HomeNewsBriefOfficials Discover 62 Clandestine Landing Strips in Honduras
BRIEF

Officials Discover 62 Clandestine Landing Strips in Honduras

HONDURAS / 12 MAR 2012 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

Officials in Honduras have discovered more than 60 hidden airfields in four eastern provinces, which drug traffickers use to smuggle their product into and out of the country.

La Tribuna reports that Honduran police have found at least 62 clandestine landing strips in the eastern departments of Olancho, Colon, Gracias a Dios and El Paraiso. Officials say that they have destroyed 13 of these landing strips in the past several days, and plan on destroying 12 more this week.

According to Rene Osorio Canales, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Honduran military, most of them are in good condition. “This indicates that drug trafficking organizations use them frequently, maybe even as much as one or two times a week,” Osorio said. He also claimed that it is common for drug flights to have three alternate landing sites, so that if one is deemed too risky the pilot can reroute to either of the others in midflight.

InSight Crime Analysis

As illustrated in the map below, the largest number (25) of these landing strips were found in remote areas in Olancho, the country’s largest province. It is followed by Colon (with 15 landing strips), Gracias a Dios (12) and El Paraiso (10).

The discovery of these airfields sheds light on Honduras’ increasing importance in the regional drug trade. Honduras is a major transit nation for South American cocaine bound for the US, and as much as 79 percent of all cocaine smuggling flights from South America first pass through Honduras, according to the US State Department. This is slightly lower than the statistics cited by Defense Minister Marlon Pascua, who told local press in September that 87 percent of cocaine which leaves South America to the US passes through Honduras.


View InSight Map: Drug Trafficking Landing Strips in Honduras in a larger map

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.

Tags

Related Content

HONDURAS / 19 DEC 2014

The Honduras government named Julian Pacheco, an active military general, as the head of its Security Ministry in Honduras, another…

ELITES AND CRIME / 17 FEB 2017

Members of the US Congress have introduced a resolution supporting the anti-corruption efforts of several Central American governments, showing the…

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…

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…