HomeNewsBriefIs Sinaloa Cartel Boss, ‘Chapo’ Guzman, in Honduras?
BRIEF

Is Sinaloa Cartel Boss, ‘Chapo’ Guzman, in Honduras?

EL CHAPO / 21 NOV 2013 BY CHARLES PARKINSON EN

A government minister from Honduras has stated that Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman could be living in the country, where geography, corruption and crime provide the ideal conditions for a drug lord hideout.

Speaking to Spanish newspaper El Mundo, Vice-minister of Defense Carlos Roberto Funes said the Sinaloa Cartel controlled the drug trade in Honduras, adding, “Yes, Chapo Guzman could be in Honduras.” Funes went on to brand local criminal groups as “sons of the Mexican cartels.”

According to Funes there are up to 200 clandestine landing strips in the country, which are repaired by local people whenever security forces discover and destroy them. Funes said authorities recently discovered a 2.5 kilometer landing strip — more than double the normal length — suggesting drug traffickers may be seeking to bring drugs into the country in planes much larger than the traditional light aircrafts usually employed. 

SEE ALSO: Honduras News and Profiles

Funes’ comments add weight to a report by La Prensa, which suggested the village of Espiritu Santo, near the border with Guatemala, was a refuge for Guzman.

elespirituhondurasnew

InSight Crime Analysis

Rumors have circulated for years that Guzman could be using Honduras to hide or rest, however it is notable that Funes is willing to publicly entertain the possibility. 

Guzman could be motivated to use Honduras to escape security force pressure in his native Mexico, or because Honduras is a key transit point for drugs — with the US State Department’s 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report noting that up to 87 percent of drug flights leaving South America land in this Central American nation.

Honduras would also make an attractive prospect for Guzman because of its institutional weaknesses. Corruption among the security forces is widespread, and is also prevalent among the country’s political and economic elites, making a serious manhunt targeting Guzman highly unlikely. 

In addition to this, Espiritu Santo and the surrounding region is renowned as a narco-paradise, with the authorities firmly in the pocket of drug lords, who can move freely and act as they please.

However, while Honduras would make an ideal hideout for Guzman, the elusive capo has consistently stayed one step ahead of security forces, and the truth is that reports of his whereabouts rarely rise above the level of speculation.

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 / 7 MAY 2012

The New York Times reports on military bases the US's Southern Command (SouthCom) has established in remote parts of Honduras…

BOLIVIA / 1 OCT 2012

Bolivian police believe foreign drug trafficking organizations operating in the country are working with local crime families to…

BRAZIL / 20 FEB 2021

Drug traffickers engage in a creative game of hide and seek with coast guards and other security forces that board…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Strategic Communications Manager Job Description

12 FEB 2021

InSight Crime is looking for a full-time strategic communications manager. This person needs to be able to work in a fast-paced world of daily news, high-profile investigations, national and international…

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. …