HomeNewsBriefHonduras Destroyed up to 80 ‘Narco’ Airstrips in 2012
BRIEF

Honduras Destroyed up to 80 ‘Narco’ Airstrips in 2012

HONDURAS / 2 JAN 2013 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

The Honduran military will reportedly make the destruction of illegal airstrips used for drug trafficking flights a priority for 2013, a crucial step in cutting the principal air bridge for cocaine arriving from South America.

The head of the armed forces, General Rene Osorio Canales, told national newspaper El Heraldo that the destruction of illegal airstrips was now a military priority and that they expect to identify and stop more suspected drug flights in 2013.  This will be thanks in no small part to the restarting of a radar intelligence sharing program with the US. The US temporarily suspended sharing radar intelligence with Honduras for a three-month period last year, after Honduras shot down two suspect aircraft. 

General Osorio said that the armed forces will focus their efforts on identifying and destroying airstrips in the provinces of Yoro and Colon, near Honduras’ Atlantic Coast. Colon is one of the country’s most troubled regions: the government deployed a special military-police task force there last year, charged with improving security. Last year the military destroyed between 70 and 80 air strips across the country. 

Asides from the destruction of the airstrips, the armed forces claimed credit for seizing some five tons of cocaine and 12.5 tons of coca paste, the largest seizure ever in Honduras

InSight Crime Analysis

Honduras is a key transit point for cocaine shipments moving between South and Central America. The US State Department has said that up to 79 percent of all cocaine smuggling flights from South America first travel to Honduras.

While the armed forces have presented the dismantling of these illicit airstrips as evidence of their progress in the fight against organized crime, it is worth questioning whether they are permanently destroyed. The true challenge may lie in ensuring that drug traffickers cannot return and rebuild the runways. General Osorio has previously noted that drug traffickers are heavily reliant on air strips, sometimes providing up to three alternate landing sites for a single drug flight. 

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

HEROIN / 19 MAR 2014

Honduran authorities have reported the first ever discovery of an opium plantation in the country, a new milestone marking the…

BARRIO 18 / 2 AUG 2018

Extortion, and the violence connected to it, is one of the main drivers forcing Hondurans to leave their homes and…

EL SALVADOR / 18 MAR 2015

Rudy Giuliani -- the former New York City mayor touted as the mind behind a dramatic drop in crime in…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Unraveling the Web of Elites Connected to Organized Crime

27 JUL 2021

InSight Crime published Elites and Organized Crime in Nicaragua, a deep dive into the relationships between criminal actors and elites in that Central American nation.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.