Get Our Newsletter



Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

June 2019
S M T W T F S
« May    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: Honduras

Border Patrol Agents: Our Uniforms Should Be Made in the U.S.

Trademark green uniforms worn by Border Patrol agents.

Trademark green uniforms worn by Border Patrol agents.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents want the federal government to purchase their uniforms from companies that manufacture the clothes in the U.S.

The trademark green uniform worn by Border Patrol agents is made by VF, a Greensboro, N.C., company that manufactures about half its uniforms outside the U.S. in places such as Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador, Bloomberg reports. 

The fear is that uniforms manufactured outside of the U.S. creates a security risk.

“We don’t want our uniforms falling into the wrong hands,” says Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents 18,000 agents. “Cartels will try to do whatever they can. They’ve gone so far as to try to clone border patrol vehicles and drive across the border. Having the uniform on could complete that.”

Bloomberg wrote:

For the past year, Trevino and other border agents have been helping the union design a better shirt. In mid-October, they presented their bosses in Washington with a prototype by Massif, an Oregon apparel manufacturer that also produces combat gear for the U.S. Army. The upgraded tops have the same sporty epaulets and pointed collar as the current models, but the fabric is more breathable and cut to fit comfortably underneath body armor. The union earlier this year endorsed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who’s campaigned to bring manufacturing back to the U.S.

Two Honduran Nationals Face Federal Charges for Allegedly Assaulting Border Patrol Officer

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two Honduran nationals are accused of violently assaulting a Border Patrol officer near the Rio Grande City in Texas, the Brownsville Heralds reports.

Marco Tulio Avelar-Gomez, 45, and Nelson Dionosio Chavarria-Ramos, 25, face federal charges after the alleged assault.

The Border Patrol agent, whose identity is not being released, approached the men when Chavarria-Ramos punched the agent several times in the face while Avelar-Gomez held the agent down.

The men were spotted and arrested.

Border Patrol is reporting a rise in the number of violent crimes because of an influx of immigrants.

Honduran First Lady Visits South Texas to Witness Crisis of Unaccompanied Children Immigrants

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The first lady of Honduras is visiting South Texas immigration shelters beginning today after news broke about a growing crisis involving tens of thousands of unaccompanied children who were confined to overcrowded, squalid conditions at the border, KXAN reports.

Ana Garcia de Hernandez is just the latest in a growing number of politicians arriving in Texas to get a firsthand look at the plight of the children, who are spilling over the Mexico border without adult supervision.

Since October, more than 150,000 of those children came from Honduras.

Experts said more people are fleeing Honduras because of widespread gang violence and chronic joblessness.

Border Patrol Saves Life of Illegal Immigrant Bitten By Snake in Texas

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Border Patrol agents are being credited with saving a man’s life after he illegally entered the U.S. from Honduras.

KSAT.com reports that agents rescued the man in Texas after he called 911 and told the operator he was bitten by a snake.

Agents responded with a helicopter and GPS coordinates from a dispatcher and found the man near Roma.

He was transported to a hospital for further treatment.

Cruise Ship Worker Accused of Raping Passenger, Trying to Throw Her Overboard

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A cruise ship worker is accused of trying to throw a passenger into the water after raping her, Fox News reports.

The FBI said 28-year-old Ketut Pujayasa was arrested Sunday after the Holland America Line vessel returned to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.

The 31-year-old victim said she was attacked in her stateroom.

“[The woman] then continued to fight for her life by all means available including striking Pujayasa’s exposed genitals as well as utilizing a corkscrew in an attempt to stab him,” agents said Pujayasa told them.

Pujayasa is accused of trying to throw her from a balcony before she managed to escape while they were in international waters off the coast of Honduras.

The Collision Between Drugs and Environmental Forces in Central America

By Ross Paker
ticklethewire.com

Two months ago this column discussed the effect that America’s insatiable appetite for drugs was having on two contrasting Central American nations—violent and impoverished Honduras and peaceful and idyllic Costa Rica.

Because of the success of DEA and the U.S. military at interdicting South American drug shipments by sea, the Colombian cartels and the Mexican Mafia now move virtually all drugs from South America by land, transporting it through those two countries. The under-resourced law enforcement systems of Honduras and Costa Rica have proven to be no match for the well-armed smugglers.

The latest evidence of this struggle for control in Costa Rica has been a violent incident resulting in the collision between the cartels and powerful environmental forces, a collision likely to accelerate the enhancement of law enforcement resources in that country in its fight against the smugglers.

