Honduran Mayor Detained for Drug Trafficking to Face Court Hearing

Published: 30 August 2023

Mayor Drug HondurasMayor Wilmer Wood was captured in the Nutos Operation in Honduras. (Photo: Ministerio Público Honduras/Twitter, License)

By Lieth Carrillo

A Honduran court ruled on Monday to keep a mayor in custody as he faces drug trafficking charges. The court also scheduled his preliminary hearing for Thursday.

Wilmer Manolo Wood, the Mayor of Brus Laguna, situated in the northeastern region of Honduras, was apprehended on Sunday during an operation that was targeting three criminal organizations - "Los Piningos," "Los Yanez," and "Los Amador."

The three groups are allegedly involved in extensive cocaine trafficking for more than a decade, with the illegal substance being flown in from South America. Since 2018 alone, these criminal entities are believed to have orchestrated approximately 99 flights, each carrying between 450 and 1,600 kilograms of cocaine.

Mayor Wood's arrest was accompanied by the apprehension of a member affiliated with "Los Piningos." The law enforcement officials also seized about US$50,000 in cash, alongside an array of weapons.

Reports suggest that Wood's involvement in illicit activities extends back over 15 years, with allegations of drug and monetary exchanges. By 2014, he is said to have commenced independent operations, collaborating with other local drug traffickers to receive substantial drug shipments.

The Public Prosecutor's Office revealed that at least 15 events are attributed to Wood, in which he purportedly accepted drug consignments via high-speed boats arriving from Colombia. Moreover, he is suspected of overseeing the movement of significant sums of money within the country. The prosecution's statement further claimed that from 2018 to the present, the Mayor might have played a role in the reception, warehousing, and transfer of an estimated 30 tonnes of cocaine hydrochloride.

The upcoming court hearing on Thursday is poised to shed further light on the intricate web of drug trafficking allegations surrounding Mayor Wood and the criminal organizations allegedly under his influence.