HomeNewsBriefHonduras Seizes Luxury Properties in Move Against Valle Drug Family
BRIEF

Honduras Seizes Luxury Properties in Move Against Valle Drug Family

HONDURAS / 19 AUG 2014 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Authorities in Honduras have seized 52 properties belonging to one of the country's premier drug trafficking groups -- the Valle family -- in a move that could represent the beginning of a larger assault on the powerful clan.

On August 18, authorities seized properties belonging to siblings Luis Alfonso, Miguel Arnulfo, Digna and Deisy Valle Valle in the provinces of Copan and Cortes. The operation involved over 200 police, prosecutors and personnel from the Administrative Office of Seized Assets (OABI), reported La Prensa.

The properties included various residences and terrains, five estates, a farm, a hardware store, a cattle ranching business and a cafe. The residences were fitted out with luxury items, including pools, jacuzzis and bars. In one home, there was even a zone for erotic dance performances and a "mini-hotel" for housing special guests, reported El Heraldo.

No arrests were made during the operation, reported La Tribuna. Authorities found the properties completely empty of any signs of life, reported El Heraldo. According to the regional commander of the special force Fusina, German Alfaro, the suspects had likely fled following the July capture of Digna Valle Valle in the United States

Other Valle properties are thought to be held currently in the names of front men.

InSight Crime Analysis

Luis Alfonso and Miguel Arnulfo allegedly run drug trafficking operations mainly out of the western Copan province -- on the border with Guatemala -- using a small criminal network. The Valles are thought to move up to 20 tons of cocaine a month through Honduras, mainly destined for the Sinaloa Cartel, with their operations facilitated by local government protection.

SEE ALSO:Valles Profile

Following on from the US arrest of Digna Valle Valle, the recent property seizures could represent the beginning of a wider move against the group in Honduras, likely spurred by pressure from the United States, which has indicted the family. 

It is also one of several moves indicating Honduras' government is targeting previously untouchable criminals. Last September, authorities seized $800 million in assets from the Cachiros -- Honduras' other major transport group -- also in the face of US pressure. Earlier this month, 17 properties were confiscated from the children of former drug trafficker Juan Ramon Matta Ballesteros, and this past spring, Honduras completed its first extradition to the US of a major drug trafficker. 

However, the question is what happens next. With no charges yet filed against any member of the Valles in Honduras, it is possible the property seizures are little more than a surface-level show put on for the US authorities. On the other hand, authorities may be purposely not issuing charges since any charges levied in Honduras could complicate extradition processes further down the line.

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

HONDURAS / 9 JUN 2017

In our June 8 Facebook Live discussion, Senior Editor Mike LaSusa spoke with Mattathias Schwartz, a national security reporter for…

CHILE / 26 JUN 2020

As part of his work in human rights, transitional justice and prison reform, Michael Reed has been inside dozens of…

ELITES AND CRIME / 30 MAR 2016

Former Honduras President Porfirio Lobo denied rumors that he had turned himself in to United States authorities or was facing…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…