Honduran police announced Sunday the capture of Herlinda Bobadilla, a member of the Montes Bobadilla clan of alleged drug traffickers, in an operation where her son Tito was killed and three other members of this group, who are wanted by the United States, were captured.
“In an intense confrontation between Honduran police and drug traffickers in the mountains of Colon (northeast, Caribbean), Herlinda Bobadilla and three other people were arrested. Tito Montes died. This administration is totally committed to the frontal fight against drug trafficking,” said Police Director General Gustavo Sánchez, who did not identify the others captured.
The United States is seeking their extradition and has offered individual rewards of $5 million for information leading to the capture of Herlinda and her two sons, according to State Department spokesman Ned Price last week.
This clan sources, transports and distributes drugs and launders illicit proceeds from drug trafficking through Central America, Mexico and the United States, according to Washington.
Since the 2017 arrest and extradition of Herlinda’s third son, Noé Montes Bobadilla, who was sentenced to 37 years in prison for drug trafficking, his mother and his two brothers Tito Montes Bobadilla and Juan Carlos Montes Bobadilla played an increased “leadership role” in the organization, it added.
This action supports the efforts of US President Joe Biden’s administration “to combat the destabilizing effects of transnational crime in Central America,” Price said, days after former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez was jailed by a New York judge after being extradited from Tegucigalpa on cocaine trafficking and weapons charges.
Hernandez (2014-2022) was extradited on April 21, accused of conspiring to transport some 500 tons of cocaine from South America to the United States between 2004 and 2022, even when he was not yet president.
“Tony” Hernández, a brother of the former president, was sentenced in March 2021 to life imprisonment for the same crime. Meanwhile, former Honduran Police Director Juan Carlos Bonilla (2012-2013) was also extradited to the United States on May 10, accused of “supervising” drug trafficking operations on behalf of the president.
For US prosecutors, the penetration of drug trafficking to the highest levels of power turned Honduras into a “narco-state.
Xiomara Castro, who took office in January, has pledged to fight drug trafficking and has received U.S. backing.