Organized crime groups in Honduras make an estimated $62.6 Million a year from extortion and other threats to businesses. Up to 17,500 small businesses in Honduras were estimated to have been forced to shut down due to the extortion payments in 2012.
In the city of Tegucigalpa alone, up to 14,000 vendors pay about $15 per week to the gang members, generating roughly $10 Million per year in revenue.
Source: Marguerite Cawley, “Extortion Shuts Down Over 17,000 Honduras Businesses,” Insight Crime, May 8, 2013.
Between 2010 and April 2013, organized crime groups and common criminals have killed 59 lawyers across Honduras, according to the National Human Rights Commissioner.
6 lawyers have been killed in the first four months of 2013. In 2012, there were 15 killings of lawyers, 26 in 2011, and 12 killings in 2010.
According to the Commissioner, 92 percent of the killings involved firearms, 6 percent were killed by suffocation, and 2 percent involved knives.
Out of all the deaths, there has been two convictions.
It was previously reported that 151 National Police Officers were killed in Honduras between 2011 to 2013.
Source: Angel Servellon, “Honduras: Organized crime targets lawyers,” Inforsurhoy, April 30, 2013.
Between January 2011 and February 2013, organized crime groups and drug trafficking organizations killed 151 National Police Officers in Honduras.
Of the 151 killings of police officers, 20 cases have been prosecuted by the Public Ministry.
In 2012, Honduras had a homicide rate of 85.5 per 100,000 residents, where a total of 7,172 homicides were officially recorded during the year.
Source: Rene Novoa, “Honduras: Police victims of organized crime,” Infosurhoy.com, March 26, 2013.
According to industry officials, there are around 300,000 private security guards working in the Central America region. The number of private guards in the region are higher than the number of police officers in the region. The rise in security guards to attributed to fears of kidnap for ransom activities.
In Guatemala, there are 24,000 police officers in the country. The number of security guards is estimated to be around 100,000.
In Costa Rica and Honduras, there are twice as many security guards as police officers in each country.
The private security guard industry in the region is growing at 8 percent annually.
Source: AFP, “Private security industry grows as organized crime spreads through Central America,” Tico Times, October 21, 2012.
Up to 277 people leave the country of Honduras every day, according to estimates. Authorities state that ongoing violence by drug traffickers and other criminal activities are contributing to the displacement. Between 18 to 222 young adults are killed everyday in Honduras.
Between 2008 and 2012, up to 240,000 migrants from Honduras was sent back to the country.
Source: EFE, “Organized Crime Major Cause of Displacement in Central America,” Costa Rica News, October 17, 2012.
Federal authorities in the United States estimates that street gang Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13, has at least 30,000 members in its organization. The members are spread out across the Americas region, with members known to be in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.
In the United States, there are at least 8,000 members operating in the country. They have been identified in over 40 countries and in Washington, DC, and are primarily involved in drug trafficking, human trafficking and murder. Between 2006 and 2012, Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested over 4,000 MS-13 members.
The gang members are recognized for their extensive tattoos.
Source: Samuel Rubenfeld, “Treasury Labels MS-13 Transnational Criminal Organization,” Wall Street Journal, Corruption Currents Blog, October 11, 2012.
A report released in 2012 by the National Social Prevention, Rehabilitation and Reinsertion Program in Honduras stated that there were 4,728 active gang members in the country. The number only refers to active, full-time gang members and not sympathizers or entry-level recruits.
The gang members are associated with either the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), or the Barrio 18 (18th Street gang in the US).
Source: Elyssa Pachico, “After Govt Crackdown, Honduras Gangs Rethink Tactics,” Insight, June 11, 2012.
90 percent of cocaine trafficked into the United States that was produced in Colombia and Venezuela is trafficked through Central America. More than a third of that cocaine is moved through the country of Honduras.
Source: Thom Shanker, “Lessons of Iraq Help U.S. Fight a Drug War in Honduras,” New York Times, May 5, 2012.
Law enforcement officials in the United States estimate that between 25 to 30 tons of cocaine was entering Honduras by air and sea in 2011. The amount of cocaine trafficked into Honduras was up to one-third of the world’s cocaine supply.
Source: Nick Miroff, “Grim toll as cocaine trade expands in Honduras,” Washington Post, December 26, 2011.
Law enforcement officials in Honduras seized 22.6 metric tons of cocaine in 2011.
143.5 tons of cocaine is estimated to travel through the country on its way to the United States each year.
Source: Geoffrey Ramsey, “Honduras Cocaine Seizures are a Drop in the Bucket,” Insight, December 16, 2011.