Skip to comments.What to do about Honduras
Posted on 02/11/2012 7:57:07 PM PST by Texas Fossil
Our homeland is bleeding painfully, is how Honduran Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez put it recently at a religious event whose audience included Honduran President Porfirio Lobo.
Indeed, Honduras is spiraling into an ungovernable and unstable situation due to the increased operations of international drug syndicates and their local gang proxies within its territory.
Last October, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime reported that Honduras, a nation of 7.6 million, now has the highest homicide rate in the world.
Honduras is a victim of what counter-narcotics experts refer to as the balloon effect, where heavy pressures on traffickers in Colombia and Mexico have forced them to relocate to less dangerous environments such as Honduras, where they are flooding the country with hundreds of millions of dollars in drug profits, bribing legislators, judges and police officials, and further debilitating already weak institutions.
What can the U.S. do about this situation? Well, the first thing thats important is emphasizing what we should not do and that is cut off all police and military aid, as a recent tendentious op-ed in the New York Times argued. The piece went on to make the preposterous claim that the Obama administration is responsible for the drug carnage in Honduras because it supported elections to end the 2009 presidential crisis that saw the ouster of proto-authoritarian Manuel Zelaya.
While it is true that the Honduras crisis does have its origins in the U.S., its not quite the way the op-eds author imagines. It is the U.S. insatiable demand for illicit narcotics that fuels the crisis there and throughout Central America. (U.S. officials estimate that fully 95 percent of the illegal drugs that go from South America to the United States pass through Central America.)
As such, we have an obligation to the Honduran people to help mitigate the violent fallout. But we also have to recognize the U.S.s present fiscal situation and that major new assistance initiatives are unlikely to be contemplated. But there are important things we can do now within present budgets.
Because the narcos have so thoroughly penetrated the police forces, the military has had to be called in to try and stabilize the situation. We need to work with the Honduran government to allow the DEA to train and vet special law enforcement units as they have done in other countries. Without wholesale reform of front-line units, no progress in the drug war will be possible. Similarly, increased support for witness, judge and prosecutor protection programs to eradicate impunity is essential.
Second, the U.S. needs to implement an extradition treaty with Honduras as quickly as possible. Extradition to the U.S. is what kingpins fear the most, because they know they cannot buy their way out. It has proved extremely valuable in Colombias war against the cartels and needs to be replicated here.
Yet, these immediate steps and any subsequent measures cannot succeed absent local leadership, which is something the U.S. cannot provide. Regrettably, President Lobos tenure has not been marked by strong leadership on this front. In short, he is no President Uribe of Colombia.
Honduras needs a leader who is willing to take on the drug cartels and those corrupted by them and move his country principally the political and economic elites to make the necessary sacrifices to reclaim their countrys sovereignty from the drug lords and gangs. President Uribe challenged the wealthy to radically increase Colombias security resources and they responded, because they saw him as a leader who could be trusted.
Of course, reducing U.S. demand for illegal drugs would begin to solve the problem, but that is not going to happen in the short-term, and the house is on fire today. Decriminalization is a pipe dream. Neither is walking away from the problem a serious option. Hondurass war on drugs is ours too, and its time that both sides begin treating it as such.
[Full disclosure: In July 2009, I helped to advise a Honduran business delegation that came to Washington during their presidential crisis to defend Manuel Zelaya's removal from power.]
The US Embassy states it is dispatching Oliver P Garza (former Ambassador to Nicaragua, from Texas) as an advisor to Honduran President Lobo for developing a national security strategy to protect citizens, assure human rights, fight drugs and attracting more international aid.
In the past I have posted articles from this source. It is better than most media in the region.
Concerning my comment about the U.S. Ambassador being dispatched to Honduras, I immediately distrust anything that Obozo supports or send representatives to help with. He is a Commie Traitor.
And although Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama have some similarities, Mitt Romney is certainly no Ronald Reagan.
“...What to do about Honduras...”
If this were a question on jeopardy, I would say, “Alex, what is nothing.”
the modern civilized world will have to deal with the lawless drug lords
like the civilized world of the 1700’s and 1800’s dealt with lawless prates.
How about they stop smuggling weapons to the Honduran gangsters?
Lots of attention to Fast and Furious; not so much attention to its twin program in Honduras.
Due to the increase in European and Asian consumption the figure is around 70-75% (some would go as low as 65%) now.
Yep, Operation Castaway has no exposure, but it did happen.
Yep, I have thought about that, especially as it has to do with Mexico. They seem powerless to extract themselves.
Thanks for the info. I had no feel for the real numbers.
I spent four days in San Pedro Sula, Honduras during January. Was I happy to leave....OH YEAH! San Salvador was a breath of fresh air after getting thru their stinking immigration system.
Such a shame. I grew to like and admire the Hondurans during the Zelaya ouster and the subsequent elections. Spunky people.
They got a dud in Senor Lobo as far as I can tell. Looks like he immediately sold out his countrymen. Became a Pal of Obozo.
He even endorsed the U.N. recognition of Palestine as a state. Wonder what that bought him with Obozo?
I would like to visit Honduras but not under the current situation.
I have a soft spot in my heart for nations who will fight to remain free. In this case they are/were a functioning Republic and pro U.S. until recently.
Their Commie neighbors over in Nicaragua would love to see the Hondurans under the heel. Before they were protected to some extent by the U.S. Not under Obozo.
I know some people who were living in Trujillo, Honduras. I haven’t been able to contact them and assume they have left. Trujillo wasn’t the best place I understand.
Zelaya started this mess.
Honduras...dying. Or should I say being murdered? G-d DAMN drugs and anyone who grows or sells them. I mean that with all my heart.
Yes, I have friend who told me that Zelaya was flying drugs out of his properties during his Presidency.
I have no doubt it is true.
Sorry for your friends. Sorry for Honduras.
Obozo’s “help” will not help but make things worse.
...spiraling into an ungovernable and unstable situation due to the increased operations of international drug syndicates and their local gang proxies within its territory.
...a recent tendentious op-ed in the New York Times... went on to make the preposterous claim that the Obama administration is responsible for the drug carnage in Honduras because it supported elections to end the 2009 presidential crisis that saw the ouster of proto-authoritarian Manuel Zelaya.Preposterous is correct:
Bad news indeed.