Elite Honduran security forces capture kidnappers and rescue their victims

Elite Honduran security forces capture kidnappers and rescue their victims

By Dialogo
November 03, 2014




The combined efforts of an elite team of Honduran Army soldiers, National Police agents, and the National Interagency Security Force have made a significant impact on abductions by street gangs and drug trafficking organizations.

Kidnappings have dropped 20 percent during the first half of 2014 compared to the same time period last year. And among the kidnappings that have taken place, many have ended in daring rescues by Honduran security forces.

For example, in March, agents with Unaps – part of the Honduran National Police – worked with Army soldiers and Choluteca police to rescue a 21-year-old man who had been abducted, allegedly by a gang known as Los Corrales. They also captured five men who are alleged to have conducted the kidnapping and demanded nearly US $245 thousand in ransom.

Street gangs like Los Corrales, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18 (M-18) are among the criminal groups that engage in kidnapping in Honduras. Some large drug trafficking organizations also commit abductions for ransom.

But those organizations have had to contend with the combined skill of Honduran security forces. For instance, since FUSINA went into action in February, agents with the elite unit have captured more than 1,800 criminal suspects, including individuals wanted for kidnapping, extortion, homicide and other offenses. FUSINA has dismantled at least 41 criminal extortion gangs, some of which engaged in kidnapping for ransom.

Praise from the President


“We now have the tools that we previously lacked” to fight gangs, drug trafficking groups, and crime in general, President Juan Orlando Hernández said in a La Prensa
article published September 29.

Coordination between Honduran security forces, including the military and the National Police, and cooperation from Colombian and the United States, which have provided training and intelligence, has helped Unaps and FUSINA carry out successful operations against kidnappers.

“Honduras has put in place significant capacities to confront the kidnapping groups, these capacities have been supported by the governments of Colombia and the US,” said Armando Rodríguez Luna, a security analyst at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

FUSINA is one of those capacities. President Hernández created FUSINA to aggressively confront international drug traffickers and organized crime groups, many of which engage in extortion. It is comprised of 4,400 members of the Armed Forces, the National Police, and the Public Ministry. Police and military intelligence officers are also part of FUSINA. The elite unit began operating in February, one month after Hernández was sworn in as president.

A kidnapping tragedy inspires a soccer star to help at-risk youth


Law enforcement forces are not the only ones fighting organized crime groups, however - sports stars are also joining in to save youths from the dangers of joining a gang.

While Unaps and FUSINA agents are rescuing abduction victims and kidnapping suspects, World Cup soccer player Wilson Palacios is participating in “Conffe vs. Gangs,” an initiative to discourage young Hondurans from joining organized crime groups.

The effort encourages young people to pursue a better future through sports, education and job training.

“We want them to get involved in sports, soccer and for them to learn to study so that young people can keep away from crime,” Palacios said.

Palacios and his family were devastated by a kidnapping in 2007, when gang members kidnapped his younger brother, Edwin, who was 14, from the family home in Honduras. Law enforcement authorities found Edwin’s body 19 months later.

Initiatives of this type can be effective. These kinds of programs seek to get young people involved in programs not only for sports development but also to develop teamwork.



The combined efforts of an elite team of Honduran Army soldiers, National Police agents, and the National Interagency Security Force have made a significant impact on abductions by street gangs and drug trafficking organizations.

Kidnappings have dropped 20 percent during the first half of 2014 compared to the same time period last year. And among the kidnappings that have taken place, many have ended in daring rescues by Honduran security forces.

For example, in March, agents with Unaps – part of the Honduran National Police – worked with Army soldiers and Choluteca police to rescue a 21-year-old man who had been abducted, allegedly by a gang known as Los Corrales. They also captured five men who are alleged to have conducted the kidnapping and demanded nearly US $245 thousand in ransom.

Street gangs like Los Corrales, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18 (M-18) are among the criminal groups that engage in kidnapping in Honduras. Some large drug trafficking organizations also commit abductions for ransom.

But those organizations have had to contend with the combined skill of Honduran security forces. For instance, since FUSINA went into action in February, agents with the elite unit have captured more than 1,800 criminal suspects, including individuals wanted for kidnapping, extortion, homicide and other offenses. FUSINA has dismantled at least 41 criminal extortion gangs, some of which engaged in kidnapping for ransom.

