HomeNewsBriefHonduras, Nicaragua Using Green Energy to Fight Drug Smuggling
BRIEF

Honduras, Nicaragua Using Green Energy to Fight Drug Smuggling

HONDURAS / 26 MAR 2015 BY ARRON DAUGHERTY EN

The US recently helped install solar panels in naval stations in Honduras and Nicaragua, an example of the kind of creative approach needed when dealing with infrastructure shortcomings in Latin America's fight against organized crime.

As highlighted in a feature story for Dialogo, a publication of the US Southern Command (Southcom), the Command installed the solar panels in order to enable communications in remote areas where electricity is not readily available.  

One set of solar panels were installed at Nicaragua's naval outpost in the Miskito Cays, an archipelago in the Carribbean. The area is reportedly a key corridor for transnational criminal groups trafficking drugs, weapons and people from South America into Mexico, according to Dialogo. Other solar panels were installed along Honduras' Caribbean coast, in the department of Gracias a Dios, meant to support operations by the Honduran Navy. 

The installations follow previous US aid meant to build up Central America's ability to interdict illicit shipments, including two boats and a new operations center -- worth roughly $4 million -- donated to Nicaragua in 2014, Dialogo reported. 

InSight Crime Analysis

Using renewable energy to aid drug interdiction is just one example of an innovative approach to combating crime in Latin America's most remote areas. 

These rural, difficult-to-access areas have challenged governments across the region when it comes to extending state presence. In Guayana, for example, some police stations are without reliable telephone service. One Colombian state along the Venezuelan border, Vichada, has no paved roads. Another department along Colombia's Pacific coast, Choco, a major hub for armed groups, has roads in such bad shape that most locals depend on river transport.

Drug crops are often cultivated in these areas with little state infrastructure, and criminal groups may respond to the lack of movement corridors and communication networks by making their own -- including hidden airfields and radio networks.

As it is unfeasible to extend roads and power grids to every remote area -- especially in poorer nations -- creative solutions such as independent off-grid power installations and drones surveillance may become powerful tools in extending law enforcement's reach into remote areas. Meanwhile, crime-fighting efforts in more urban areas have been accompanied by the creation of a wide range of smart phone apps

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

DRUG POLICY / 26 APR 2013

As Russia deepens its military and counternarcotics involvement in Latin America, the United States has to decide whether this…

MEXICO / 16 APR 2012

The head of Mexican drug trafficking organization the Charros, which has been linked to investigations into the murder of Argentine…

DRUG POLICY / 19 JUN 2017

In a meeting held with the presidents of the Northern Triangle countries of Central America last week in Miami, the…

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…