MCOLA/ IPD official delegation to Honduras gang task force

For the last several months the Mayor’s Commission on Latino Affairs ffairs (MCOLA) has been working with the Indianapolis Police Department (IPD) on developing an internaitonal technical aassistance program focused specifically in the area of Latino gangs.

Last week, Ricardo Gambetta, Director of Latino Affairs for the City of Indianapolis, IPD Officer’s Carlos Trincado and Officer Matthew Hall, Mayor’s Commission on Latino Affairs Media Consultant Roberto Ponce and Rev. David Penalva, President of the Indiana Latino Pastors Association traveled to Tegucigalpa, Honduras on an official delegation focused on gang related training.

The delegation was initiated through collaborative efforts between The Mayor’s Commission on Latino Affair’s, the Indianapolis Police Department and the Honduran government. The joint effort was established as a direct response to the recent increase in gang activity in the Latino Community.

During the mission, the delegation learned first hand about the gangs originated in Honduras. IPD officer Hall and Trincado assisted the arrest of several gang affiliated members. They were able to see up close the gang affiliated tatoos and markings and even speak with the gang members.

This gave great insight to the origins and roots of gangs that are increasing in presence and activity in the Latino community here in Indianapolis.

The delegation also had the opportunity to meet with several top security officials in Honduras as well tour a local jail that primarily housed gang members. IPD officers were featured on CNN and other international TV networks and print media for their efforts.

The trip was very informative and helped the IPD officers gain insight into the nature and roots of Latino gang activity. They have shared the information they learned from the trip with other IPD officers.

Because the trip was so successful, the security Minister of Honduras will be traveling to Indianapolis with several Police officers this upcoming week. Minister Oscar Alvarez is an international expert on the issue of Latino crime and gangs and has been leading several initiatives in Central America and the U.S. in the fight against international crime. He is a well know international consultant on this topic and has worked with the DEA FBI and other local police departments across the nation.

Following his visit several gang task force officers from Honduras will be traveling to Indianapolis to provide IPD officers with gang related training.

This new partnership is major step in the local battle against Latino gang activity. We will keep the community updated on the continual progress and efforts by MCOLA and IPD on this topic.