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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03TEGUCIGALPA1122
2003-05-13 22:47:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Tegucigalpa
Cable title:  

ONE IF BY AIR, TWO IF BY SEA: HONDURAN

Tags:   SNAR  PGOV  EAIR  KCRM  KJUS  PHUM  ASEC  HO 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TEGUCIGALPA 001122 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR INL/LP, DRL/PHD, EB/TRA, AND WHA/CEN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR PGOV EAIR KCRM KJUS PHUM ASEC HO
SUBJECT: ONE IF BY AIR, TWO IF BY SEA: HONDURAN
NARCOTRAFFICKING TIMELINE MARCH 2002-APRIL 2003

REF: A. TEGUCIGALPA 986

B. TEGUCIGALPA 962

C. TEGUCIGALPA 924

D. TEGUCIGALPA 913 (ALL NOTAL)



1. (SBU) The following is a listing of important
narcotrafficking activities occurring in Honduras within the
past year. It should be noted that there has been a sizable
increase in the use of aircraft as a delivery platform for
drug shipments. The occurrence of illicit aircraft tracks
crossing into Honduras averages three incidents per day.



--------------------------


AIRCRAFT ACTIVITY


--------------------------



-March 31, 2002: A Beechcraft Queen Air crashed in the
remote Mosquitia region of Honduras. Ninety-five AK-47s were
recovered at this site (ref B).

-August 31, 2002: Police responded to a crash site in Santa
Rita of a Piper Seneca (model PA-34-200T) bearing Colombian
tail number HK-2083P. This particular aircraft also had an
Operation Gemini Clipper sticker on its tail (ref B).

-October 16, 2002: A white Cessna made an emergency landing
in Southern Honduras. The two pilots were arrested and three
kilos of cocaine were recovered from the burned wreckage (ref
B).

-Between December 31, 2002 and January 4, 2003: A Piper
Seneca (model PA-34-200T) crashed in the vicinity of Santa
Rita. No drugs were seized but arrests were made. An
Operation Gemini Clipper sticker was located on the aircraft
that bore the tail number N237H (ref B).

-March 5, 2003: A twin engine Air Commander believed to be
transporting 500 to 1,000 kilos of cocaine crashed in the
area of Kum, Nicaragua; Kum is located just south of the
Honduran border in the remote region of La Mosquitia. Local
villagers are believed to have taken most of the load across
the Rio Coco into Honduras (ref B).

-March 19, 2003: A Beechcraft King Air entered southern
Honduras and continued northwest straddling the Honduran/El
Salvadoran border before it entered Guatemala where it was
ultimately forced down. Two Colombians were arrested and
1,020 kilos of cocaine were seized (ref B).

-April 2, 2003: A Colombian-registered (HK-2862P) Piper
Seneca loaded with cocaine was captured by police after
landing on a Honduran highway near Arenal, in the Yolo
department. The pilots fled the scene leaving Colombian
flight plans aboard. Although only 397 kilos of cocaine were
recovered at the site, it is believed that the plane
originated with 1,000 kilos onboard (ref B).

-April 8, 2003: A Beechcraft Queen Air violated Honduran air
space in the south of the country, but was not intercepted.
The aircraft was believed to have approximately 1,000 kilos
of cocaine onboard (ref B).

-April 14, 2003: The Honduran Air Force forced down an Aero
Commander over southern Honduras. The two Colombian pilots
were killed. Honduran police collected approximately 942
kilos of cocaine from the crash site (refs A, C, and D).



--------------------------


MARITIME ACTIVITY


--------------------------



-November 29, 2002: Honduran authorities seized 2.2 kilos of
cocaine from a go-fast boat on a beach in La Mosquitia.
During the operation two traffickers were killed, two
captured, and the remaining two escaped.

-December 11, 2002: USD 460,000 was seized from F/U "Captain
Ryan" in La Ceiba, Honduras. Six people were arrested,
including 1 Panamanian.

-January 21, 2003: USD 380,000 was seized from a go-fast
boat at Roatan Island, Honduras. Several arrests were made
in the seizure.
-March 6, 2003: Four go-fast boats escaped capture off the
northern coast of Honduras during Operation Rio Coco.

-March 18, 2003: Honduran police disrupted a maritime drug
transfer operation. The twelve subjects arrested were in
possession of 12 hand guns, two AK-47s, one M-16, one GPS and
13 cell phones. Some of the individuals arrested in the
event are known traffickers. Subsequent investigation
revealed that they are connected to a prominent
narcotrafficking family.
-April 13, 2003: An abandoned go-fast boat was found in the
vicinity of Puerto Castilla equipped with three 250
horsepower engines and 10 barrels of fuel.


2. (SBU) Comment: The events listed above offer only a
glimpse into the narcotrafficking operations that transit
Honduras. Post, through the Political Section's INL
programs, DEA, and TAT, work closely with the GOH on
combating narcotrafficking. It is clear to Post that the GOH
cannot fight this battle without the support of the USG. End
Comment.
Palmer