Where Chaos Reigns:

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Latin America Again Ranks as World's Least Secure Region: Report

Latin America Again Ranks as World's Least Secure Region: Report

For the eighth year in a row, an annual report from the Gallup polling organization has ranked Latin America as the least secure region in the world, underscoring the persistence of regional security challenges and the ways in which crime and insecurity impact citizens' daily lives.

Honduras Profile

Honduras

Honduras

One of the poorest countries in Latin America, Honduras is now also the region's most violent and crime-ridden country. This is, in part, due to its role as a strategically important transit nation for the transnational drug trade, as well as macroeconomic shifts, endemic poverty, corruption, and political turmoil. Estimates vary, but between 140 and 300 tons of cocaine are believed to pass through the country each year.

More Honduras News

  • Honduras Ex-Presidents' Brothers Face Drug Allegations*

    The Aguacate airstrip allegedly used by President Zelaya’s brother to traffic drugs

    Two brothers of two different, former Honduras presidents were implicated by the testimony of a leader of a prominent drug trafficking organization during the US drug trial of a former Honduran president's son, as allegations from this explosive case continue to dog the country's elites.

  • Contracts Awarded to Honduras Drug Clan Illustrate Cyclical Corruption

    Former Honduras President Porfirio Lobo

    Government contracts awarded to businesses run by a powerful drug clan during the administration of former Honduras President Porfirio Lobo, allegedly in exchange for large sums in bribe money, illustrate how public funds can be used to create a feedback loop of corruption. 

  • US Report Shows Revitalized Central America Cocaine Corridor

    Colombian cocaine seized in the Caribbean

    The US State Department named seven Central American countries as havens for laundering the proceeds of drug trafficking and organized crime, and described the region as a main cocaine corridor for US markets, confirming the importance of Central America in the international drug trade.

  • Honduras Narco Testifies Ex-President Took Bribes from Traffickers

    Former Honduras President Porfirio Lobo

    One of the leaders of Honduran drug trafficking network the Cachiros has testified in court that he repeatedly bribed former President Porfirio Lobo, adding to the evidence suggesting drug traffickers corrupted Honduras' state institutions at the highest levels.

  • Top Honduras Drug Trafficker Captured in Guatemala

    Víctor Hugo Díaz Morales, alias 'El Rojo,' captured in Guatemala City

    A little-known, but powerful Honduran underworld figure was arrested in Guatemala on March 4, leading to yet another reconfiguration in an already shaken underworld and sparking intrigue as to what he can reveal about his political networks in both countries.

  • Are US Anti-Crime Programs in Central America Working?

    The State Department and USAID manage most of CARSI's funding

    Over the past several years, the United States has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on crime and violence prevention programs in Central America, with few evaluations of the impact of this investment. But one hotly debated study highlights the challenges of measuring security assistance outcomes, as well as the need for a greater body of analysis about the efficacy of such initiatives.

  • The Unbearable Solitude of Honduras' Attorney General

    Honduras Attorney General Oscar Chinchilla

    Honduras Attorney General Oscar Chinchilla was elected by congress in September 2013, in a controversial process driven largely by the interests of the ruling National Party. But Chinchilla has altered the agenda and found himself between competing powers, leaving him on a political island.

  • In Targeting Powerful Drug Clan, Honduras Follows Familiar Script

    Honduras seizes properties from the Montes Bobadilla clan

    Authorities in Honduras have seized properties belonging to a major drug trafficking clan, a move that in the past has precipitated the downfall of some of the country's most powerful criminal organizations. 

  • Honduras Authorities Covered Up Police Sending Weapons to FARC: Report

    A commission is purging Honduras' police of corrupt officers

    An El Heraldo report revealed that top security officials have suppressed internal investigations into a police network that allegedly sold weapons to a Colombian guerrilla group in the early 2000s, yet another illustration of the institutionalized corruption within the force.  

  • US Congress Members Support CentAm Anti-Corruption Efforts

    The US Capitol Building

    Members of the US Congress have introduced a resolution supporting the anti-corruption efforts of several Central American governments, showing the legislative body's commitment to backing such initiatives even as they come under fire in the region.

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Where Chaos Reigns: Inside the San Pedro Sula Prison

Where Chaos Reigns: Inside the San Pedro Sula Prison

In San Pedro Sula's jailhouse, chaos reigns. The inmates, trapped in their collective misery, battle for control over every inch of their tight quarters. Farm animals and guard dogs roam free and feed off scraps, which can include a human heart. Every day is visitors' day, and...

Homicides in Guatemala: Collecting the Data

Homicides in Guatemala: Collecting the Data

When someone is murdered in Guatemala, police, forensic doctors and government prosecutors start making their way to the crime scene and a creaky, antiquated 20th century bureaucratic machine kicks into gear. Calls are made. Forms are filled out by hand, or typed into computers, or both. Some...

Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

When violence surged in early 2015 in Guatemala, then-President Otto Pérez Molina knew how to handle the situation: Blame the street gangs. 

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

  The Bajo Cauca Franchise BACRIM-Land Armed Power Dynamics The BACRIM in places like the region of Bajo Cauca are a typical manifestation of Colombia's underworld today: a semi-autonomous local cell that is part of a powerful national network. The BACRIM's roots lie in the demobilized paramilitary umbrella group the United Self-Defense...

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

The department of Nariño in southwest Colombia is the main coca-producing area in the country and in the world. It is a place scarred by poverty and years of armed conflict between guerrillas, the state and paramilitary groups. Perhaps nowhere else in the country are the challenges...

Reign of the Kaibil: Guatemala’s Prisons Under Byron Lima

Reign of the Kaibil: Guatemala’s Prisons Under Byron Lima

Following Guatemala's long and brutal civil war, members of the military were charged, faced trial and sentenced to jail time. Even some members of a powerful elite unit known as the Kaibil were put behind bars. Among these prisoners, none were more emblematic than Captain Byron Lima...

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Money

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Money

  Drugs Extortion Criminal Cash Flows Millions of dollars in dirty money circulate constantly around Bajo Cauca, flowing upwards and outwards from a broad range of criminal activities. The BACRIM are the chief regulators and beneficiaries of this shadow economy. Unlike their paramilitary and drug cartel predecessors, the BACRIM maintain a diversified...

How the MS13 Tried (and Failed) to Create a Single Gang in the US

How the MS13 Tried (and Failed) to Create a Single Gang in the US

In July 2011, members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) attended a meeting organized in California by a criminal known as "Bad Boy." Among the invitees was José Juan Rodríguez Juárez, known as "Dreamer," who had gone to the meeting hoping to better understand what was beginning to...

Colombia's Mirror: War and Drug Trafficking in the Prison System

Colombia's Mirror: War and Drug Trafficking in the Prison System

Colombia's prisons are a reflection of the multiple conflicts that have plagued the country for the last half-century. Paramilitaries, guerrillas and drug trafficking groups have vied for control of the jails where they can continue to manage their operations on the outside. Instead of corralling these forces...

The Prison Dilemma: Latin America’s Incubators of Organized Crime

The Prison Dilemma: Latin America’s Incubators of Organized Crime

The prison system in Latin America and the Caribbean has become a prime incubator for organized crime. This overview -- the first of six reports on prison systems that we produced after a year-long investigation -- traces the origins and maps the consequences of the problem, including...