HomeNewsBriefUS Official Praises Honduras Efforts to Combat Drug Trafficking
BRIEF

US Official Praises Honduras Efforts to Combat Drug Trafficking

HONDURAS / 5 MAY 2015 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

A top US military official has lauded Honduras' efforts to combat drug trafficking, saying the country is no longer among the principal transit points for cocaine heading to the United States. But there are reasons to be skeptical of such a rosy outlook. 

In an interview with Honduran newspaper El Heraldo, the commander of the US Southern Command, General John Kelly, said Honduras had been the number one transit country for South American cocaine destined for the United States before President Juan Orlando Hernandez took office in January 2014. However, since then he said that Honduras had fallen to fifth in the region, although Kelly declined to name the top four drug transit countries. 

Kelly credited this steep drop to Honduras' "incredible" efforts to combat drug trafficking, and the Hernandez administration's increased cooperation with US anti-drug officials. "Since President Hernandez took office, we have had very good collaboration on all fronts," Kelly said.

Kelly said radar information revealed the number of drug planes flying over Honduran airspace has gone down significantly, "to the point where we almost stopped seeing any."

InSight Crime Analysis

The United States and Honduras have indeed strengthened bi-lateral security cooperation since Hernandez took office. The capture and extradition of several high-profile Honduran drug traffickers to the US in the past year is just one example of the increased coordination between security officials from these two countries.

However, it is unclear if this closer security relationship has transformed Honduras to the extent US and Honduran authorities claim. For one thing, the assertion by Honduran security forces that drug flights abruptly dropped from almost 150 in 2013 to nearly zero in 2014 should be treated with some skepticism

Honduran authorities also claim the country's murder rate fell significantly last year. Nonetheless, sources in Honduras have told InSight Crime the government may have changed the way it counts homicides, suggesting the drop-off may also be linked to a new tallying system as much as improved security. The recent migration of gang members from El Salvador to Honduras is further indication Honduran security forces remain ill-equipped to combat criminal groups. 

SEE ALSO:  Honduras News and Profiles

In addition, President Hernandez recently told a US Congressman that he plans to phase out the military's role in policing within the next two to three years. This claim, while welcome is surprising, as Honduras continues to increase the size of the country's military police force (PMOP), while simultaneously decreasing the number of civilian police officers.

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

COCA / 5 JAN 2018

President Donald Trump’s approach to US security policy in Latin America has flailed during his first year in office, with…

HONDURAS / 18 SEP 2014

Around 300 army reserve soldiers are being trained to serve as prison guards in Honduras, a measure that could improve…

COCAINE / 6 MAY 2022

The US has offered a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest of leaders of the Montes Bobadilla…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Criminal Enterprise on the High Seas

12 AUG 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the second half of an extensive investigation into Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing that plagues the waters of nine Latin American countries. Among the stories were how…

THE ORGANIZATION

Oceans Pillaged in Central America and the Caribbean

5 AUG 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the first installment of a nine-part investigation uncovering the hidden depths of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in Latin America. The first installment covered Central America and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela’s Tren de Aragua Becomes Truly Transnational

29 JUL 2022

This week, InSight Crime published a deep dive into the total control that Venezuelan mega-gang, Tren de Aragua, has over the lives of those it smuggles between Venezuela and Chile…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkish Traffickers Delivering Latin American Cocaine to Persian Gulf

15 JUL 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the second half of an investigation piecing together the emerging role of Turkish cocaine traffickers in supplying Russia and the Persian Gulf, which are among…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkey as a Lynchpin in European Cocaine Pipeline

8 JUL 2022

InSight Crime is extending its investigation into the cocaine pipeline to Europe, and tracking the growing connections between Latin American drug traffickers and European criminal organizations. This led us to…