Praise from the President


“We now have the tools that we previously lacked” to fight gangs, drug trafficking groups, and crime in general, President Juan Orlando Hernández said in a La Prensa
article published September 29.

Coordination between Honduran security forces, including the military and the National Police, and cooperation from Colombian and the United States, which have provided training and intelligence, has helped Unaps and FUSINA carry out successful operations against kidnappers.

“Honduras has put in place significant capacities to confront the kidnapping groups, these capacities have been supported by the governments of Colombia and the US,” said Armando Rodríguez Luna, a security analyst at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

FUSINA is one of those capacities. President Hernández created FUSINA to aggressively confront international drug traffickers and organized crime groups, many of which engage in extortion. It is comprised of 4,400 members of the Armed Forces, the National Police, and the Public Ministry. Police and military intelligence officers are also part of FUSINA. The elite unit began operating in February, one month after Hernández was sworn in as president.

A kidnapping tragedy inspires a soccer star to help at-risk youth


Law enforcement forces are not the only ones fighting organized crime groups, however - sports stars are also joining in to save youths from the dangers of joining a gang.

While Unaps and FUSINA agents are rescuing abduction victims and kidnapping suspects, World Cup soccer player Wilson Palacios is participating in “Conffe vs. Gangs,” an initiative to discourage young Hondurans from joining organized crime groups.

The effort encourages young people to pursue a better future through sports, education and job training.

“We want them to get involved in sports, soccer and for them to learn to study so that young people can keep away from crime,” Palacios said.

Palacios and his family were devastated by a kidnapping in 2007, when gang members kidnapped his younger brother, Edwin, who was 14, from the family home in Honduras. Law enforcement authorities found Edwin’s body 19 months later.

Initiatives of this type can be effective. These kinds of programs seek to get young people involved in programs not only for sports development but also to develop teamwork.
SOMETIMES ONE, AS A CITIZEN, WANTS TO HELP THE YOUNG PEOPLE. YOU LOOK FOR SUPPORT AND DON'T FIND IT WITH SOME POLITICIANS... IN OTHER WORDS THE YOUNG PEOPLE IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD WE CARRY A SPORTS UNIFORM SO THEY CAN PLAY SOCCER I HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO GET IT...SO WE'LL CONTINUE FIGHTING TO GET IT FOR THE GOOD OF THESE BOYS...GOD CONTINUE TO ENLIGHTEN THEM AND PROTECT THEM FOR THE GOOD OF THIS COUNTRY. Hi.Yes, I.like.it
A lot All those little guys are a bunch of corrupt men Why has it taken you so long to present such relevant news...why wasn't it mentioned before, why don't you mention true heroes, who gave their all for all, in the institution? And they weren't given what they deserve, but God in heaven will. You know what they're doing as of now...they're being chased, they're accused in order to justify a charge against them, such is the case with Mr. Fusina. God protect us, with the executions being carried out by the President of Honduras, I am sorry I gave him my vote, it's a deception. God give him much wisdom...and one day he'll answer to the Sovereign God...and he will be judged by his works. God have mercy. Give them a 100 year prison sentence Hi, the efforts made for security in Honduras are important thanks to the Military Police. I like the [unintelligible] of our Honduran armed forces We thank God for putting into the hearts of the authorities keeping the police and other entities they have created pure to protect the citizenry which trusts them.
Those of us who believe in God and who do his will pray for all the men and women who sirve with all their strength and even with their lives to enforce the country's laws which allow us to live in peace and harmony as well as in peace and security. Very good day, publication, if you were embargoed by Honduras, publish printed information without publishing photos of dead bodies. When two people are doing the same thing, one of the two is in excess. Why not define it for once and for all? Military police or national police? So much of the budget is spent on questions of security (which isn't bad) as long as there are concrete results. But the figures are the same, as reflected in the cemeteries. More people die in Honduras than in a country at war. It gives me chills, really, to live in this country. Let us learn to live, to be tolerant, let us respect others' differences en every sense, let us be in solidarity, and please, politicians, get to work and stop looting the country. Gob Bless Honduras and those who lead it.
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