Victor Hugo Barnica

Russia and Honduras are drafting a bi-latertal agreement to strengthen the Central American nation's fight against drug trafficking.

The Honduran vice-president, Victor Hugo Barnica, announced on September 5 that Honduras and Russia will sign an anti-drug trafficking agreement in the coming days to help with the Central American state's fight against narcotics trafficking, reported El Heraldo.

"[Russia] is going to help us in the fight against drug trafficking organizations," Barnica declared. This help will come primarily in the form of financial assistance from Russia, though the agreement will also facilitate the sharing of anti-narcotics strategies between the two nations, Barnica added.

InSight Crime Analysis

Honduras is one of the primary transit nations in Central America for South American cocaine, with over 80 percent of US-bound cocaine estimated to pass through the country. It's role as a transit nation for narcotics heading east is far less, however, with the majority of the European-bound trade run through Venezuela. This makes Russia's stake in the agreement with Honduras curious.

One factor explaining the pact could be the desire of Russia to combat Russian criminal organizations in the region. Last year, La Tribuna reported that the Russian Mafia, operating out of Florida, was trafficking arms through Honduras in exchange for cocaine shipments, presumably to later distribute in the US.

Evidence of Russian gang activity in Honduras has been thin since the report, with more reports placing Russian criminals in South American nations such as Ecuador. However, the announcement by the Dominican Republic in July that Russian criminal groups were operating in their country points to these groups having a share of the trade running through Central America and the Caribbean, despite the majority of it being run by Mexican and Colombian gangs.

Investigations

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