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.

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

HONDURAS / 13 AUG 2013

The Honduras government plans to create a new force of 4,500 community police, and to reorganize the structure of existing…

MEXICO / 25 AUG 2013

The US Treasury has added five associates of Mexico drug boss "El Azul" to its "Kingpin List," maintaining recent pressure…

HONDURAS / 19 JUN 2013

Eight former top ranking Honduran police officials are under investigation for alleged illicit enrichment, raising the dilemma of how to…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Combating Environmental Crime in Colombia

15 JUN 2021

InSight Crime presented findings from an investigation into the main criminal activities fueling environmental destruction in Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Collaborating on Citizen Security Initiatives

8 JUN 2021

Co-director Steven Dudley worked with Chemonics, a DC-based development firm, to analyze the organization’s citizen security programs in Mexico.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Deepens Its Connections with Universities

31 MAY 2021

A partnership with the University for Peace will complement InSight Crime’s research methodology and expertise on Costa Rica.

THE ORGANIZATION

With Support from USAID, InSight Crime Will Investigate Organized Crime in Haiti

31 MAY 2021

The project will seek to map out Haiti's principal criminal economies, profile the specific groups and actors, and detail their links to elements of the state.

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.