Internacional

La ostentosa vida de los pandilleros en Honduras lograda a base de extorsiones

Cuartos de lujo, edredones finos, televisores pantalla plana y otros fastuosos artículos y propiedades, es parte de lo incautado por las autoridades hondureñas a los pandilleros de la Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), en cateos efectuados la semana pasada.

Por Sergio Morales

Handout photo released by the Honduran Criminal Investigation Technical Agency of a seized property belonging to the Mara MS-13 gang during a raid as part of the Avalanche operation in San Pedro Sula, 240 km of Tegucigalpa on February 23, 2016. Honduran authorities looking for new ways to combat gangs terrorizing the country are waging an operation called "Avalanche" to seize bank accounts, properties and even a small hospital from wealthy crime bosses. The police operation, which began February 23, is continuing with no defined end date.    AFP PHOTO / HONDURAN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION TECHNICAL AGENCY (ATIC)    RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE-MANDATORY CREDIT AFP PHOYO / HONDURAN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION TECHNICAL AGENCY - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - GETTY OUT
Handout photo released by the Honduran Criminal Investigation Technical Agency of a seized property belonging to the Mara MS-13 gang during a raid as part of the Avalanche operation in San Pedro Sula, 240 km of Tegucigalpa on February 23, 2016. Honduran authorities looking for new ways to combat gangs terrorizing the country are waging an operation called "Avalanche" to seize bank accounts, properties and even a small hospital from wealthy crime bosses. The police operation, which began February 23, is continuing with no defined end date. AFP PHOTO / HONDURAN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION TECHNICAL AGENCY (ATIC) RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE-MANDATORY CREDIT AFP PHOYO / HONDURAN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION TECHNICAL AGENCY - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - GETTY OUT
Handout photo released by the Honduran Criminal Investigation Technical Agency of the inside of an office belonging to the Salvatrucha gang during a raid as part of the Avalanche operation in San Pedro Sula, 240 km of Tegucigalpa on February 23, 2016. Honduran authorities looking for new ways to combat gangs terrorizing the country are waging an operation called "Avalanche" to seize bank accounts, properties and even a small hospital from wealthy crime bosses. The police operation, which began February 23, is continuing with no defined end date.  AFP PHOTO / HONDURAN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION TECHNICAL AGENCY (ATIC)
Handout photo released by the Honduran Criminal Investigation Technical Agency of the inside of an office belonging to the Salvatrucha gang during a raid as part of the Avalanche operation in San Pedro Sula, 240 km of Tegucigalpa on February 23, 2016. Honduran authorities looking for new ways to combat gangs terrorizing the country are waging an operation called "Avalanche" to seize bank accounts, properties and even a small hospital from wealthy crime bosses. The police operation, which began February 23, is continuing with no defined end date. AFP PHOTO / HONDURAN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION TECHNICAL AGENCY (ATIC)
Handout photo released by the Honduran Criminal Investigation Technical Agency of members of the Military Police as they take part in a raid at a house belonging to the Salvatrucha gang as part of the Avalanche operation in San Pedro Sula, 240 km of Tegucigalpa on February 23, 2016. Honduran authorities looking for new ways to combat gangs terrorizing the country are waging an operation called "Avalanche" to seize bank accounts, properties and even a small hospital from wealthy crime bosses. The police operation, which began February 23, is continuing with no defined end date.  AFP PHOTO / HONDURAN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION TECHNICAL AGENCY (ATIC)
Handout photo released by the Honduran Criminal Investigation Technical Agency of members of the Military Police as they take part in a raid at a house belonging to the Salvatrucha gang as part of the Avalanche operation in San Pedro Sula, 240 km of Tegucigalpa on February 23, 2016. Honduran authorities looking for new ways to combat gangs terrorizing the country are waging an operation called "Avalanche" to seize bank accounts, properties and even a small hospital from wealthy crime bosses. The police operation, which began February 23, is continuing with no defined end date. AFP PHOTO / HONDURAN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION TECHNICAL AGENCY (ATIC)
Handout photo released by the Honduran Criminal Investigation Technical Agency (ATIC) of ATIC members counting money seized to the Salvatrucha gang in the Avalanche operation in San Pedro Sula, 240 km of Tegucigalpa on February 23, 2016. Honduran authorities looking for new ways to combat gangs terrorizing the country are waging an operation called "Avalanche" to seize bank accounts, properties and even a small hospital from wealthy crime bosses. The police operation, which began February 23, is continuing with no defined end date.  AFP PHOTO / Honduran Criminal Investigation Technical Agency (ATIC)
