Honduran police spokesperson Julián Hernández announced on Sept. 30 that agents had discovered an illegal shipment of arms from the US in Puerto Cortés, the country’s main port, in the northern department of Cortés. The arms, hidden in several boxes containing garments, included five rifles, an Uzi submachine gun, a pistol and a supply of ammunition. It was sent via Guatemala from a “Héctor Figueroa” in the US to a “Concepción Duarte,” who reportedly lives in San Francisco de la Paz in eastern Honduras.
The authorities reported discovering another shipment of arms from the US on Sept. 8; this one was sent to a man identified as “Pablo Flores,” who was said to have died in a confrontation with the police in northern Honduras. (EFE. Sept. 30, via Terra, Spain)
Northern Honduras, especially the Lower Aguán Valley area, has been the site of violent struggles over land over the past two years and has also seen increased activity by drug smugglers and other criminals. The government has responded to growing violence by militarizing the region, but local grassroots organizations say that while the military presence has done little to end killings and other criminal activity, it has increased the repression of campesino groups. On Sept. 30, the same day the latest arms discovery was announced, Honduran and international organizations opened a four-day conference in Tocoa, Colón department, entitled “Gathering Against Militarization, Occupation and Repression in Honduras: Militant Solidarity With the Lower Aguán.” (Vos el Soberano, Honduras, Sept. 30; Adital, Brazil, Sept. 30)
From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Oct. 2.
See our last posts on Honduras, Central America and the regional arms traffic.