Honduras: A Pariah State, or Innovative Solutions to Organized Crime Deserving U.S. Support?   [open pdf - 3MB]

"The public protests against Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, which peaked in July 2015, highlighted perceptions of corruption by Hondurans of their President and his government, and fostered a new spirit of civic participation in Central America. Outside the region, less noticed is that President Hernandez has also made significant changes in the strategy and institutions of the country in combating the interrelated scourges of organized crime and violent gangs, which have plagued Honduras as well as its neighbors. That new approach, set forth in the administration's interagency security plan and Operation MORAZÁN, has produced notable successes. With U.S. assistance, the National Interagency Security Force (FUSINA) and the Honduran government dismantled the leadership of the nation's two principal family-based drug smuggling organizations, the 'Cachiros' and the 'Los Valles', and significantly reduced the use of the national territory as a drug transit zone, particularly narco flights. Murders in the country have fallen from 86.5 per 100,000 in 2011, to 64 per 100,000 in 2014. [...] This monograph focuses on the evolution of the transnational organized crime and gang challenges in Honduras, the strategies and structures of the Hernandez administration in combating them, associated challenges, and recommendations for the U.S. military and policymakers to support the country in such efforts."

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