Leaders of this criminal organization were indicted in the U.S., but some members have served their sentences and returned to Honduras, where they face no criminal charges. Following their apprehension and extradition in 2014, the Valles cartel was able to recover their assets, largely attributable to the slow pace of
Category: In-depth Investigations
Josías Aguilar, an attorney who had previously worked as a detective in two operations against the Valle Valle Cartel at the age of 21, exposed the connections between the drug trade and siblings Tony and Juan Orlando Hernandez. While working for the Attorney General’s Office, Aguilar brought to light
They come from Colombia, Spain, the United States, Peru, Mexico, or Israel. They flourish in electoral campaigns. They are political consultants. This investigation reveals unspeakable secrets from international corporations that sold influence and victories in Honduras. Without regulations or transparency, it is unsurprising that Honduras holds the record for the
The Argentinean consultant, an excentric and provocative character, broke into South American politics in 2020 for his intervention in electoral campaigns in digital media for the far-right. Although his past is a mystery, Cerimedo has installed himself with controversial campaigns that included disinformation in Chile and Brazil. His next goal
The death of 46 women in the National Female Penitentiary for Social Adaptation (Penitenciaría Nacional Femenina de Adaptación Social – PNFAS) exposed the poor decisions of the State in the face of a prison crisis that had already sounded alarms. The Xiomara Castro Administration improvised an intervention in the penitentiary
Geovanny Fuentes Ramirez used to be a businessman in the timber industry and an ambitious drug dealer in Choloma, northern Honduras. He set up his own narcotics lab in the most remote region of El Merendón. There, with the connivance of municipal authorities, military and police officers, the support of
In the mountain range of El Merendón, in northern Honduras, coffee is grown in almost three thousand blocks of land, 80 percent of which is found in a nature reserve that provides water and oxygen to the second largest city in the country, San Pedro Sula. Coffee producers are our
In 2022, around 190,000 people entered Honduras irregularly, the majority of them from Cuba and Venezuela; more people than in the past 12 years. Honduras, a country in exodus, where more than 15,000 people emigrated in caravans, has now become a stopover to the north. At 4,000 kilometers from the
A day after two well-known environmentalists from Guapinol were murdered, a Twitter smear campaign dating back to 2021 intensified once again. The campaign accuses members of an environmentalist group that opposes a mine development of being ‘fake environmentalists’ and taking part in the murders of 10 people in the thick
Honduras’ Guapinol mining project, condemned by the government but defended by top government officials
President Xiomara Castro has officially denounced the Guapinol mine and Palmerola airport projects. They are going ahead regardless, with no interruption to the power and influence of businessman Lenir Pérez, who owns the concessions for both projects. Pérez has already been accused of benefiting from his relations with former president
Honorary consuls are limited-function, voluntary diplomatic actors whose role proceeds for an undetermined period of time. In Honduras today there are 62 honorary consuls, most being Honduran businessmen.This is the story of eight members of the Kafie
At the entrance to the Metropolitan Preventative Police Unit (Unidad Metropolitana de Prevención – UMEP) in the city of Trujillo in northern Honduras, once the haven of the drug trafficking cartel ‘Los Cachiros’, a vehicle with more than a hundred large caliber bullet holes sits on display.
Honduras’ National Police, a
In the coastal border area between Honduras and Guatemala lies the land once slated for the Cuyamel-Omoa National Park (El Parque Nacional Cuyamel-Omoa – PANACO). In 2011, Honduran environmental authorities, with information and support from different NGOs, proposed that a protected area be created there. The wetlands of the region
Translated on September 29th | Protests by Indigenous peoples and environmental groups in Honduras have been taking place in Tegucigalpa to demand that the Xiomara Castro government fulfill its commitments, such as ending open-pit mining and destroying a drug smuggling road.
The president has been silent, while her husband,
Xiomara Castro became the first female president of Honduras. She ran with the Libre Party, the party founded by her husband, José Manuel “Mel” Zelaya, not long after the coup d’état that ousted him from power in 2009. Castro promised a new future for Honduras after 12 years of National
Olivia Aurora began her legal battle against Grupo Karims when it fired her in September 2016. This multinational conglomerate is controlled by Yusuf Amdani, a man of Pakistani origins and Honduran citizenship, who owns the Altara shopping center, Altia Business Park, Merendón Hills, and the giant Green Valley manufacturing complex.
To understand the mass emmigration of the Honduran people, we must review the last decade of this country: a coup d’état, a looted and poor country, and a narco-state. In Lucerna, a small border town in western Honduras, a worker can earn US$36 a week, but in the United States
As detained former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández faces extradition to the United States on three drug trafficking charges, this investigation examines a group of his relatives and friends, who have been partners for years in a maze of charities and companies in Honduras and Florida, multiple of which have
The communities in the Dry Corridor of southern Honduras mostly work in the “Coyolito Club” industries: shrimp, sugar cane and melon farming. Companies in these three industries are often the only source of work, but have been accused of human and labor rights violations. They may also be contributing to
The Youths Building the Future program was launched two and half years ago, and now nearly 4,000 Honduran youths are working at 130 companies in jobs funded by a Mexican government program. They are paid a stipend that is half the minimum wage in Honduras. Despite its slow implementation, Mexican
Xiomara Castro’s victory on November 28 swept many entrenched politicians out of office and toppled the two parties that have held onto power for decades through shady political deal making. Business leaders who have benefitted from the policies of previous governments now face an uncertain future, as the incoming administration
A climate of uncertainty surrounded Sunday’s general election. But in the end, the day proceeded without violence and ended with the highest voter turnout in the last twelve years. Preliminary results gave Xiomara Castro of the Libre Party a wide lead. Though the country is still waiting for an official
Parts of the protected forest reserve of La Tigra National Park in central Honduras have been cleared to grow produce for Tegucigalpa’s dinner tables. Cabbage has become the economic mainstay of a community that settled in the wrong place.
