The Complete Organized Crime Database on the Americas
Honduras is seeing the fallout from Tuesday’s grisly massacre inside a shoe factory, when three perpetrators used AK-47s to slaughter 17 people.
Two Honduran diplomats reported being kidnapped temporarily by unknown perpetrators in Veracruz, Mexico last Saturday. But the state governor has already denied the version of the story presented by the Hondurans, indicating there may be a drawn-out, diplomatic spat.
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.
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.
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.
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.·
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.
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.
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.
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.