A week of drug trafficking and crime in Central America

Drug, violence, organized crime and drug trafficking links with politics are some of the weak points of Central America, where the war on drugs is a necessary flag to lead the countries.

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Silhouette of two hands, one holding a cigarette. / Photo: Pixabay – Reference Image

LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Suárez

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Leer en español: Una semana de narcotráfico y crimen en Centro América

The problem lies when one connects with the other creating a state of ungovernability and lack of trust in institutions, which is what happens in many cases.

Two recent events have awakened once again this lack of trust. On the one hand, the brother of the president of Honduras was convicted of drug trafficking and on the other, the recent events in Culiacán, Mexico, in the attempt to capture the son of 'Chapo' Guzmán, the main figure of the Sinaloa Cartel. These facts have put in the eye of the hurricane of the two Central American countries. The first case, after all, is related to the second.

For many years there has been seen that Central America, although not the cradle of drug trafficking, has been fertile ground for its development. Its geographical location has made countries become the passage of countries such as Colombia, major producers, to the United States, the main consumer, or even Europe. In addition, the political and social context has given rise to the creation of many organized crime gangs that revolve around drug and arms trafficking.

With this, deaths, kidnappings, torture and forced disappearances have been some of the collateral damage. According to a 2016 report by the Ministry of the Interior and the National Public Security System of Mexico, since 2006, the year in which the war on drug trafficking began, “the conflict caused the death of some 100,000 people and the disappearance of another 27,000 ”.

This war has not been exclusive to Mexico but has spread through neighboring countries, especially Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, whose social conditions have made them prone to the spread of violence and illegality.

The power of the Sinaloa Cartel

The failure of the operation to capture Ovid Guzman, the son of the drug trafficker 'Chapo' Guzman, drew attention on Thursday, October 17 and criticized the Mexican president, AMLO, for making the decision to release the prisoner that only lasted a few moments. captured

The son of El Chapo, who is currently one of the heads of the Sinaloa Cartel, has an extradition order from the United States and his capture was only momentary when the members of the cartel outnumbered those who carried out the operation in Culiacán, city where is the Guzmán family and central axis of the cartel, in the state of Sinaloa. The clashes left 8 dead, 16 wounded and 49 escaped inmates, state officials said.

Read also: Mexican government: on its knees and with its hands up

Both the president and the Secretary of Security affirmed that the decision to release him was taken after realizing the number of innocent lives that were in danger with the operation that, ultimately, had gone out of control. However, this was not the same assessment of external views, which have criticized the government for a lack of authority and, therefore, legitimacy.

Despite criticism, AMLO said that this does not affect his image or show a weak face, because he has decided to put innocent lives, unlike past governments in their fight against organized crime and drug trafficking, war who claimed numerous innocent lives.

Currently, the Sinaloa Cartel leads the drug markets worldwide, with 35% of the global cocaine and marijuana market, has a presence in 70% of the world, according to Verne and has more than 3000 hitmen. Its structure and operational capacity, according to Armando Rodríguez Luna, project director of the Security Analysis with Democracy collective (Casede), has allowed its exponential growth in recent years. The results of the operation in Culiacán are a sample of such an organization.

A convicted former deputy

Juan Antonio Hernández was a deputy in Honduras and is the brother of the current president of the country, José Orlando Hernández (JOH). In the first days of October, he began his trial in the United States for alleged links to drug trafficking in different countries of Central America and Colombia. Among the investigations was relations with the Sinaloa cartel boss, 'El Chapo' Guzmán.

Finally, the sentence was announced and Juan Antonio Hernández was guilty and the events have directly splashed the Honduran president since the links with characters like 'El Chapo' have to do with bribes he received for the presidential campaign.

Alexander Ardon, a former Honduran mayor who is currently in jail in the United States for drug trafficking, was the key testimony to uncover Hernandez's links with drug trafficking. Likewise, Víctor Hugo Díaz Morales, aka 'El Rojo', another Honduran drug trafficker who also testified in this trial, said that in 2005 he financed part of the campaign for deputy of the now-president Juan Orlando Hernández.

This scandal has caused the Honduran people to ask the president to resign. But he has denied any type of link with drug trafficking and has said he will not resign from his position.

Also read: Guatemala: Increases the presence of coca leaf crops

Violence in Michoacán

Although the capture and release of Ovidio Guzman took the flat from the media last week, another state in Mexico was also the scene of violence related to drug trafficking and organized crime.

The Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG) was ambushed by police officers in Aguililla, Michoacán, on October 15. The incident left 13 police officers dead and 9 more injured and became one of the most violent acts of the organization.

This, which is one of the largest drug trafficking gangs in Central America, is also considered the most violent and although it has the control of Michoacán, its main roles are based on the dispute of total control of the region, so normally they face different criminal groups in the region, including disputes with the Sinaloa Cartel. Even, the origin of the CJNG was given from that Poster, because in the beginning, they were a security block of this one in Jalisco. However, they were gaining more and more power and control until they became what they are today.

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