Drugs and Bananas?

in life •  2 months ago 


Taken from the book: Probidad y Etica en Las Politicas Publicas by Maria de los Angeles Chaverri and Vicente Zavala Pavon. (I translated this from Spanish)

"In the 1930’s the Honduran drug market boomed under the leadership of President Tiburcio Carias Andino, who was helped by the United Fruit Company. A report from the Narcotics Office of the United States accused Carias of authorizing shipments of drugs in TACA airlines flights. These serious accusation was product of investigations made by US authorities of the relations between banana companies and certain personalities belonging to mafia groups in the USA. The US authorities knew that since 1900, the fruit companies had made use of their links with the New Orleans mafia headed by Cado Matranga and Antonio Macheca to employ criminals that would help them create their railroad empire in Honduras. These relationships and links also pointed to Cado Marcello another mafia boss. In 1930 the New Orleans mafia was heavily involved in the narcotics trade, among these cocaine and morphine coming from Honduras. In 1932 and 1933 Honduras imported from Europe 87 kilograms of morphine, enough to cover its legitimate requirements for a century. The majority of this drug was re exported to the North American market, primarily to New Orleans. Corruption cases were evident, not only as a fact intrinsic to the dictatorship, but also, as payment for those who helped Carias wield power. The North American (in reality from New Zealand) Lowel Yerex, was in business with his airline TACA, transporting besides mail,concession which Carias had given him, drugs for the US mafias. In this way Yerex received payment for having bombed Tegucigalpa in 1924 and for having helped Carias in 1932, during the Treason Revolution, where he lost an eye while flying one of his planes to attack the liberal forces in Western Honduras. This relationship between mafiosi, banana entrepreneurs and the Carias government was close, as indicated by several US authors, because personalities as notorious as: Frank Costello, Jake Lansky, Dandy Phil Kastel and the corrupt Louisiana governor Huey Long, sometimes visited the Roosevelt Hotel in La Ceiba to hold meetings with officers of Standard Fruit and Steamship Company."

This is a quote from the above book which has to do with banana companies, mafias and the Honduras government involvement in the drug traffick business. So what it says is that banana companies were in fact fronts for the drug business and were completely helped by the Honduras government.

This does sound far-fetched, but is it? If this is true it would mean that the US government was also involved in this, because even though I think banana companies were not an important part of the US economy they were powerful enough for the US government to invade several countries with marines, overthrow governments and all in all make sure these companies weren't hampered. Probably why you never hear of big fish being caught trafficking with drugs only the little guys.

Now Carias belonged to the Nacional party and one of the biggest things these guys pride themselves in is that during Carias' 16 year dictatorship Honduras never once took out a loan, on the other hand he did give a lot of land to the banana companies who at one moment owned over 1 million acres of land here. Probably these companies financed his government completely, which really makes sense.

So I am just presenting this to you, it is possible that this is true, I myself don't doubt it, this would also mean that Honduras has been a bridge for drug trafficking for well over one hundred years. No wonder we never got out of poverty, all businesses that came here were probably just fronts.

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