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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Cartels Expanding Fentanyl Trafficking Routes to Honduras and Guatemala

"Socalj" for Borderland Beat

The recent discovery in Puerto Cortés, Honduras of nearly 500 kilograms (divided into 48,600 vials) of fentanyl, shows that Central American points for criminals to transfer synthetic opioids, such as Guatemala and Honduras, in addition to Mexico are now in the crosshairs.

Traditionally, fentanyl and synthetic chemical precursors are shipped via the Pacific Ocean, from China and India to Mexico and Guatemala. The new route points to the Atlantic Ocean, from Turkey and the Netherlands to Guatemala and now, Honduras.

Security Minister Gustavo Sanchez said in a social media post that the record haul of 493 kilograms (1,087 pounds) of fentanyl came on a ship that originated in Britain and arrived at the Cortes port, due north of the industrial city of San Pedro Sula, on Honduras' Atlantic Coast.

The seizure at Pier Six in Puerto Cortés of nearly 500 kilograms of fentanyl raised alarms in Honduras, which has been ravaged by cartel violence and political corruption tied to the trafficking of cocaine from South America. Now the country is being used as a transfer point for fentanyl. Former President Juan Orlando Hernandez is awaiting trial in the United States on cocaine trafficking charges following his extradition last year, in a case that prosecutors said shows how the Honduran government had been closely involved in the drug trade.

The fentanyl that arrived in Honduras was on a ship that left the United Kingdom, stopped in Colombia, and finally arrived in Puerto Cortés, with several vials that experts say “could flood Central America. It is being investigated whether its final destination would be the national territory or another country in the Central American region."

The container HLBU 918977 5 was verified, which, according to the manifest, transported 493 kilograms of alleged fentanyl, accounting for 122 boxes with 4,680 packages containing a total of 48,600 vials of alleged fentanyl."

Officials added, "The drugstore that imported this substance had its permit EXPIRED", and the manifest did not match the declaration made by the drugstore. 

Honduran analyst Raúl Pineda Alvarado stated that criminal groups focus on Puerto Cortés, especially Pier Six. “At the port, Pier Six is ​​outside the control of the Honduran authorities and they need to be more careful because it is an access point,” he pointed out.

Increase in Fentanyl Trafficking and Seizures

In the US, fentanyl seizures in weight more than tripled in the last quarter of 2022 compared to last year. The average weight seized at the border of the potent, concentrated drug is only 2 pounds. A fifth of seizures come from pedestrians.

Generally, US government officials say that the raids stop only 5% to 10% of the total amount of illegal drugs trafficked across the border.  

In the US, the transition from heroin to fentanyl has been dramatic. Since 2015, for every American who has had a fatal heroin overdose, seven more people have died from an overdose of fentanyl or its derivatives, with a total of more than 325,000, according to the data from the CDC.

For Hondurans, the seizure of fentanyl made on November 8, 2023, in Puerto Cortés, provides a warning of how Honduras has become an entry point for opioids. There is growing concern about the damage that could be done to Hondurans and Central Americans if fentanyl were to circulate in the region. The country has only used 115 grams for medical uses per year. This was over 4,000x that amount.


  1. 500 kilograms of fentanyl is not 100 million.

    1. They’re always making up numbers to make it look like they made some big dent on the drug trade.

  2. The US has the Fentanyl crisis backwards. The demand for better, more powerful, longer lasting, drugs was started by addicts themselves.The Cartels are businesses, and to stay in business they need to adapt and deliver like any other business. Just because Cartels are run by greedy, murderous, evil, people does not change the business model.Any sensible person can look at the horror show going on in Mexico, daily, and decades long, and see it stems from, and exists today because of Americans never quenching thirst for more, and more, and better drugs. Cartels exist because the American addicts. Enuff said.

    1. Mijo don't forget to mention people from other countries use it too, not just the addicts of America.😭

    2. I wouldn't agree with that. Addicts were happy with heroin and it allowed them to function. The dealers just started pushing fent which was cheaper and easier to score, and once the users were accustomed to that the H wasn't working the way it used to.

    3. less than 19 opiod ODs per day, without narcan, in all europe. 290 per day in the US, with narcan, at each corner.

    4. 11:24

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks for your honesty man @ 11:26

    2. A 200K valuation for a Key of Fernando is insane.


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