Honduras: The Rogue Cop

September 18, 2018 Crime , OTHER

AFP photo



Ricardo Swire



He was a regional Commander of Honduras National Police, Direccion Nacional de Investigacion Criminal or Special Criminal Investigations Unit (DNIC), stationed in San Pedro Sula. The senior law enforcer also functioned as private assassin for the powerful Cachiros criminal organization. On Tuesday September 18, 2018 the Southern District Court of New York is scheduled to sentence Carlos Alberto Valladares Zuniga, the Honduran ex-DNIC regional Commander. He is charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit murder.


From January 2004 the veteran law enforcer cultivated a secret relationship with the Cachiros top tier members. In 2005 he was formally appointed Chief of Police in El Progreso, Yoro, westward of Ramon Villeda Morales International Airport. In January 2008 the former DNIC Regional Commander was involved in a shootout while attending Dance of the West nightclub in San Pedro Sula. The explosive moment caused five persons to be killed by gunfire. In April 2009 the rogue DNIC veteran became Coordinator of Santa Barbara Investigation Police.


In January 2010 he was promoted to Chief of Police of Quimistan town, Santa Barbara. Most South American cocaine headed for America transits Honduras. Santa Barbara is regarded a main trafficking corridor. The former detective was additionally implicated in the October 2011 massacre, at Ramon Villeda Morales International Airport in San Pedro Sula, where six rival traffickers were killed. The shootout an attempt to assassinate crime lord “El Sapo,” considered a liability to the Cachiros’ business.


Intelligence on El Sapo’s (The Toad) whereabouts was leaked to the Cachiros’ hitmen by another faceless Honduran National Police officer, but The Toad escaped. The Cachiros was originally a leading Honduran transport group with a US$1 billion net value. It was comprised mainly of cattle rustlers based along the Olancho/Colon border. Cachiros operators were favored to transport cocaine between Colombia and Mexico at a rate of US$2,500 per kilo.


Colombian consignments were smuggled to warehousing facilities in Gracias a Dios western Honduras alternatively Guatemala, onward to the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico. In 2014 the DNIC’s endemic collusion with criminal characters forced the Honduran government to suspend the 1,400 DNIC employees. In January 2015 US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials and the Cachiros negotiated a deal. The two top bosses surrendered to American authorities. One leader commissioned 78 murders. Victims included Honduras’ Drug Czar, the National Security Advisor and a popular local journalist.





Ricardo Swire - Tuck Magazine

Ricardo Swire

Ricardo Swire is the Principal Consultant at R-L-H Security Consultants & Business Support Services and writes on a number of important issues.

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