Honduras and Guatemala are in talks to create a joint security patrol for their 256 kilometer border, where Mexican drug cartels like the Sinaloa and Gulf Cartels are believed to move cocaine northwards by land.
President Otto Perez of Guatemala and President Porfirio Lobo of Honduras met June 13 in Guatemala City to discuss border security and organized crime issues. One proposal involved the creation of a binational police force that would provide increased security for the official border crossings, La Prensa Grafica reports.
Both heads of state added they also wanted to set up a system that allows for better real-time intelligence-sharing between the two countries.
Lobo said he expected they would hammer out more details of a potential organized crime-fighting treaty between the two countries during the June 29 meeting of the Central American Integration System (SICA).
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Guatemala set up a similar border patrol deal with El Salvador in 2005. But it was mostly on the small scale, involving just 240 police officers from both countries. It is unlikely that a Guatemala-Honduras border force would receive more resources in terms of manpower.
Mexican drug trafficking groups are believed to be increasingly active along the Honduras-Guatemala border. The Honduran government has admitted that Mexican groups are present in the departments of Ocotepeque and Copan (see map below).
The main Guatemalan department bordering Honduras, Izabal, is believed to fall under the control of the Lorenzana family, a powerful drug-trafficking clan. The department reportedly has as many as 45 "blind spots" where there is no border security and smugglers may easily pass.
View Izabal in a larger map