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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03TEGUCIGALPA2289 2003-09-25 22:38:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tegucigalpa
Cable title:  

COWABUNGA: TWO SEPARATE DRUG SEIZURES YIELD 13

Tags:   SNAR PGOV KCRM KJUS PHUM ECON HO 
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					C O N F I D E N T I A L TEGUCIGALPA 002289 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INL/LP, WHA/CEN, AND WHA/PPC

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/25/2013
TAGS: SNAR PGOV KCRM KJUS PHUM ECON HO
SUBJECT: COWABUNGA: TWO SEPARATE DRUG SEIZURES YIELD 13
KILOS OF HEROIN AND APPROXIMATELY 1,026 KILOS OF COCAINE

REF: TEGUCIGALPA 1497

Classified By: Political Chief Francisco Palmieri;
reasons 1.5(b) and (d).



1. (C) SUMMARY: On September 24, in two separate actions,
Honduran police seized 13 kilos of heroin and approximately
1,026 kilos of cocaine. In both operations, Honduran
authorities displayed unprecedented cooperation and
coordination, working closely together and with U.S.
counterdrug assets and State Department INL officials at
Post. Already, Honduras has confiscated more cocaine this
year (4,748 kilos) than in the last five years combined. The
heroin seizure is the first significant heroin bust in the
country's history. The Maduro administration's determination
to combat drug traffickers can now be accurately
characterized as a confirmed fact, as well as the Honduran
military's committed participation for drug-interdiction
operations. END SUMMARY



2. (C) The September 24 seizure of 13 kilos of heroin, with a
U.S. street value of some USD 5 million, is the first
significant heroine bust in Honduran history. The operation
was a success due to highly coordinated cooperation between
the INL-sponsored vetted unit and the Honduran Frontier
Police. The vetted unit, having received intelligence that
the heroin was being transported in a van, located the
vehicle and then called in the Frontier Police to make the
arrest.



3. (U) Along with the heroin, two suspects were apprehended:
Jose Antonio Fajardo Enamorado of Honduras (46); and Mauricio
Castillo Romero from Guatemala (24). The two men were
arrested in the Department of El Paraiso, shortly after
driving across the border from Nicaragua. According to press
reports and Honduran authorities, both suspects were to be
paid USD 6,000 per kilo for transporting the drugs. The
heroin originated from Colombia, and Honduran authorities
believe the drugs were connected to the same cartel
associated with convicted PARLACEN Congressman Cesar Diaz
(reftel). Diaz is currently serving a ten-year prison
sentence in Nicaragua on narcotics trafficking charges.



4. (C) Separately, on the same day, Honduran authorities
seized approximately 1,026 kilos of cocaine after a go-fast
boat (originally tracked by SOUTHCOM's TAT assets) beached
off Punto Gordo, on the north side of the Island of Roatan.
The craft became tangled in mangroves after attempting to
evade a Honduran Air Force helicopter that had been deployed
to track it. The go-fast crew of five fled into the forest,
abandoning its cargo. This latest confiscation brings the
total amount of cocaine seized this year in Honduras to 4,748
kilos, more than the last five years combined.



5. (U) The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane, which had
earlier that day assisted in the seizure of another go-fast
with traces of cocaine, guarded the craft until Honduran
authorities arrived on the scene.



6. (U) COMMENT: The cooperation between the U.S., the
Honduran military, and the Honduran police is clear evidence
that the Maduro administration is strongly committed to
combating drug trafficking, directing its institutions to act
accordingly. This cooperation represents a giant leap
forward in Honduran determination to effectively interdict
drugs transiting the country. END COMMENT.
Palmer