Honduras: record coke bust as US pledges Drug War support

Posted on December 2nd, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

Central AmericaHonduran authorities seized 15 tons of illegal drugs buried beneath a clandestine laboratory in the northern department of Yoro, officials said Nov. 29. "According to what the experts say, the drugs found would amount to some 15 tons of cocaine paste or synthetic drugs," Elvin Guzmán, spokesman for the prosecutor's office in the northern city of San Pedro Sula, told reporters. (This is an ambiguous statement, as the proportion of paste to finished cocaine is approximately 2 to 1, according to a DEA analysis.) The drug lab was found in a village lying between the towns of Santa Rita and El Negrito. National Police and army troops are scouring the area for more labs.

The finding is said to be the largest cocaine seizure in the country's history. Last year, Honduran authorities intercepted more than 22 tons of cocaine in various operations, including some carried out jointly with the DEA. (EFE,* Nov. 29)

The day before the bust, US deputy National Security adviser Denis McDonough pledged US support to President Porfirio Lobo to combat crime in Honduras, which now has the world's highest homicide rate. "I am here today to reconfirm the commitment of the United States," including programs such as the Central American Regional Security Initiative, McDonough said in a statement at the Government House in Tegucigalpa after meeting with Lobo and members of his cabinet.

In September, the US and Honduras signed a memorandum of understanding on citizen security, greater cooperation in combating narco-trafficking, and broader programs to prevent and prosecute financial crimes.  A bilateral working group on human rights was also announced in the pact. According to the UN, Honduras in 2011 registered a rate of 92 murders per 100,000 citizens, the highest in the world outside of war zones. (AFP,** Nov. 28)

*Note that EFE incorrectly renders Yoro department as "Yora," and also incorrectly names it as a "province." See map.

**Note that AFP incorrectly identifies  McDonough as National Security Advisor.


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