Handout photo released by the Honduran Criminal Investigation Technical Agency (ATIC) of ATIC members counting money seized to the Salvatrucha gang in the Avalanche operation in San Pedro Sula, 240 km of Tegucigalpa on February 23, 2016. Honduran authorities looking for new ways to combat gangs terrorizing the country are waging an operation called "Avalanche" to seize bank accounts, properties and even a small hospital from wealthy crime bosses. The police operation, which began February 23, is continuing with no defined end date. AFP PHOTO / Honduran Criminal Investigation Technical Agency (ATIC)
Handout photo released by the Honduran Criminal Investigation Technical Agency of the inside of an apartment belonging to the Salvatrucha gang during a raid as part of the Avalanche operation in San Pedro Sula, 240 km of Tegucigalpa on February 23, 2016. Honduran authorities looking for new ways to combat gangs terrorizing the country are waging an operation called "Avalanche" to seize bank accounts, properties and even a small hospital from wealthy crime bosses. The police operation, which began February 23, is continuing with no defined end date.  AFP PHOTO / HONDURAN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION TECHNICAL AGENCY (ATIC)
Handout photo released by the Honduran Criminal Investigation Technical Agency of the inside of an apartment belonging to the Salvatrucha gang during a raid as part of the Avalanche operation in San Pedro Sula, 240 km of Tegucigalpa on February 23, 2016. Honduran authorities looking for new ways to combat gangs terrorizing the country are waging an operation called "Avalanche" to seize bank accounts, properties and even a small hospital from wealthy crime bosses. The police operation, which began February 23, is continuing with no defined end date. AFP PHOTO / HONDURAN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION TECHNICAL AGENCY (ATIC)
Handout photo released by the Honduran Criminal Investigation Technical Agency (ATIC) of an ATIC member standing guard next to chemical substances seized to the Salvatrucha gang in the Avalanche operation in San Pedro Sula, 240 km of Tegucigalpa on February 23, 2016. Honduran authorities looking for new ways to combat gangs terrorizing the country are waging an operation called "Avalanche" to seize bank accounts, properties and even a small hospital from wealthy crime bosses. The police operation, which began February 23, is continuing with no defined end date.  AFP PHOTO / HONDURAN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION TECHNICAL AGENCY
Handout photo released by the Honduran Criminal Investigation Technical Agency (ATIC) of an ATIC member standing guard next to chemical substances seized to the Salvatrucha gang in the Avalanche operation in San Pedro Sula, 240 km of Tegucigalpa on February 23, 2016. Honduran authorities looking for new ways to combat gangs terrorizing the country are waging an operation called "Avalanche" to seize bank accounts, properties and even a small hospital from wealthy crime bosses. The police operation, which began February 23, is continuing with no defined end date. AFP PHOTO / HONDURAN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION TECHNICAL AGENCY
Handout photo released by the Honduran Criminal Investigation Technical Agency of the inside of an apartment belonging to the Salvatrucha gang during a raid as part of the Avalanche operation in San Pedro Sula, 240 km of Tegucigalpa on February 23, 2016. 
Honduran authorities looking for new ways to combat gangs terrorizing the country are waging an operation called "Avalanche" to seize bank accounts, properties and even a small hospital from wealthy crime bosses. The police operation, which began February 23, is continuing with no defined end date.  / AFP PHOTO / Honduran Criminal Investigation Technical Agency / ATIC / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / HONDURAN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION TECHNICAL AGENCY (ATIC)" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
Handout photo released by the Honduran Criminal Investigation Technical Agency of the inside of an apartment belonging to the Salvatrucha gang during a raid as part of the Avalanche operation in San Pedro Sula, 240 km of Tegucigalpa on February 23, 2016. Honduran authorities looking for new ways to combat gangs terrorizing the country are waging an operation called "Avalanche" to seize bank accounts, properties and even a small hospital from wealthy crime bosses. The police operation, which began February 23, is continuing with no defined end date. / AFP PHOTO / Honduran Criminal Investigation Technical Agency / ATIC / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / HONDURAN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION TECHNICAL AGENCY (ATIC)" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

