HomeNewsBriefLobo: Seized Drug Cash Should Fund Honduras Security Forces
BRIEF

Lobo: Seized Drug Cash Should Fund Honduras Security Forces

HONDURAS / 11 OCT 2011 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

Honduran President Porfirio Lobo said more of the cash seized from drug traffickers should be distributed more quickly among the security and defense departments.

A revised law allowing the Honduras government to better seize criminal assets was passed just over a year ago, and authorities are still having trouble implementing it efficiently.

Lobo told La Tribuna that there should be a policy allowing for the separation of cash assets from material ones like houses, guns, and other luxury items. The forfeited cash could then be distributed far more quickly to security agencies, to spend in their campaign against organized crime.

According to a law introduced in July 2010 and approved by Congress in November, three government ministries would each receive 26 percent of the forfeited criminal assets: the State Security Ministry, the Defense Ministry and the Public Ministry. Another 10 percent is intended to be used as “bonus” salaries for police and firemen, and the remaining 10 percent is earmarked for drug rehabilitation programs.

But the distribution of these seized assets to the security forces has faced layers of red tape. Last year security forces seized three properties worth tens of millions of dollars, believed to have been built with drug money. By December, the government had distributed a reported $150 million to the security forces, but this was only made possible through an emergency decree that sped up the process.·

In September, the government announced they may create a new office intended to make implementing the law easier. Honduras is seeking new sources of funds for the fight against organized crime, and even briefly considered levying a significant security tax.

Allowing the Honduran security forces to more efficiently access the cash seized from drug traffickers could provide a serious financial boost. As the U.S. State Department points out, Honduras is a transhipment hub for bulk cash shipments smuggled from the U.S. back to Central and South America. In 2009, Honduran security forces seized cash shipments valued at $7.1 million, with another $9 million seized in 2010.

But little of that money is going into the hands of the security forces. The government has reportedly only distributed $2 million and 35 million lempiras (about $1.8 million) worth of seized cash to state insitutions between 2003 and 2011.

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.

Related Content

HONDURAS / 26 OCT 2012

The decision to remove almost 100 officers from the Honduran police force has created a backlash that could see an…

HONDURAS / 2 JUL 2014

Honduras has created a new National Migration Institute after firing all personnel from the directorate formerly in charge of migratory…

HONDURAS / 22 FEB 2012

Recent prison disasters -- a deadly fire in Honduras and a massacre in Mexico -- point to the misuse of…

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…