Honduran and Nicaraguan soldiers successfully completed a twelfth staging of Operation Morazán-Sandino to clamp down on rampant criminal activity between their border.
It resulted in more than 70 criminals arrested, 12,000 marijuana plants destroyed, a narco-lab dismantled, and $130,000 seized. The operation, led by both countries’ armed forces, aims to neutralise transnational crime linked to drug, arms, and human trafficking, cattle rustling, and smuggling goods.
These operations began in 2014, as part of the Central American Armed Forces Conference, and it activates a joint task force consisting of units of the Honduran and Nicaraguan armies, who conduct land and maritime patrol on their 584 miles of common border. Honduran Operation Morazán-Sandino is planned every three months and executed in periods of up to two weeks.
“There are many illegal border crossings or blind spots where crimes are committed on both sides of the border, so strategies are executed to close routes toward the interior [of both countries],” said Honduran Army Colonel Iván Rolando Cano Mejía, commander of the 101th Infantry Brigade, which leads the operation on the Honduran side.
Nicaragua and Honduras have important land, maritime, and air routes used for narcotrafficking. Transnational criminal groups leverage the porous border and less-populated areas in both countries to conduct their activities. The report also shows an increase of narcotrafficking via Nicaraguan maritime and air routes since the first half of 2018, due to political instability and to roadblocks neighbouring countries have imposed.