HomeNewsBriefHonduras Names Ex-Colonel as New Drug Czar
BRIEF

Honduras Names Ex-Colonel as New Drug Czar

HONDURAS / 26 APR 2012 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

Honduran President Porfirio Lobo has appointed a former colonel as his top anti-drug official, continuing the militarization of the country’s fight against drug trafficking.

On April 24, Colonel Isaac Ramon Santos Aguilar was sworn in as the new director of the Anti-Narcotics Directorate (DLCN). Santos has previously served as an army spokesperson, head of a military academy, and chief of the counternarcotics division of the armed forces.

The DLCN has not had a permanent head since December 2009, when then-director, retired General Julian Aristides Gonzalez, was assassinated by gunmen while driving in the capital city of Tegucigalpa. Another official reportedly being considered for the position, former DLCN deputy director Jose Alfredo Landaverde, was gunned down in December.

InSight Crime Analysis

In a press conference following the swearing-in ceremony, Santos swore to defend the law and crack down on drug trafficking in Honduras, which is a major transit country for South American cocaine bound for the US. The crime has fueled a wave of homicides, and the government has responded by increasing its reliance on the military for law enforcement. The Lobo administration has stood firmly with the US in opposition to recent calls for drug legalization, and Santos’ policies will likely not bring any change from the current pro-US and heavily militarized anti-drug strategy.  

This strategy has come under fire from critics, who argue that the army’s mandate is too vague and say that it paves the way for the military to interfere in domestic politics. Additionally, the reputation of the military has been muddied by allegations that some elements of the security forces have passed on weapons, including grenade launchers and anti-tank rockets, to criminal organizations. As a career military official, Santos may be hesitant to reign in military abuses.

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

ELITES AND CRIME / 7 MAY 2013

In Honduras, two high-profile killings have raised the question of whether criminal actors are waging a war against the government,…

HONDURAS / 4 JUN 2013

The percentage of drug-using youths in Honduras who consume crack cocaine has risen from five to 60 percent over the…

HONDURAS / 14 JUL 2015

Prosecutors in Honduras have launched a scathing broadside against the state's inability to protect witnesses in criminal cases -- a…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.