Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

El Chapo in Honduras

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 |

Copan Honduras - The chief of the Sinaloa cartel, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has been seen around in the western and northern parts of Honduras, mainly in the provinces of Colon and Copan, local media press reported today citing official sources. "El Chapo" has been to Honduras himself, in the Copan region, and he was at a party, said the security minister of Honduras, Oscar Alvarez.

The Honduran official was interviewed by Jose Cardenas, on Radio Formula. He said that the information on "EL Chapo" was gathered though intelligence provided by informants in the new government.

"What we do know for certain is that Mr. Guzman had been in a place in Copan and in that meeting he was celebrating with a Mexican group and that is where the story goes.

Today the newspaper “La Tribuna” of Honduras released information about the presence of "El Chapo" in the South American country. The news quickly spread through the news agencies.

In the interview, the Honduran minister said that informants working with his government said that the Mexican popular music group Los Tigres del Norte entertained at the party.

Alvarez refused to confirm that the "El Chapo" uses Honduras as a center of operations; however he did acknowledge that his country has become a transfer point for drugs originating from South America and then distributed to the Sinaloa cartel, which is led by Guzman, as well as the Gulf cartel, which is linked to the Zetas.

"The information we have is that the cartels of Sinaloa and the Gulf are present in trafficking of drugs. The Mexican people should know that Honduras is midway between South America (from where cocaine originates) and northern Mexico.

Although Alvarez has been a minister for some years and he knows about the problem, however this new trend has grown in recent years, he said.

"The drug trafficking in to our country has increased in the last years, in 2009 many planes flew in with more than 100 tons of cocaine from South America to the U.S. and most of the airplanes that have fallen had the Venezuelan flag. This new trend in drug trafficking has led to initiate intelligence work.

"We're not saying that (Guzman) is permanently active in our country," he affirmed. According to a media version, the Mexican drug lord has a luxurious residence in the community of Copan and receives protection from local government authorities and police.

Another sign of the growing presence of drugs in the country was the recent assassination of the country's drug czar from a sicario on a motorcycle.

He also said that the government of President Porfirio Lobo has expressed concerns about the increased presence of organized crime groups and therefore has ordered that the Mexican and Colombian authorities be notified and to learned more about the war on drugs from both countries.

The capital newspaper published on its front page the headline: "The national security is in danger if 'El Chapo' Guzman is in Honduras," along with a picture of the wanted Mexican druglord.

"If we manage to capture him we would have to have immediate agreements with Mexico to come and pick him up, because I believe that here in Honduras we don't have the capacity to hold him in our security center," said the minister in his talk with the newspaper.

He explained that at the present time there are no diplomatic relations with Mexico and hopes to normalize relations soon to seek support from that country on the subject of organize crime. Relations between both countries remain broken after the coup of June 28, 2009 when then President Manuel Zelaya was ousted, who was replaced by de facto president of Roberto Micheletti.

"We want to learn more from Mexican and Colombian experience and not suffer such horrible situations, we as a country want collaborate with our brotherly countries to join efforts and to know what affects one, affects the other," he said.

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