Security & Strategic Review - May 2023

HONDURAS/GUATEMALA: INCSR report highlights coca production concerns

Honduras’s defence ministry (Sedena) recently announced that in the first quarter of 2023 over 1.8m coca plants were seized in Honduras, spanning 147.8 hectares (ha), and seven drug processing laboratories had been destroyed. The latest evidence of coca cultivation in Honduras, where the first coca plantations were discovered in April 2017, follows the March 2023 release of the US State Department’s latest annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) which singled out the issue in Honduras as “troubling”. In its latest report, the INCSR also notes the first large-scale operation to eradicate coca in Guatemala, where coca plantations were discovered in 2018. While in both cases coca cultivation remains minimal compared with South American countries like Colombia, Bolivia and Peru, the latest seizures will fuel fears that the sub-region could be continuing to evolve from its traditional role as a transportation corridor.

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