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

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.

Tags

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

COCAINE / 24 FEB 2021

Eight Democratic senators have sent the first signals that the United States will divorce itself from Honduras President Juan Orlando…

ELITES AND CRIME / 6 JUL 2021

A high court in Honduras has found one of the intellectual authors of the high-profile murder of renowned Indigenous activist…

COCAINE / 6 SEP 2021

Honduran businessman Wilkin Montalván's name came up in November 2018 when US agents questioned Tony Hernández, the president's brother, about…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…

WORK WITH US

Work With Us: Research Internship and Editorial Internship

31 OCT 2022

InSight Crime, a think tank dedicated to the study of organized crime and citizen security in the Americas, is seeking interns and investigators to join its dynamic, multinational team.