HomeNewsBriefHonduras Seizes Largest Ever Drug Shipment
BRIEF

Honduras Seizes Largest Ever Drug Shipment

HONDURAS / 30 NOV 2012 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

Honduran authorities have seized an estimated 15 tons of illegal drugs in the largest haul in the country's history, highlighting its increasingly central role in the international drug trade.

Authorities discovered the drugs stacked on pallets in 344 bales of at least 40 kilos each at a site in the northern province of Yoro. They have yet to confirm what the bales contained, but believe they are cocaine, coca paste or synthetic drugs.

The haul was discovered in a sophisticated 15 x 6 meter underground storage facility designed to protect shipments from both the authorities and the elements.  Branching from the warehouse was a network of tunnels, where officials believe more drugs may be hidden.

On the grounds of the site, authorities also found chemicals and other substances, an electrical installation and a transformer, and they believe the gang running the complex were in the process of constructing a drug lab.

Authorities said that, by the time they'd arrived, the site was empty, and no arrests were made.

InSight Crime Analysis

With Mexican criminal groups like the Zetas and the Sinaloa Cartel both believed to be active in the country, Honduras has become one of the principal drug transit routes in the region. Some estimate that as much as 87 percent of cocaine moving north to the US passes through Honduras.

If this latest haul turns out to be cocaine, it would represent a fraction under 70 percent of the total seizures for 2011, supporting the theory that this process has been accelerating, especially since the 2009 coup.

More significant would be if the seized drugs are coca paste, as this would call for a reassessment of the importance of Honduras as a location for cocaine processing and not just a transit and storage point for processed cocaine. Over the last two years, authorities have discoverd two cocaine hydrochloride (HCl) labs in Honduras.

In any case, the sheer size of the seizure confirms the scale of the problem facing the Honduran authorities as they confront the increasing influence of local and international drug trafficking organizations.

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 / 23 FEB 2021

The indictment of the wife of convicted Sinaloa Cartel kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera has revealed her alleged role…

MEXICO / 31 JAN 2012

Authorities in Mexico have captured an alleged Zetas hitman accused of killing more than 75 people. Many of these victims…

EL SALVADOR / 27 JUL 2018

On July 26, the US House and Senate approved a bill that will require the Secretary of State to share…

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.