Photo: Joaquin El Chapo Guzman
The armed forces of Honduras revealed today that they have grounds for suspecting the presence of the Mexican drug trafficker and head of the Sinaloa cartel, Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, in its territory.
The Deputy Defense Minister Roberto Carlos Funes has as much as admitted that the Sinaloa cartel controls much of the drugs flowing through Honduras and have replaced the “amateur” drug gangs of Honduras. Funes, said Honduran criminal groups “were nothing compared to the Mexican cartels,” but now, he said, many have been linked to dangerous gangs, which has resulted in much violence, despite the supposed truce signed six months ago.
“In the clashes we have found Mexicans narcos in our country, but also Colombian and Venezuelans” said Funes. For years Honduras has become an increasing headache for the U.S., which has seen in 2011 alone, 21 tons of cocaine seized.
Further proof of El Chapo’s presence are the nearly 200 clandestine airstrips, most of which are located in the Mosquitia, an inhospitable region east where 80 percent of the cocaine that reaches the United States by sea passes through. According to Funes, in the last three years the Honduran authorities have destroyed between 80 to 100 of the runways. “But people living in the area simply re-repair them,” he said. “Right now we have between 180 and 200 illegal run ways in the country. Tracks are a mile long, but recently we found one the length of 2.5 km. The cartels are preparing to bring in larger aircraft,” Funes reported to El Mundo.
He explained that to build these tracks, the drug cartel needs to use heavy machinery and utilize car batteries to illuminate them at night.
Most recently the National Civil Police (PNC) of Guatemala announced the arrest of alleged Sinaloa cartel members, Antonio Pompa, Toño, and Wilmar Anavisca.