Situation Report

Location: Republic of Honduras, Central America

In 1996, when the borders of Honduras were threatened, Victoria MILSIM launched "Operation Nighthawk" to counter the narco-terrorist incursions into the jungles of Honduras.

Central America is the world's latest drugs hot-spot: up to 90% of the South American cocaine bound for the US now transits the region, most of it passing through the so-called 'northern triangle' of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The three countries are plagued by the highest peacetime murder rates in the world, as powerful cartels from Mexico have moved south into a region already destabilized by years of civil war, plagued by gangs and corruption. The combination of drug and jungle violence - the pattern of which differs slightly in each of the three northern triangle countries - has contributed to 33,000 homicides across Central America since 2010. Some of the violence in the region has been political. After the coup that ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya in 2009, for example, there have been kidnappings and assassinations of activists and journalists. However, the vast preponderance of murders has been at the hands of the cartels, primarily the cartel Red 13.

To add to the equation, Central America's famous jungles have offered safe havens for drug-trafficking groups, In particular, the remote and sparsely unpopulated jungle region, on the southern area of Honduras.

Since late April of 2012, the US mission to disrupt drug routes in Honduras has been modest at best. Massive migrations due to terrorism and organized crime are making national security and border control for Honduras difficult. In response to the growing violence, the government of Honduras increased security. The US counterdrug task force, The Nightstalkers, have been in-country conducting night surveillance and night raids of cartels in the jungle areas since 1996. Beginning in mid March of 2013 Nightstalkers Central Command sent The Mechanics, a coalition force, to train and work alongside the Nightstalkers as security aid in an effort to arrest kingpins, seize drug and weapon stockpiles, disrupt smuggling routes.

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