Armies of Nicaragua and Honduras Extend Border Security Cooperation

Armies of Nicaragua and Honduras Extend Border Security Cooperation

By Dialogo
May 15, 2015




The Armed Forces of Honduras and Nicaragua signed an agreement last month continuing their collaboration in the fight against drug trafficking and organized crime in border regions the two countries share, reporting positive results from the the joint Morazán-Sandino security campaign in 2014.

The Chief of the Nicaraguan Army, General Julio César Avilés met in Managua with the Chief of the Honduran Armed Forces Joint Staff, Major General Freddy Santiago Díaz Zelaya, on April 22 to sign the protocol with the goal of strengthening security along the border the two countries share.

“Any agreement of cooperation is essential to strengthen the fight against organized crime and drug related activities, but the terms, indicators, and outcomes are key,” said Roberto Cajina, a security and defense consultant who is a member of the Latin American Security and Defense Network (RESDAL, by its Spanish acronym.)

Positive strategic progress


Since Honduran and Nicaraguan authorities signed the original set of cooperative agreements on April 25, 2014, the interdictions and seizures of drugs and weapons have contributed to a climate of security and tranquility for the populations that live in these border areas, General Avilés said.

“We have worked intensively to strengthen the levels of security through the exchange of information and through the implementation of coordinated actions along the common border,” he said during the event.

The protocol will help both nations fight the common threat of organized crime, said Alfonso Rodrigues, from the Technical Council of the Nicaraguan Defense Ministry.

“It is important to mention that since the creation of the Central American Armed Forces Conference (CFAC) in 1997, the exchange of information among the Armies in the region has been encouraged and strengthened in favor of regional security,” Rodrigues added.

Sharing information is a key component of the agreement.

“We have a very close relationship with Nicaragua. We carried out several operations last year to take care of that strip of land along the border that is sometimes neglected by the State,” Major General Díaz said in an interview with Diálogo.
“In that sense we have established ongoing communications. Of course, the Central American Armed Forces Conference has helped us maintain this level of communication, and there is an ongoing coordinated patrol among the Armed Forces of Honduras and Nicaragua, the Armed Forces of Honduras and El Salvador, and the Armed Forces of Honduras and Guatemala.”

During the second phase of the Morazán-Sandino operation, which took place April 1-12, Military forces from Honduras and Nicaragua aimed at drug trafficking and organized crime enterprises along the border the two countries share. The initiative achieved positive results: together, the Armies of Honduras and Nicaragua seized 850 kilos of cocaine, satellite phones, and high-caliber weapons. The Honduran Army also destroyed two illegal runways used by drug traffickers and seized 10 AK-47, M16, PS-90 and FAL rifles, hydraulic jacks for helicopters, five power plants, and two solar panels. Meanwhile, service members arrested at least 50 people, including seven who are accused of criminal offenses and 43 who had allegedly crossed the border illegally. Troops also seized 547 rounds of ammunition, 11 grenades, and seven ships used for drug trafficking.

Dismantling illegal routes


Working in cooperation, Service members from both countries have also seized control of 11 unauthorized border paths -- known as "blind spots" -- that organized crime operatives used to engage in human trafficking and to transport drugs and other contraband.

Disabling these blind spots is important because drug trafficking organizations often try to transport drugs produced in South America through the border shared by Honduras and Nicaragua before moving them north to transnational criminal organizations in Mexico. In turn, Mexican drug cartels transport the drugs to the United States, Canada, and other destinations.

“I think the [Nicaraguan Army] has done great work to diminish the activity of organized crime domestically and, therefore, has contributed to lessen its impact in the countries of the region,” Rodrigues said.

Cajina, the RESDAL analyst, agreed that the Military forces of Honduras and Nicaragua are playing an important role in fighting organized crime.

“The participation of the Military has become inevitable,” Cajina said. The role of the Armed Forces in fighting drug trafficking is likely to be temporary, with police forces from both countries eventually taking the lead role in the fight against drug trafficking, he said.