During the night of May 30th, a popular young biology student, Jairo Mora Sandoval, along with four female volunteers (three Americans and one from Spain), were patrolling a beach on the Caribbean coast to protect the nests of Leatherhead turtles, whose eggs were constantly subject to poachers in the area. The Leatherhead is an endangered species whose eggs illegally sell for a dollar a piece to buyers who believe them to be an aphrodisiac. They are also a dining delicacy in restaurants and sidewalk cafes.

Mora had been an outspoken advocate for increased law enforcement in the area both against poachers and also drug trafficking in nearby Limon. As reported in the earlier column, Limon was the location where two policemen were recently murdered as part of the increased criminal atmosphere in that district. An atmosphere fueled by the invasion of drug smugglers into this peaceful country.

Costa Rica is one of the most eco-friendly places on the planet. The result is that a sizeable portion of the nation’s GDP comes from eco-tourism. A threat to its abundant natural resources is likely to mobilize thousands of environmentalists, as well as threaten an important source of revenue for this prosperous country. Cries for action from both of these sources shake and shape the government’s policies in all respects.

As the five volunteers traveled along the remote Caribbean beach, they were seized by five armed kidnappers. The women were able to escape from the abandoned house where they had been tied up, but Mora’s body was found the next day, tortured and bludgeoned to death. The murder is believed to be a threat by poachers and smugglers to frighten other environmentalists.

The connection between poaching and the drug smugglers has several facets. The cartels use the same beaches where the turtles lay their eggs, in order to bring their product in from boats off the coast for transport to Mexico and the United States. They employ locals for warehousing and overland shipment and frequently pay them with cocaine. This has created a drug user population that often resorts to smuggling the turtle eggs to feed their habit. The population also spawns the other social problems ancillary to drug activity.

The reaction worldwide by environmentalists to the murder has resulted in a crisis in Costa Rica and has prompted the government to pledge to implement a plan to combat poaching and drug trafficking more aggressively.

(For an excellent report on the policy and environmental intricacies of this incident, check out National Geographic’s story here. Thanks to Caleb in Kansas City for the heads up on this story.)

No one has yet pointed the finger at the wealthy northern neighbor, the U.S., whose lucrative market provides the financial incentive for the smuggling cartels. But it would be hard to deny that we share some responsibility for such violent incidents, as well as countless others that threaten the equanimity of this beautiful country.

Which makes it more than fair that we fully respond to requests for help from the beleaguered law enforcement communities in Costa Rica and Honduras, both with financial and advisory support.

 

Ross Parker: The Collision Between Drugs and Environmental Forces in Central America

Ross Parker

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office.
 
By Ross Paker
ticklethewire.com

Two months ago this column discussed the effect that America’s insatiable appetite for drugs was having on two contrasting Central American nations—violent and impoverished Honduras and peaceful and idyllic Costa Rica.

Because of the success of DEA and the U.S. military at interdicting South American drug shipments by sea, the Colombian cartels and the Mexican Mafia now move virtually all drugs from South America by land, transporting it through those two countries. The under-resourced law enforcement systems of Honduras and Costa Rica have proven to be no match for the well-armed smugglers.

The latest evidence of this struggle for control in Costa Rica has been a violent incident resulting in the collision between the cartels and powerful environmental forces, a collision likely to accelerate the enhancement of law enforcement resources in that country in its fight against the smugglers.

During the night of May 30th, a popular young biology student, Jairo Mora Sandoval, along with four female volunteers (three Americans and one from Spain), were patrolling a beach on the Caribbean coast to protect the nests of Leatherhead turtles, whose eggs were constantly subject to poachers in the area. The Leatherhead is an endangered species whose eggs illegally sell for a dollar a piece to buyers who believe them to be an aphrodisiac. They are also a dining delicacy in restaurants and sidewalk cafes.

Mora had been an outspoken advocate for increased law enforcement in the area both against poachers and also drug trafficking in nearby Limon. As reported in the earlier column, Limon was the location where two policemen were recently murdered as part of the increased criminal atmosphere in that district. An atmosphere fueled by the invasion of drug smugglers into this peaceful country.

Costa Rica is one of the most eco-friendly places on the planet. The result is that a sizeable portion of the nation’s GDP comes from eco-tourism. A threat to its abundant natural resources is likely to mobilize thousands of environmentalists, as well as threaten an important source of revenue for this prosperous country. Cries for action from both of these sources shake and shape the government’s policies in all respects.

