Latapy, who also had spells with Dundee United and Porto, has signed a two-and-and-half-year deal after being released from his coaching role with Portuguese side Boavista at his own request.
Hughes, who played with Latapy at Hibernian and worked alongside him during their time at Falkirk, said: "I am extremely pleased to bring Russell on board.
"He's a very shrewd operator who knows the game like the back of his hand. He's a real technician but has no ego and is an excellent mixer so he's the right fit for our club.
"He also has the expertise to offer individualised coaching to a couple of our players, which can benefit their game."
Latapy, who represented Trinidad and Tobago 79 times, said: "John and I have had a great relationship over the years and I've taken the decision to leave Portugal to link up with him again.
"Caley Thistle is a community club and I look forward to working with John and everyone there to make an effective contribution."