The Armed Forces of Honduras and Nicaragua signed an agreement last month continuing their collaboration in the fight against drug trafficking and organized crime in border regions the two countries share, reporting positive results from the the joint Morazán-Sandino security campaign in 2014.

The Chief of the Nicaraguan Army, General Julio César Avilés met in Managua with the Chief of the Honduran Armed Forces Joint Staff, Major General Freddy Santiago Díaz Zelaya, on April 22 to sign the protocol with the goal of strengthening security along the border the two countries share.

“Any agreement of cooperation is essential to strengthen the fight against organized crime and drug related activities, but the terms, indicators, and outcomes are key,” said Roberto Cajina, a security and defense consultant who is a member of the Latin American Security and Defense Network (RESDAL, by its Spanish acronym.)

Positive strategic progress


Since Honduran and Nicaraguan authorities signed the original set of cooperative agreements on April 25, 2014, the interdictions and seizures of drugs and weapons have contributed to a climate of security and tranquility for the populations that live in these border areas, General Avilés said.

“We have worked intensively to strengthen the levels of security through the exchange of information and through the implementation of coordinated actions along the common border,” he said during the event.

The protocol will help both nations fight the common threat of organized crime, said Alfonso Rodrigues, from the Technical Council of the Nicaraguan Defense Ministry.

“It is important to mention that since the creation of the Central American Armed Forces Conference (CFAC) in 1997, the exchange of information among the Armies in the region has been encouraged and strengthened in favor of regional security,” Rodrigues added.

Sharing information is a key component of the agreement.

“We have a very close relationship with Nicaragua. We carried out several operations last year to take care of that strip of land along the border that is sometimes neglected by the State,” Major General Díaz said in an interview with Diálogo.
“In that sense we have established ongoing communications. Of course, the Central American Armed Forces Conference has helped us maintain this level of communication, and there is an ongoing coordinated patrol among the Armed Forces of Honduras and Nicaragua, the Armed Forces of Honduras and El Salvador, and the Armed Forces of Honduras and Guatemala.”

During the second phase of the Morazán-Sandino operation, which took place April 1-12, Military forces from Honduras and Nicaragua aimed at drug trafficking and organized crime enterprises along the border the two countries share. The initiative achieved positive results: together, the Armies of Honduras and Nicaragua seized 850 kilos of cocaine, satellite phones, and high-caliber weapons. The Honduran Army also destroyed two illegal runways used by drug traffickers and seized 10 AK-47, M16, PS-90 and FAL rifles, hydraulic jacks for helicopters, five power plants, and two solar panels. Meanwhile, service members arrested at least 50 people, including seven who are accused of criminal offenses and 43 who had allegedly crossed the border illegally. Troops also seized 547 rounds of ammunition, 11 grenades, and seven ships used for drug trafficking.

Dismantling illegal routes


Working in cooperation, Service members from both countries have also seized control of 11 unauthorized border paths -- known as "blind spots" -- that organized crime operatives used to engage in human trafficking and to transport drugs and other contraband.

Disabling these blind spots is important because drug trafficking organizations often try to transport drugs produced in South America through the border shared by Honduras and Nicaragua before moving them north to transnational criminal organizations in Mexico. In turn, Mexican drug cartels transport the drugs to the United States, Canada, and other destinations.

“I think the [Nicaraguan Army] has done great work to diminish the activity of organized crime domestically and, therefore, has contributed to lessen its impact in the countries of the region,” Rodrigues said.

Cajina, the RESDAL analyst, agreed that the Military forces of Honduras and Nicaragua are playing an important role in fighting organized crime.

“The participation of the Military has become inevitable,” Cajina said. The role of the Armed Forces in fighting drug trafficking is likely to be temporary, with police forces from both countries eventually taking the lead role in the fight against drug trafficking, he said.


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