revised law allowing the Honduras government to better seize criminal assets!

 

confiscated Drug money Hondures

confiscated Drug money Hondures

A revised law allowing the Honduras government to better seize criminal assets was passed just over a year ago, and authorities are still having trouble implementing it efficiently.

Lobo told La Tribuna that there should be a policy allowing for the separation of cash assets from material ones like houses, guns, and other luxury items. The forfeited cash could then be distributed far more quickly to security agencies, to spend in their campaign against organized crime.

According to a law introduced in July 2010 and approved by Congress in November, three government ministries would each receive 26 per-cent of the forfeited criminal assets: the State Security Ministry, the Defence Ministry and the Public Ministry. Another 10 per-cent is intended to be used as “bonus” salaries for police and firemen, and the remaining 10 per-cent is earmarked for drug rehabilitation programs.

But the distribution of these seized assets to the security forces has faced layers of red tape. Last year security forces seized three properties worth tens of millions of dollars, believed to have been built with drug money. By December, the government had distributed a reported $150 million to the security forces, but this was only made possible through an emergency decree that sped up the process.·

In September, the government announced they may create a new office intended to make implementing the law easier. Honduras is seeking new sources of funds for the fight against organized crime, and even briefly considered levying a significant security tax.

Allowing the Honduran security forces to more efficiently access the cash seized from drug traffickers could provide a serious financial boost. As the U.S. State Department points out, Honduras is a transhipment hub for bulk cash shipments smuggled from the U.S. back to Central and South America. In 2009, Honduran security forces seized cash shipments valued at $7.1 million, with another $9 million seized in 2010.

But little of that money is going into the hands of the security forces. The government has reportedly only distributed $2 million and 35 million lempiras (about $1.8 million) worth of seized cash to state institutions between 2003 and 2011.

Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel are very weak tactically

Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel are very weak tactically

Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel are very weak tactically

“The criminal groups of Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel are very weak tactically, operationally and financially in Tamaulipas,” that is what the spokesman for the Department of the Navy, Rear Admiral Jose Luis Vergara Ibarra said. Luis Vergara said this while talking about Marine operations on this region in recent days, that includes a confrontation in the town of Miguel Alemán that killed 10 suspected criminals and wounded 22.

At the headquarters of the Navy situated in this border city, the admiral noted that the weakening of these criminal groups is reflected in the increased use of armored pickup trucks and because the members of these groups have no formal training in the use of weapons, and went on to say that they seem to have increasingly less resources.

The admiral added that in the confrontation last Saturday in Miguel Alemán; “We did not have any casulaties or injuries,” and also said that they faced a group of men “who took up arms in a desperate way” and without any knowledge confronted trained federal forces.

Vergara Ibarra said that from October 5 to date, the Navy has detained a total of 36 suspects and 11 more that were killed in clashes with the Marines, and they also managed to seized four tons of marijuana, 65 long guns, five handguns, 18,221 rounds of ammunition, two anti-tank grenades, four hand grenades, 35 rocket propelled grenades and an RPG with 324 RPG cartridges.
They also seized four heavily armored trucks or homemade tanks, also known as Monster trucks.

Among those arrested was Ricardo Salazar Pequeño, alleged head of the plaza in Miguel Alemán working for the Gulf Cartel and Gabriela Gomez Miguel Flores, the alleged accountant for the criminal group