Organized Crime Groups Use Cattle Industry to Transport Drugs in Central America

By Dialogo
August 20, 2015

No, those articles are too long. Please cut them down a bit, do me the favor I'm saying. Yuli Vanesa Zapata Tavima It's now the end of the world. Lord lots of faith faith Drug trafficking is blanketing humanity That's how things are in the world. Well, I think no matter how hard the authorities fight, they're not going to be able to control this narcotic because they always look for a way to keep bringing their junk in. If we want to rid our country of drugs, we have to be relentless so that our youth may have a chance in life. Let's help It is alarming to see how drug trafficking is progressing in the Americas and we in Argentina are also alarmed because of that scourge that seems to be deploying quickly and positively for the criminals the governments should be inflexible with those who commit crimes that ruin the lives of young people who are tempted by so much money. Those in charge should be able to detect and put an end to them The best option would be to be able to liberate the sale of drugs so to keep that monster which is drug trafficking from continuing to grow and taking over everything! Peace has ended for us in Colombia What's this, and they cannot and will not be able to fight More news about Colombia Excellent reporting on the latest news and we don't have to make much effort. It's very cool from Venezuela Yaracuy... Mabel Peralta Cañaveral I like reading the news A thousand thanks. Good you inform us clearly

Organized crime groups in Central America are using the livestock trade to transport drugs, hiding illicit substances inside trucks, and trailers used to transport cattle.

For example, in 2014, Honduran Military Police and civilian law enforcement officers seized a large trailer truck transporting 45 bulls and calves from Olancho to a ranch in Copán, the western department closest to Guatemala.

After Military police and law enforcement agents unloaded the cattle after stopping the vehicle near Comayagua, they found 743 kilograms of cocaine in hidden compartments in the truck’s roof.

Security officials estimated the narcotic was worth 609 million Lempiras, the equivalent to 29 million dollars.

Law enforcement authorities suspect two major Honduran organized crime groups – El Cartel del Sur and El Cartel de Olancho – smuggle drugs inside trucks and trailers used to transport cattle.

El Cartel del Sur’s territorial reach extends to the country’s border with Nicaragua, while El Cartel de Olancho is suspected of being connected to the drug trafficking group Los Cachiros, which operates in the region north of Olancho, in the eastern region of La Mosquitía, and in the Atlantic Ocean.

Two Honduran families of cattle ranchers are allegedly connected to the Gulf Cartel, a Mexican transnational criminal organization, according to a May report in local Honduran daily El

Colonel José Antonio Sánchez, a spokesman for the Honduran Armed Forces, emphasized that when countries reinforce their security barriers – and Honduras has done so, he added – traffickers resort to new ways of getting their merchandise across borders.

Criminal groups steal and sell cattle

Some organized crime groups in Central America are not only using cattle to transport drugs – they are stealing and selling livestock.

The Nicaraguan Chamber of Meat Exporters estimates that between 60,000 and 65,000 heads are smuggled out of the country annually.

The chamber’s director, Onel Pérez, speculated the cattle is being moved “by hot money and probably drug trafficking.”

Feeling the pinch of the losses of cattle herds in their industry, Pérez and René Blandón, president of the Central American Federation of Meat Producers, said they have presented their case and shared these statistics with Nicaraguan law enforcement authorities.

In recent years, organized crime operatives have sold thousands of heads of stolen Central American cattle in Mexico.

A Mexican military report stated: “the trafficked cattle from Honduras goes to Veracruz, Querétaro, Hidalgo, San Luis Potosí, Durango, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas in a route dominated by relationships between cartels and local criminal gangs.”

Criminals marked the bulls and cows to make it seem like they were raised locally.

Cattle theft is a growing problem, Blandón said.

“It is alarming that the number of legal cattle has diminished dramatically, while the contraband of these animals has increased,” Blandón added.

In Honduras, security forces are taking strong measures to crack down on the illegal cattle trade.

For example, since January 1, agents from Honduras's National Interagency Task Force (FUSINA) have eradicated three blind spots used by organized crime groups to smuggle contraband through the border between Honduras and Guatemala.

“We have destroyed blind spots in our border with Guatemala with explosives to try to block the smuggling of drugs, weapons, people, cattle, and any other type of merchandise that people try to export without paying taxes,” Sub Lieutenant José Coello Molina, FUSINA’s spokesman for the country’s northwestern region, said.