HomeNewsBriefHonduras Drug Trade Reorganizing After Judicial Assault: Minister
BRIEF

Honduras Drug Trade Reorganizing After Judicial Assault: Minister

HONDURAS / 13 JUL 2016 BY MIKE LASUSA EN

Honduran Security Minister Julián Pacheco says the country’s drug trafficking groups have begun a process of reorganization following recent arrests and extraditions of powerful underworld players, mirroring a pattern observed in other countries across the region.

In an interview with La Prensa, the minister said the 2014 capture and extradition to the United States of top members of the Valle Valle family, along with the 2015 surrender of the alleged leader of the Cachiros group, set in motion a realignment of Honduras’ criminal landscape and its relationship to the legal world.

“The capture of the Cachiros and the Valles was a blow that hit the country’s economy, agriculture, banking and institutions like the National Police,” Pacheco said. “It was a crushing blow, but as drug trafficking is a profitable business, they are seeking to rebuild the structures anew. They are rehabilitating themselves.”

At the same time, Pacheco indicated that the Honduran security forces are prepared for this development.

“We can confront, deter and capture,” he said. “Three or four years ago, we couldn’t confront, deter, or capture. The state is stronger [now].”

Pacheco also discussed ongoing efforts aimed at combatting corruption within the police force, including the recent extradition to the United States of several officers accused of involvement in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy with the son of a former Honduran president. 

Pacheco said the extradition of the officers validated the work of a special police reform commission established earlier this year, which he heads.

“That the United States asked to extradite these six police is an accolade for the commission,” the security minister said. “It is tacit support, because the six were questioned through reports from the police and from other agencies that have been supporting us. That tells us that it was justified that these officials left the police.”

At the time the United States announced charges against the officers, only one of them had been removed from the force. After the US announcement, the commission quickly moved to fire the remaining suspects.

InSight Crime Analysis

Pacheco’s comments regarding the reorganization of criminal organizations in Honduras after the downfall of leading underworld figures come as little surprise. InSight Crime has previously noted similar patterns of fragmentation in Mexico, Colombia and elsewhere.

The continued functioning of Latin American criminal groups increasingly depends less on powerful individual leaders directing large-scale, top-down operations, and more on horizontal networks working on what Pacheco described as the “cellular level.”

SEE ALSO: Honduras News and Profiles

The security minister’s claims about the police reform commission, however, raise more questions. While the commission has indeed made substantial progress in terms of removing corrupt and unfit officers from the force, it lacks the power to prosecute alleged crimes. And while it may be taken as an “accolade” that the US authorities are set to carry out prosecutions of corrupt police identified by the commission, the fact that allegedly corrupt officers are not being prosecuted within the country remains a concern.

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

ARGENTINA / 4 JUN 2018

A spike in homicide rates in Rosario, Argentina, and an attack on the home of a judge who sentenced top…

CHEPE LUNA / 18 AUG 2011

Once the most powerful boss of the Perrones "transportista" syndicate, Jose Natividad Luna Pereira, alias "Chepe Luna," was murdered in…

ELITES AND CRIME / 23 FEB 2018

A new report says that an anti-graft body in Honduras has secured prosecutions in only a small fraction of…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…