Al ver las fotografías de las viviendas allanadas en la operación “Avalancha”, posiblemente pocos pensarían que los propietarios son pandilleros  con escasa escolaridad (muchos apenas llegaron a la secundaria).

Sin embargo esto sí es posible en una nación que conserva uno de los más altos índices de criminalidad del mundo y en donde las extorsiones pueden generar millones de dólares de “ganancias”.

Nada menos que 137 cuentas bancarias fueron bloqueadas por las autoridades hondureñas a integrantes de la MS-13, además de varios negocios como una barbería y un hospital en San Pedro Sula, también 188 vehículos, muchos de ellos lujosos, según detalló la Policía investigativa.

En total, la operación que empezó el 23 de febrero pasado y que no tiene una fecha  fija de conclusión, ha permitido la incautación hasta el momento de más de US$9 millones en bienes.  

Operativo "Avalancha"

  • 137 cuentas bancarias fueron bloqueadas a integrantes de la MS-13
  • 188 vehículos de lujo fueron incautados
  • También varias propiedades inmuebles y negocios
  • US$9 millones es el monto de lo incautado hasta el momento.

El método de extorsión de la pandilla es exigir a los comerciantes, generalmente empresarios del transporte, un pago por un valor determinado o una cuota semanal, y si no lo pagan toman represalias como incendiar un bus o asesinar un empleado.

Los operativos, señala El Heraldo, también han dado con empresas de carga y transporte mediante las cuales los pandilleros lavaban millonarias cantidades de dinero producto de las extorsiones y del narcotráfico.

Dentro de los delincuentes detenidos figuran algunos funcionarios como el alcalde del municipio de Talanga Neftalí Romero, y el expolicía Álvaro García, quien en apenas seis meses se hizo de una lujosa mansión.

Según medios hondureños las cerca de 100 propiedades incautadas serán subastadas en los próximos días, y aunque pese a que las autoridades reconocen que pueden existir represalias.

Aprueban medidas

El dirigente del transporte Jorge Lanza consideró que “cualquier medida que se tome con esta triste situación, bienvenida sea, con tal de que sea sostenida”.

  • Vea abajo la galería de fotos de lo incautado en la operación "Avalancha"

“Esa operación Avalancha tiene que ser permanente, no de una semana o 15 días”, afirmó el empresario quien se queja de que el apoyo de la Policía y los militares al transporte es ocasional.

Lanza estimó que más de 80 personas murieron en el 2015 en asaltos a buses del transporte público o porque los propietarios se rehusaron a pagar el “impuesto de guerra”, unos US$45 semanales por cada bus.

Los hondureños, doblegados por la violencia en los últimos años,  ven positivo ese tipo de acciones y esperan que se implemente no solo por unos días.  “Por fin el gobierno encontró una fórmula para el control del delito y desmontar las estructuras de las maras y pandillas”, afirmó la criminóloga Arabeska Sánchez.

“Por primera vez se sabe dónde está el dinero de las extorsiones y parece un operativo exitoso”, apuntó la especialista.

Según estadísticas de la Fuerza Nacional Antiextorsión  (FNA) , en 2015 fueron detenidos 669 jóvenes mientras cobraban el “impuesto de guerra” . En total ese año, esa unidad policial recibió 980 denuncias y dio asesoría a 4.090 personas que eran extorsionadas.