HomeNewsBriefHonduras Extraditions Hint at Ongoing Weakness in Judicial System
BRIEF

Honduras Extraditions Hint at Ongoing Weakness in Judicial System

EXTRADITION / 10 OCT 2016 BY LUIS FERNANDO ALONSO EN

Five members of the weakened Valles drug trafficking organization are facing extradition to the United States, highlighting the Honduran government's commitment to dismantling the once notorious trafficking group but also the ongoing weakness of the country's judicial institutions.

Five members of the Valles drug trafficking organization, including the group's alleged liaison with Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel, are slated for extradition to the United States, reported El Heraldo. Sources close the Security Ministry say the group was in charge of many of the Valle organization's drug trafficking operations.

A police source revealed that three of the men -- José Mauricio Castillo Sanabria, José del Tránsito García and Arnulfo Fagot Máximo -- were in charge of receiving drug shipments as well as managing some of the drug cartel's assets, including private docks used for unloading drug shipments.

The source also said that another one of the men, Hidelgrado Gastelum García, was a liaison between the Valles and Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel. A Mexican-Guatemalan dual national, Gastelum García is the cousin of the infamous César Gastelum Serrano, who has been crdited with forging the relationship between the two trafficking organizations. Gastelum Serrano remained high on the list of most wanted drug traffickers in both Honduras and the United States before his arrest in Cancún, Mexico in 2015.

According to the El Heraldo's source, the group of five based themselves out of the port city of La Ceiba, on the country's northern coast. The group's trafficking operations occurred mostly in the departments of Colón and Gracias a Dios, particularly the remote jungle region of La Mosquitia.

InSight Crime Analysis

The Honduran government's actions indicate a clear willingness to combat powerful criminal organizations like the Valles. A joint operation in 2014 involving Honduran special forces, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Guatemalan authorities saw the capture of much of the group's top leadership, including brothers Miguel Arnulfo and Luis Alonso Valle, both of whom were subsequently extradited to the United States.

    SEE ALSO: Valles Profile

However, the impending extradition of mid-level members could suggest that the government is not confident in its own judicial system and is outsourcing judicial proceedings to the United States. And while this may ensure that suspected criminals are swiftly prosecuted and jailed, it does little to incentivize Honduras to strengthen its own institutions to be able to handle these types of cases.

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

EL CHAPO / 9 FEB 2016

Joaquin Guzman, alias "El Chapo," the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, is reportedly willing to agree to a plea deal…

HONDURAS / 7 APR 2016

Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández is taking swift action against the National Police force following an explosive report on how high-level…

EXTORTION / 30 APR 2019

Honduras’ private sector, under the banner of regional chambers of commerce, joined forces with the country’s elite anti-extortion unit in…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…