HomeNewsBriefHonduras Captures Leaders of Valles Drug Clan
BRIEF

Honduras Captures Leaders of Valles Drug Clan

HONDURAS / 6 OCT 2014 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

Honduras arrested two leaders of a prominent drug trafficking organization, further evidence of the growing effectiveness of the Honduran security forces, and how US assistance has aided the country's battle against organized crime.

In a joint operation with the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Guatemalan authorities, Honduran police arrested Miguel Arnulfo and Luis Alonso Valle Valle on October 5 in the province of Copan. 

The two are believed to be the leaders of the Valles, a family-run organization that moves cocaine from South American drug traffickers to Mexican groups like the Sinaloa Cartel. The Valles came under intense scrutiny by the US earlier this year, after the Treasury Department added members of the family -- including Miguel Arnulfo and Luis Alonso -- to its "Kingpin list." 

This accompanied an intensive crackdown on the Valles within Honduras. Another member of the organization, Jose Inocente Valle, was arrested October 3, also in Copan department, the family's center of operations. His brothers, Miguel and Luis, are currently in police custody in the Honduran capital and may be extradited to the US, as El Heraldo reports

InSight Crime Analysis 

With the top leadership of the Valles all arrested within a matter of days, this a historic achievement for Honduras. Notably, the DEA and Guatemalan and Honduran security forces weren't limited to pursuing Valle operatives within Honduras -- as elPeriodico reported, on September 27 these authorities attempted to arrest a key ally of the Valles, Jose Manuel Lopez Morales, in Guatemala. Lopez managed to evade capture, but the fact that the US, Honduras and Guatemala were coordinating such an extensive joint operation against the Valles is indicative of what major players the family are thought to be in Central America's drug trade. 

SEE ALSO: Valles Profile

The US will be able to point to these captures as evidence that their controversial support of Honduran police and anti-drug forces is paying off. The US faced a backlash in 2012 after a joint operation between the DEA and Honduran police resulted in the deaths of four people, reported to be unarmed civilians. At times, reports of rampant police corruption and abuse by Honduran authorities put the US in a difficult position. The takedown of the Valles leadership may assuage some of these concerns, yet perhaps importantly, the arrests once again signal that the game has changed in Honduras: the international drug traffickers based here can no longer operate with the impunity they once enjoyed. 

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

CACHIROS / 27 JAN 2021

Authorities in Honduras have revealed in recent months million-dollar money laundering operations connected to the Cachiros, indicating that vestiges of…

ARGENTINA / 1 FEB 2022

In 2021, most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean experienced a marked increase in murders. Resurgent violence was to…

COCAINE / 8 FEB 2022

Officials in the United States have revealed that former Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández is in fact included on a…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…