1. Honduras $0.261 Billion ($261 Million)

  2. Black Market Crime in Honduras

Honduras Security Threats

Data and information about security threats from Haiti’s black market. Intelligence and security information collected from government agencies, news articles and other public data sources.

There are an estimated 1.8 million guns circulating in Honduras. Out of the total number of guns, 600,000, or one-third, are legally registered., according to media in Honduras.

80 percent of all crimes in Honduras is committed with an unregistered gun.

The areas where the highest number of illegal guns are circulating is reportedly in Cortes, Atlantida, Colon, Copan, and Francisco Morazan, according to Insight Crime.

Back in 2011, there were an estimated 850,000 total guns in Honduras, with only 258,000 legally registered.

(Price to buy a gun on the black market.)

Source:  Michael Lohmuller, “Insecurity Fuels Honduras Illegal Gun Ownership of Over 1 Mn,” Insight Crime, February 13, 2014.

Criminal fuel smuggling costs the government of Honduras $230 Million, or 10 percent of its annual fuel imports. Economic and finance officials state that smugglers purchase fuel in Venezuela where it is heavily subsided by the government. The smugglers then transport the fuel illegally into Honduras.

Source:  Charles Parkinson, “Fuel Trafficking Costs Honduras $230 Mn per Year,” Insight Crime, September 27, 2013.

There are over 700 legitimate private security companies in Honduras that are staffed with over 70,000 security guards.  In comparison, there are 16,00 police officers and 14,000 army soldiers in the country.

There are around 300 illegal security companies operating in the country. Government security officials claim that organized crime groups create security companies in order to illegally traffic firearms into the country.

650,000 of the 800,000 firearms that circulate within Honduras are illegal unlicensed weapons. Between 2011 and 2013, roughly 100,000 weapons were believed to have been trafficked into Honduras.

(Gun prices on the black market.)

Source:  Rene Novoa, “Honduras: Organized crime infiltrates security companies,” Infosurhoy, September 4, 2013.


A study conducted by the World Bank found that the economic costs to the Central America region due to organized crime violence is $6.5 Billion per year. The costs associated with the violence decreases the region’s GDP by 7.7 percent.

The impact of organized crime and drug trafficking violence on the countries GDP is as follows:

El Salvador: 10.8 percent of GDP worth $2 Billion.

Nicaragua: 10 percent of GDP worth $529 Million.

Honduras: 9.6 percent of GDP worth $885 Million.

Guatemala: 7.7 percent of GDP worth $2.2 Billion.

Costa Rica: 3.6 percent of GDP worth $791 Million.

There are 41 homicides for every 100,000 residents in Central America. 24 percent of the world’s marijuana smokers and 45 percent of the world’s cocaine users resides in Central America.

(What is racketeering?Find examples here.)

Source:  Sergio Ramos, “Central America: Organized crime costs Central America billions,” Infosurhoy, August 5, 2013.

A report by NPR in June 2013 stated that up to 20 people were being killed in Honduras each day and that the country has the highest murder rate in the world.

In the city of San Pedro Sula, over 1,200 people were killed in 2012.

Two major causes for the high rate of murders are organized crime gangs and drug trafficking cartels, according to the report.

In San Pedero Sula, the gangs of Mara Salvatrucha and the 18th Street have been battling over territory. In total, there are about 65,000 gang members in Honduras.

Along with gang warfare, drug trafficking violence has contributed to the murder rate. Due to its geographic location between South American and the United States, up to 42 percent of all cocaine being transported to the US passes through Honduras. The US State Department also states that up to 90 percent of all worldwide cocaine flights pass through the country as well.

Source:  Carrie Kahn, “Honduras Claims Unwanted Title Of World’s Murder Capital,” NPR, June 12, 2013.

A report released by the Collective Security Analysis for Democracy stated that there were 2.8 million unregistered firearms in Central America, and an additional 15 million unregistered guns in Mexico.

According to the study, the majority of these guns are used by organized crime gangs and drug trafficking cartels to carry out their illicit activities.

The Central America Region has the world’s highest gun-homicide rate, with 41 people being killed by guns per 10,000 people.

According to statistics released by criminal justice programs, Honduras has a gun-homicide rate of 85.5 people per 10,000, followed by El Salvador with 69.2 homicides, Guatemala with 38.5, Mexico with 22.7, Panama with 18, and Costa Rica with 11.3 gun-related homicides.

The World Health Organization states that 5 homicides per 10,000 is considered normal, with over 10 homicides per 10,000 being an “epidemic”.

The unregistered guns in the region comes from four main sources. The first source is through straw buyers who purchase firearms on behalf of the drug cartels. The second source is by purchasing guns from corrupt military soldiers in Guatemala and Honduras. The third source is finding left over supplies from the civil wars that took place in Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador in the 1980s. And the last source of unregistered firearms is through the crafting of home-made weapons known as chimbas. The guns are handcrafted and uses a welded pipe and can fire a single shotgun cartridge.

(Prices of Ak-47s and other firearms on the black market.)

Source:  Sergio Ramos, “Weapons trafficking increases in Central America, Mexico,” Infosurhoy, May 30, 2013.

More arms trafficking data.

Criminal justice agencies on the US-Mexico border have seen arrests for human smuggling in the Rio Grande Valley increase by 65 percent as more people attempt to enter the US. In March 2013, US Border Patrol agents arrested 16,000 people who were attempting to enter the country.

Between October 2012 to March 2013, authorities found around 70 bodies that were buried in the valley, over twice the amount of dead bodies found in the previous time frame the year before.

In comparison to the increase of arrest at the Rio Grande Valley, arrests of migrants at the Tuscon, Arizona area decreased by 3 percent last year.

The migrants attempting to enter the United States are not simply from Mexico. Human smuggling groups are sending people  originating from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

There were 94,532 arrests made by the US Border Patrol in 2012 of migrants who were not from Mexico. Nearly half of these non-Mexican migrants were arrested in the Rio Grande Valley.

Source:  Zac Fine, “Crossing the Rio Grande… with the help of a U.S. immigration officer as force targets upsurge in Mexicans trying to get over border,” Daily Mail, May 21, 2013.

Organized crime groups in Honduras make an estimated $62.6 Million a year in extortion money 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.

(How organized crime extort money around the world.)

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.