In the midst of the pandemic and as the November elections approach, Employment and Economic Development Zones (Zonas de Empleo y Desarrollo Económico – ZEDE) continue to be a hot topic as they proliferate throughout the country. Despite increasing public opposition, the Honduran government continues to promote the policy. By
Delta Apparel, a transnational clothing manufacturer, dismissed 430 workers during the pandemic. Many of them had work-related musculoskeletal conditions. Thousands more were furloughed without pay. The Ministry of Labor shut down for six months amid widespread labor abuses.
In 2010, Victoria suffered a miscarriage and rushed to hospital. She didn’t know she was pregnant. Then hospital staff reported her to the authorities for abortion. The ensuing legal battle lasted eleven years. When her name was revealed by the media, she had to leave town.
The Honduran government has promised that the construction of 14 dams will prevent the severe flooding that the country experienced during tropical storms Eta and Iota late last year. But these controversial projects are marked by a lack of transparency and are being developed with little community input. By Fernando
In the last 12 years, only 28% of the loans granted by Honduras’ agricultural development bank (Banco Nacional de Desarrollo Agrícola – BANADESA) have benefited women. Seeking to survive domestic violence, female farmers have a hard time obtaining land and loans.
One of the pandemic relief measures taken by the government of Honduras was to secure up to US$2.5 billion in debt to be used for guaranteed loans channeled through a government bank to small and medium-size enterprises. Despite the government’s promises of relief for small businesses, our investigation found that
The hidden connection between a U.S. steel company and the controversial Los Pinares mine in Honduras
An environmental conflict marked by violence is raging in Guapinol, Honduras, where local inhabitants are resisting an iron oxide mine in a national park. This cross-border journalism alliance* has uncovered that Nucor Corporation, the chief steel producer in the United States, was a powerful hidden partner behind the mining project.
By Jennifer Avila/ Contracorriente Illustration by Paola Nirta from a photograph of Juan López / Agenda Propia Photos by Martín Cálix and Fernando Silva / Contracorriente There is a certain irony in the name of Mount Botaderos “Carlos Escaleras” National Park. Located in the northern Honduran department of Colon, it’s
According to data from the Ministry of Justice [Ministerio Público – MP], more than 3,037 women have been reported missing in Honduras in the last 12 years. There is little information about the status of these missing person cases, but what data exists reveal that the missing women may have
What is at stake is not only the future of El Salvador’s Armed Forces, but also of democracy itself, write historians Knut Walter and Otto Argueta. The excessive use of force – especially if it is unnecessary – delegitimizes the government along with the institution that exercises it, because it
The Bay Islands of Honduras are a premier tourist destination for Honduran and foreign visitors alike. Its biggest island, Roatan, has also been designated as a special employment and development zone (Zona Especial de Empleo y Desarrollo – ZEDE) called Honduras Próspera. This initiative was launched in May 2020 while
The kidnapping of five men in the coastal community of Triunfo de la Cruz (Tela, Atlántida), four of whom were Garifuna, is yet another instance of the violence that the Garifunas have endured for decades. Garifuna leaders like Miriam Miranda of the Organización Fraternal Negra de Honduras (OFRANEH) claim that
Only 15 cases of femicide in Honduras have resulted in convictions since the country criminalized femicide in 2013. These cases are brought before a justice system that is poorly trained in gender issues, and recent legislation has reduced the penalties for crimes of violence against women. Women who dare to
Translation by: John Turnure Led by General Tito Livio Moreno, the Armed Forces are the most prominent institution in critical areas of the fight against the pandemic. On July 24, Brigadier General José Ernesto Leva Bulnes was appointed president of the supervisory board of Inversiones Estratégicas de Honduras (Invest-h), an
In Honduras, the COVID-19 pandemic has met the world of fraud. A government purchase of mobile hospitals that may not exist, added to other irregularities in pandemic management, have unveiled a common practice in financial crimes: tax evasion and money laundering via shell companies. But, are those companies legal or
The Tolupan San Francisco de Locomapa Tribe, in Yoro, Honduras, has suffered murders, judicial harassment and attacks due to its opposition to the power generation projects in the territory where they have always lived, but which is now in dispute. In the past 20 years, 40 Tolupan indigenes were murdered,
Text: Vienna Herrera Photography: Martín Cálix “I didn’t even know that the ECP – Emergency Contraceptive PIll – existed. Seven years ago, they raped me when I told my mom and dad that I didn’t like men. My dad abused me. He told me that he was going to make