Is "El Chapo" Guzman hiding in Honduras?

Honduran deputy defense minister says it's an "open secret"

Is
Carlos Roberto Funes, Deputy Defense Minister of Honduras. El Mundo

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TEGUCIGALPA- According to the Honduran deputy minister of defense, Carlos Roberto Funes, one of the worlds most wanted men could be hiding in the Central American country; the Mexican drug lord, Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán.

In an interview with the Spanish daily "El Mundo", Funes added that "El Chapo" Guzmán has now control over drug trafficking activities in the country, as well as over criminal groups that are also allied with dangerous gangs, which is why, he believes, there has recently been an increase in clashes between authorities and criminal groups, each one more bloody and intense than the last.

The deputy minister also said that an important part of drug trafficking is the creating of clandestine air runways, and those too have been on the uptick. "Right now, we have between 180 and 200 illegal runways in the country. They are about a kilometer [little less than a mil] long, but recently we found one that is 2.5 km in length [1.5miles]. The cartels are preparing to bring int larger aircraft", delated Funes to El Mundo, as well as commenting that even though authorities have tried hard to destroy the runways, local residents aid in their construction out of fear or obligation to do it. In the Mosquita region alone, where the majority of these runways are located, 80 percent of cocaine headed to the U.S. transits through there.

And when it comes to the aircrafts, after being used, most are destroyed since drug traffickers aren't really interested in hanging on to them. "Once on land, the drugs reach all the way to the sea and continue on speedboats...they modify the planes' deposits and place bombs within after they fly during six hours from Venezuela or Colombia", he explains. "A model 210 plane can carry some 500 kilos (1,100 lbs) and in other even a ton", highlights El Mundo, adding that the military academy at Campo Marte in Tegucigalpa has a homemade submarine built in Colombia, confiscated by the Honduran army so that cadets can study the methods used by drug traffickers. There have been five similar submarines found on its coast in these last three years.

The Sinaloa cartel's operations aren't just known for trafficking narcotics, but also because of how they transport their "produce" so to say, and the armament they employ defending it. The creation of "narco-tunnels", corruption against different types of officials inside and outside of Mexico, looking to acquire militaristic armament like anti-air missiles and anti-tank weapons, as well as grenades, grenade launchers and assault-riffles are only some of the characteristics of an organization that also provides employment for hound reds of people, who sometimes don't even know who their real boss is.

Not undeservingly has Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán made it unto the list of "world's richest men." For four consecutive years he appeared on Forbes' list of richest men, except in 2013 after it became increasingly difficult to tally up his current fortune. The Sinaloa cartel's activities have expanded throughout the Americas, Asia, Europa and even Australia. It mostly deals with marijuana, cocaine, opiums and methamphetamine.

* Via El Mundo.

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