HomeNewsHonduras Ex-President’s Son Murdered in Professional Hit

Honduras Ex-President’s Son Murdered in Professional Hit


The early morning assassination of the son of former Honduras President Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo Sosa by a well-armed commando has sent shockwaves through the Central American nation, as authorities work to uncover those responsible.

During the early morning of July 14, security footage showed a professional hit squad armed with high-powered weapons and bulletproof vests from the national anti-gang police (Fuerza Nacional Anti Maras y Pandillas - FNAMP) intercept Saíd Omar Lobo Bonilla, the son of the former president, and three others as the group left a nightclub in the capital city of Tegucigalpa.

While one member of the attack team stayed outside the parking complex and motioned for bystanders to move away, the four victims were removed from three luxury vehicles and murdered within 106 seconds. Afterwards, the attackers left in the pickup truck they arrived in.

SEE ALSO: Honduras News and Profiles

Police identified the other men killed as Luis Zelaya, a relative of Romeo Vásquez Velásquez, former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces; Salomón Vásquez, the son of a retired soldier; and Norlan Rivera, Lobo Bonilla’s driver and bodyguard. 

While many people may want to harm the former president’s family, National Police Chief Gustavo Sánchez attributed the murders to the MS13 street gang. Sánchez offered no evidence to support that claim. Three arrests have been made so far in connection to the killings.

InSight Crime Analysis

Much is still unknown about those responsible and the motive behind the brutal assassinations, but the Lobo Sosa family has long been connected to organized crime in Honduras.

Lobo Sosa served as president of Honduras between 2010 and 2014 for the National Party. During that time, he was accused of accepting millions of dollars in bribes from the Cachiros drug clan, as well as directing public funds and government contracts to companies the network owned.

Cachiros leader Devis Leonel Rivera Maradiaga and his brother Javier reportedly met with Lobo Sosa at least twice while he was a presidential candidate, exchanging bribes for official protection from law enforcement and extradition to the United States.

SEE ALSO: Honduras Elites and Organized Crime: The Cachiros

Lobo Sosa has repeatedly denied accusations he accepted drug money from the Cachiros. But the former president’s oldest son, Fabio Lobo, was arrested in 2015 for trafficking cocaine alongside the Cachiros during the same time his father was head of state in Honduras. He later pleaded guilty to drug charges and was sentenced to 24 years in US prison.

But whether or not the MS13 street gang was behind the attack that killed Lobo Sosa’s son - and why - remains to be seen. Despite police claims that the MS13 was involved, it is unclear why the gang would target the group.

That said, MS13 members have been involved in similar operations. In February 2020, more than a dozen gang members dressed in Honduran military and anti-gang police uniforms rushed a courthouse in the north of the country and freed MS13 leader Alexander Mendoza, alias “El Porky.” Four officials were killed in that military-style operation, and more than two years on, authorities have yet to re-capture Mendoza.

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.


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.


Related Content

BRAZIL / 16 JUN 2021

Rio de Janeiro’s foremost militia leader has been gunned down by police, potentially shattering the belief that militias in the…


Both banks of the salty canal near the town of Kaukira show e vestiges of the boom-bust nature of life…


A report by El Faro has revealed the initial fractures in the negotiated pact between the El Salvadoran government and…

About InSight Crime


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…


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…


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…


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: 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.