Organized Crime Seeks to Break the Institutions in Honduras
By Dialogo August 16, 2012
Organized crime groups and drug cartels seek to break the institution of Honduras in order to extend their illegal operations in Central America, reported the U.S. Ambassador in Tegucigalpa, Lisa Kubiske, in a forum.
Honduras, in turn, has responded to the threat by passing several laws, such as one to counter money laundering, one to fight terrorism, and an extradition treaty signed earlier this year with the United States, recognized the diplomatic representative.
Together with the Honduran authorities, U.S. citizens “have a commitment to fight against organized crime through interagency cooperation,” she said.
The statements were made by Kubiske during a conference titled “New Strategies for the Decommissioning of Transnational Organized Crime Groups” that was sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Honduras’s National Banking and Insurance Commission (CNBS). The conference lasts until August 21.
President Porfirio Lobo, who also addressed the meeting, said the United States has accepted “joint but differentiated responsibility” in the fight against crime, in recognition that Central America suffers from the drug trade from South America to the U.S. market.
CNBS President Vilma Morales, said that the new strategies to combat crime are focused on the implementation of laws such as the ones for money laundering, the confiscation of goods of illicit origin, and the fight against the finance of terrorism.
The conference included hundreds of officials involved in the issues surrounding Honduras, who participated in a training session with U.S. and Colombian instructors including, police, judges, prosecutors, CNBS staff and the Supreme Electoral Court.
According to official data, 87 percent of drugs pass through Central America en route to the United States, and violent groups linked to cartels act in the Northern Triangle (Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras).
The United States, through the Central American Regional Security Initiative, has committed $361 million to fund the fight against organized crime.