Hundreds of weapons and a large stockpile of ammunition have disappeared from a police warehouse in Honduras, according a report by El Heraldo.
According to sources within the Honduras’ police force who spoke to the newspaper, 300 automatic rifles, several hundred thousand bullets, bulletproof vests and other assorted weapons and equipment are missing from a warehouse operated by the Cobras Special Operations Command in the nation’s capital, Tegucigalpa.
One source suggested that the theft could not have occurred without assistance from corrupt elements within the police because the warehouse is under guard 24 hours a day. Nearly 200 weapons disappeared from a Cobra Special Operations Command storehouse in similar circumstances in 2007.
El Heraldo reports that the rifles and ammunition were first reported missing in late August, prior to a cabinet shake-up saw the replacement of Security Minister Oscar Alvarez.
Alvarez complained that he was unable to make progress on police reform during his tenure because corruption was so deeply entrenched in the country’s security forces. Honduras is increasingly used as a transshipment point by drug traffickers moving cocaine from South America north towards the United States and is currently facing one of the world’s highest murder rates.