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Friday, July 12, 2024

Honduras Cracks Down on Gang With Ties to Sinaloa Cartel

Honduran authorities seized dozens of assets, including properties and vehicles used for drug trafficking, from a criminal organization linked to Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel on Monday, the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP, public prosecutor’s office) reported.

“The MP seizes 73 assets from a criminal organization with ties to the Sinaloa cartel,” while “carrying out raids and arrests,” the agency said in a statement.

Since early Monday, the Special Prosecutor’s Office Against Organized Crime (Fesco) and the Directorate for the Fight Against Drug Trafficking (DLCN) have been carrying out an operation in the northern departments of Cortés, Yoro and Colón, “to dismantle” the criminal organization, it explained.

The prosecutors, along with 92 DLCN detectives and 114 members of the military police, “are executing 18 searches, an inspection and the seizure of two companies, 13 real estate properties and 58 vehicles,” it detailed.

The prosecutor’s office indicated that the investigations to dismantle the gang had been underway for a year. “Arrest warrants are expected to be executed against its main members,” it said.

MP spokesperson Carlos Morazán said in the afternoon that “five Hondurans have been arrested so far.” “It was possible to establish […] their modus operandi and links with Mexican drug traffickers (Sinaloa cartel),” the statement added.

According to the prosecutor’s office, the gang had a team in charge of drug transportation, as well as other “security and hitman” groups in Honduras. Honduras, like the rest of Central America, is a transit point for the cocaine sent by cartels from South America to the United States.

Former president Juan Orlando Hernández himself, who governed Honduras for two terms from 2014 to 2022, was extradited in April 2022 to New York, accused of shipping 500 tons of cocaine to the United States between 2004 and 2022.

The 55-year-old former president faces the risk of life imprisonment, as happened to his brother Tony in March 2021.

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