocaine heading to Brazil, while the US State Department estimates up to 87 percent of cocaine flights heading north from South America pass through Honduras.

In Honduras, the shoot-down policy is just one of several recent measures taken by Honduras' outgoing administration that may provide incoming president Juan Orlando Hernandez with improved crime-fighting tools. In December, President Porfirio Lobo removed controversial national police chief Juan Carlos Bonilla and announced the $30 million acquisition of radar from Israel. 

Countries like Peru have previously witnessed considerable success with shoot-down policies -- under President Alberto Fujimori, this strategy pushed Colombian traffickers to move coca production to their home country. However, they are also politically risky, with Peru's policy suspended after US missionaries were accidentally shot down in 2001.

A key question is how Honduras will implement the strategy. Both the United States and Colombia are important strategic partners and Honduras will want to avoid blunders that could lead to a suspension of aid, as happened with the shooting down of two civilian planes in 2012.

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 / 27 MAR 2013

Former Honduras police chief Ricardo Ramirez del Cid has fled the country due to security concerns following the murder of…

CHILE / 4 DEC 2020

A record drug bust by Chilean armed forces showed that growing public concern about increased drug trafficking in the country…

HONDURAS / 16 MAY 2013

A group of indigenous women in Honduras has reported human abuses by drug traffickers to a visiting Interamerican Commission of…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Oceans Pillaged in Central America and the Caribbean

5 AUG 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the first installment of a nine-part investigation uncovering the hidden depths of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in Latin America. The first installment covered Central America and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela’s Tren de Aragua Becomes Truly Transnational

29 JUL 2022

This week, InSight Crime published a deep dive into the total control that Venezuelan mega-gang, Tren de Aragua, has over the lives of those it smuggles between Venezuela and Chile…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkish Traffickers Delivering Latin American Cocaine to Persian Gulf

15 JUL 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the second half of an investigation piecing together the emerging role of Turkish cocaine traffickers in supplying Russia and the Persian Gulf, which are among…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkey as a Lynchpin in European Cocaine Pipeline

8 JUL 2022

InSight Crime is extending its investigation into the cocaine pipeline to Europe, and tracking the growing connections between Latin American drug traffickers and European criminal organizations. This led us to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Memo Fantasma Coverage Gets Worldwide Attention

1 JUL 2022

Guillermo Acevedo, the former Colombian drug lord and paramilitary commander better known as Memo Fantasma, may soon be allowed to leave prison. Since first revealing the identity of Memo Fantasma…