HomeNewsBriefNorthern Triangle Deploys Tri-National Force to Combat Gangs
BRIEF

Northern Triangle Deploys Tri-National Force to Combat Gangs

EL SALVADOR / 15 NOV 2016 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

The Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras will launch a tri-national force aimed at disrupting the movements of street gangs that are increasingly crossing borders in order to coordinate criminal activities and flee security crackdowns. 

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández announced in a November 14 press conference that the anti-gang unit would be inaugurated the following day in the western department of Ocotepeque, which shares a border with El Salvador and Guatemala, reported AFP. Hernández said that the force will be comprised of police, military, intelligence, migration and customs officials. 

The head of state also said that the unit will monitor some 600 kilometers of shared border areas "because we are no longer going to permit that criminals commit atrocities in one country and evade justice by fleeing to another."

Hernández added that the unit will increase intelligence sharing among the Northern Triangle countries, which will facilitate "the capture of drug traffickers, gang members and any other criminals along the border."

The deployment of the anti-gang force has been in the works since it was first announced in August.

InSight Crime Analysis

The new unit is a response to the increasing number of gang members migrating from one Northern Triangle country to another. Most of this migratory flow is emanating from El Salvador, where the crackdown on gangs by security forces has been felt the strongest. Over 365 alleged Salvadoran gang members were reportedly arrested in just the first ten months of this year. Rather than maintaining a low profile, some of these gang members who fled because of the increased security pressure have gone on to become leaders of gang structures in Guatemala. 

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Security Policy

While the problem it seeks to address is real, the initiative may be more window dressing than tangible security reform. Authorities from the three countries are presumably already sharing intelligence and monitoring the border areas; as Hernández mentioned in the press conference, Honduras and Guatemala deployed a similar bi-national force to its shared frontier last year. The effectiveness of the new tri-national force will ultimately depend on whether the Northern Triangle countries can improve upon the mechanisms for multilateral security cooperation already in place. However, on this topic there have so far been few details. 

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

CARIBBEAN / 24 APR 2018

Jamaica security forces are being sent back into a neighborhood where the recent withdrawal of a joint military-police occupation led…

COCAINE / 16 FEB 2021

Santa Bárbara sees its fair share of narcotics seizures and has played host to major drug trafficking groups such as…

EL SALVADOR / 1 NOV 2013

Mayors of El Salvador's "peace zones" say the initiative has come to a standstill due to a lack of federal funds,…

About InSight Crime

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.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…

THE ORGANIZATION

Exploring Climate Change and Organized Crime

10 SEP 2021

In July, InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley moderated a panel for the Climate Reality Project's regional series of workshops for young climate activists in the Americas. The week-long event…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gearing Up a New Class of Interns

3 SEP 2021

InSight Crime is readying its newest class of interns – from universities in Europe and the Americas – to begin investigative work on a number of high-impact projects. For the…

THE ORGANIZATION

Tracking Environmental Crime in the Amazon

27 AUG 2021

Next week, InSight Crime launches an investigation – conducted with Brazilian think-tank the Igarapé Institute – on the sophisticated organized crime structures and armed groups that…