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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 Cocaine Lab a Game Changer

    InSight has long been skeptical of rumors concerning cocaine hydrochloride (HCl) labs operating in Central America. But this week Honduran officials said they had discovered one that rivaled those in Colombia. If true, it’s a game changer.

  • Attack on Prison Official Reveals Holes in Honduran Penitentiaries

    This month’s attack on the head of the Honduran prison system has raised the important question: Does the government have any control over its penitentiaries?

  • Central American Nations Seek 'Plan Central America'

    Top State Department official William Brownfield is expected to announce plans for a new, large-scale Central American security strategy in the coming days. Officials in the region hope the plan will address increasing criminal activities in their respective countries, but are waiting on Washington to develop a clear framework and provide financial support.

  • Hondurans Increasingly Trafficked Through 'Modeling Agencies'

    Honduras, a longtime source of victims for human traffickers seeking to exploit women and children from rural areas, is seeing an increase in trafficking in urban areas, as criminal enterprises lure young Honduran women with promises of success in the entertainment world.

  • Gunmen Attack Bus in Honduras

    At least eight people died and four were wounded in eastern Honduras in an apparent revenge killing Thursday. The killings took place in Olancho, regions of which are believed to be controlled by the Sinaloa Cartel.

  • WikiLeaks: Zelaya and Organized Crime

    The U.S. cable with several references to organized crime's ties to former Honduran President Mel Zelaya is a tantalizing document on many levels, mostly because of the casual way in which then outgoing Ambassador Charles A. Ford describes the relationship, as if it were common knowledge.

  • How 'Mano Dura' is Strengthening Gangs

    The United Nations and U.S. Southern Command estimate there are approximately 70,000 gang members, or so-called maras, most of them concentrated in the Northern Triangle: 36,000 in Honduras, 10,500 in El Salvador and 14,000 in Guatemala. Most of these are concentrated in two gangs: the Mara Salvatrucha-13 (MS-13) and Barrio 18 (18). The gangs have a grave impact on the security situation in the region. Maras extort, kidnap, and murder local rivals, neighbors and security personnel. Their grip on many communities has crippled them and forced governments to reassess their security strategies. Their rise has also corresponded to higher murder rates. The Northern Triangle currently ranks as the most dangerous place in the world, according to the United Nations.·

  • Calderón: Drugs Increasingly Shipped Through Guatemala, Honduras

    Mexican President Felipe Calderon announced that authorities have detected a change in flights carrying cocaine shipments from South America, which are increasingly landing in Honduras instead of Mexico, reported El Salvador's El Mundo.

  • Drug Plane Stolen in Honduras

    Armed men stormed a military-protected hangar at a major airport in San Pedro Sula, stole a small airplane that had been confiscated by authorities for its use in drug trafficking and flew off with it on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.

  • Massacre in Honduras Linked to Barrio 18

    In the most complete account of the October 30 massacre of fourteen youth at a San Pedro Sula soccer field, Honduras’ newspaper La Prensa recounts how nine masked men with assault rifles corralled the players, then shot them one-by-one after checking for weapons and tattoos.

Investigations

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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...

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...

Homicides in Guatemala: Conclusions and Recommendations

Homicides in Guatemala: Conclusions and Recommendations

Olfato. It is a term used quite often in law enforcement and judicial circles in Central America (and other parts of the world as well). It refers to the sixth sense they have as they see a crime scene, investigate a murder or plow through the paperwork...

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...

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...

El Salvador Prisons and the Battle for the MS13’s Soul

El Salvador Prisons and the Battle for the MS13’s Soul

El Salvador's prison system is the headquarters of the country's largest gangs. It is also where one of these gangs, the MS13, is fighting amongst itself for control of the organization.

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 Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

José Adán Salazar Umaña is the only Salvadoran citizen currently on the US government's Kingpin List. But in his defense, Salazar Umaña claims is he is an honorable businessman who started his career by exchanging money along the borders between Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. He does...

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...

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.