Boats Seized in 'Drug War,' Unusable for Local Fishermen

Without getting too much into property and asset seizures of drug traffickers in Honduras, I found it interesting when I saw a handful of large, abandoned, high-speed boats (without motors) abandoned on the shore of an island in the Gulf of Fonseca, Honduras last week.

Seized from drug traffickers, the Honduran Administrating Office of Seized Good (Oficina Administradora de Bienes Incautados or OABI by its Spanish acronym) donated the boats to "three fishing organizations" in the Gulf of Fonseca for fishing or ecotourism. Along the shore where we visited, there were approximately 10 of these abandoned boats with Gobierno de la Republica: Working for a better life signs and a painted OABI with a number on them.

The local fisherman I was with told me about how they had been abandoned at the shore of the Gulf because no local fisherman would ever be able to afford to buy the size of motor that the boat requires. We were traveling in a small boat with a 40 horsepower motor which, based on the conversations between the friends I was with before departing, is somewhat large in comparison with the rest of the boat owners where we departed in Marcovia, Choluteca. The fisherman I was with joked that the boats were donated to fisherman but that they were totally unusable and thus abandoned.

Small boats used by local fishermen (on the left) versus big boats used by narcos to transport drugs (on the right)