As the five volunteers traveled along the remote Caribbean beach, they were seized by five armed kidnappers. The women were able to escape from the abandoned house where they had been tied up, but Mora’s body was found the next day, tortured and bludgeoned to death. The murder is believed to be a threat by poachers and smugglers to frighten other environmentalists.

The connection between poaching and the drug smugglers has several facets. The cartels use the same beaches where the turtles lay their eggs, in order to bring their product in from boats off the coast for transport to Mexico and the United States. They employ locals for warehousing and overland shipment and frequently pay them with cocaine. This has created a drug user population that often resorts to smuggling the turtle eggs to feed their habit. The population also spawns the other social problems ancillary to drug activity.

Read more »

America’s Drug Appetite Helps Make Honduras One of the Most Dangerous Places on the Globe

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office.

Ross Parker

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras —  I spent last week in Honduras with a couple dozen friends under the watchful and protective eye of a Honduran woman who has dedicated her life’s work to bettering the lives of the indigenous peasants of her country.

Despite State Department warnings we felt safe and welcome in the rural villages. The villagers were shyly courteous and grateful for any help to improve their living conditions. Their children were curious, achingly beautiful, and always up for any kind of fun activity which overcame the language barrier. They delighted in regularly beating me in lively rock-scissors-paper contests.

As in so many parts of the world today, individual Americans are well regarded here. The American government not so much. Many American NGOs, like Heifer, International and the Presbyterian Church, to name a couple, have made a real contribution in providing permanent housing, sustainable agriculture, education, and health care to the rural Mayans, whose lives have changed remarkably little in centuries.

On the flip side, Americans have played an important part in making Honduras one of the most dangerous places on the globe. It has the highest murder rate in the world. The city we flew into and out of, San Pedro Sula, is considered to be the most violent city in the world. Urban gang violence, overflowing prisons, robbery and kidnaping—all are endemic in this small country. Add to this the ancillary ills to which drug crime contributes—corruption, unstable governments, inadequate health care, and a weakened economy unable to cope with natural disasters like floods and earthquakes.

How is this, in part, the responsibility of Americans? Our insatiable cocaine habit has for decades produced the market demand fueling the multi-billion dollar export business from Colombia and Peru. With the success of U.S. law enforcement in maritime interdictions, the transit route has increasingly come through Central America to Mexico and then across our southern border. Transportation by the cartels now runs right through this relatively defenseless little country. The weak governments and overwhelmed law enforcement system are no match for the resources of the ruthless drug syndicates.

Honduras, which stretches from the Caribbean to the Pacific, is a battleground between the South American and Mexican drug cartels who violently confront each other in this neutral midpoint over territorial control and market share. Honduran bystanders become victims. All of this to get to the lucrative business of the American consumers.

We unintentionally contribute to the violence in Honduras in two other ways beyond our drug habit. Our relatively lax gun control laws make it easy for cartels to obtain in the United States assault rifles, ammunition, and other weapons to be used as deadly tools of the trade in Latin America. Not all firearms of course since civil wars have produced many left over weapons.

But enough to contribute substantially to the 40,000 Mexicans killed in the last six years. Also, our porous borders have permitted more than a million Hondurans to enter the United States. Substantial numbers have committed crimes, received a criminal education in American prisons, and then were deported back to their native country. They become drug organization recruits as well as violent criminals of opportunity.

In an era of budget tightening American politicians seem to be incrementally reducing support for international law enforcement, indeed for law enforcement in general. Statisticians point out that cocaine use is down and that drug sources have increasingly become domestic, such as meth manufacture, marijuana, and pharmaceutical drug diversion. Anyway, cocaine consumption is said to be relatively benign, victimless, a matter for education and regulation, not police and federal agents. Americans are said to have these Latin American drugs under control.

But ask Hondurans and Mexicans whether the American drug habit is benign for them. Or is it a voracious, self-obsessed monster into whose maw countless and random Latin American lives are sucked in and chewed up?

Perhaps the effect of cocaine consumption is just one symptom of the fact that few Americans give a damn about Central America. When told we were going to Honduras, most of my friends hardly knew where it was or anything about the country. But Hondurans are a proud and courageous people who deserve a safe and satisfying life as much as any American.

Through an interpreter I asked a young Honduran farmer what his hopes were for his daughter. “I dream that she will be able to get an education and live a happy, peaceful life in our village,” he replied.

I could not have stated more eloquently my dreams for my own daughter.