HomeNewsBriefHonduras Mayor Arrested for Murder, Ties to Organized Crime
BRIEF

Honduras Mayor Arrested for Murder, Ties to Organized Crime

ELITES AND CRIME / 8 SEP 2016 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

The arrest of a mayor in Honduras for homicide and connections to criminal groups makes him the latest in a string of city hall bosses to be accused of corruption in the Central American nation, a pattern that is mirrored throughout Latin America.  

Delvin Salgado, mayor of the town of El Negrito in northern Honduras, was arrested on September 7 on charges of homicide and illicit association, reported La Prensa. He is accused of committing two homicides between 2013 and 2014, as well as having links to a local gang and a “social cleansing” group, according to El Heraldo

Prosecutors say a police officer had confiscated firearms from everyone in El Negrito who didn’t have a license to carry weapons, including members of the social cleansing group. Salgado allegedly ordered the weapons be returned to the group. 

The police officer was ambushed and killed just days later as he was traveling to El Negrito, reported El Heraldo. 

Salgado vigorously denied the allegations. 

“I swear on my mother and my father who just died that I have nothing to do with this,” Salgado reportedly said while in custody in San Pedro Sula. 

InSight Crime Analysis

In several instances, criminal organizations have been shown to have close relationships with Honduran mayors. Nine mayors across the country have been arrested for a range of crimes, including murder, drug trafficking and money laundering. (Two have been absolved of wrongdoing since their arrest.) As of April 2015, authorities were investigating no less than 35 mayors or deputy mayors for alleged links to organized crime. 

The spokesperson for Honduras’ Security secretariat, Luis Osabas, recently asserted that mayors’ involvement in criminal activity is unrelated to the power they wield at the local level. 

“This is not about denigrating the figure of mayor because these are personal acts and it has nothing to do with the figure or position they occupy,” Osabas said. 

SEE ALSO: Honduras News and Profiles

But the decentralization of political power in Honduras and across Latin America has in fact given mayors greater control over municipal budgets and security forces. This autonomy has made mayors’ offices a favorite target for criminal groups, who seek to either co-opt local officials or place one of their own in a position of authority. 

Although local corruption is rife throughout the region, the most notorious case came in 2014, when the mayor of the town of Iguala, Mexico allegedly ordered police and a criminal gang to abduct and likely murder 43 college students. 

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.

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

CIACS / 29 JUN 2017

In our June 29 Facebook Live session, Senior Editor Mike LaSusa and Senior Investigator Héctor Silva Ávalos discussed the case…

CRIMINAL MIGRATION / 31 MAR 2014

 Counter-narcotics police in Honduras said a cocaine-processing laboratory discovered in the west of the country in…

BRAZIL / 5 JAN 2015

Recent cases involving the illegal appropriation and sale of lands in Peru and Brazil highlight how lucrative land trafficking can…

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…