August 9, 2020

US trial draw Honduras as a narco-state

Prosecutors and witnesses of the alleged drug trafficking trial against former deputy Juan Antonio "Tony" Hernández, brother of the president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, are composing a drawing of the Central American country as a narco-state, which the president totally rejects.

According to the testimonies of two drug traffickers who have reached agreements with the US Attorney's Office, the current president of the country, such as the former head of state, Porfirio Lobo, would be directly and indirectly involved in cocaine trafficking.

Alleged shipments of Army troops to the border with Guatemala to protect a drug cartel, the use of the National Police to escort cargo of cocaine or kill rival leaders or the use of justice to stop drug trafficking groups are some of the serious accusations heard during the five days that the trial is taking place in the New York court.


On August 2, the Prosecutor of the Southern District of New York accused Juan Orlando Hernández of using drug money to stay in power and finance his campaigns to the 2009 Congress and the 2013 and 2017 Presidency.

He also said that Hernández and President Lobo offered protection to drug traffickers, including the former mayor of the town of El Paraíso in the northwestern region of Copán, Alexander Ardón, alias "Chander".


In the five days of trial, which is expected to last another week, the drug traffickers Ardón and Víctor Hugo Díaz Morales, aka "El Rojo", have testified, as well as the agent of the US Drug Enforcement Agency Sandalio González, in charge of stop Tony Hernandez at the Miami airport on November 23, 2018.

El Rojo has been in prison in the United States for 17 months, after surrendering, pleading guilty to drug trafficking and reaching a pact with the Prosecutor to testify in the process.

He confessed to being involved in 18 murders and said he had trafficked 140 tons of cocaine from Honduras to Guatemala with the help of Tony Hernández.

Ardon also surrendered to US justice in March this year and pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and having been involved in 56 murders.

He was mayor of the town of El Paraíso between 2000 and 2014, when he left it, according to his testimony, by order of the president of Honduras after information appeared in the media that linked him to drug trafficking.

Both have involved the Honduran president, former president Lobo and Tony Hernández in various activities related to drug trafficking.


Alexander Ardón declared that Mexican drug trafficker Joaquín "el Chapo" Guzmán delivered in Tony Million a million dollars in 2013 to finance the presidential campaign of Juan Orlando Hernández in exchange for protection for Ardón and the leaders of the Los Valles cartel. Chander said he measured in the exchange.

According to Ardon, the president of Honduras asked for another half million dollars to rig the 2017 elections in the departments of Lempira and Copán.

El Rojo, on the other hand, assured that Tony Hernández asked for $ 40,000 for the campaign of Juan Orlando Hernández to deputy in 2005.

He also said that in 2009 he contributed $ 100,000 for the presidential campaign of Porfirio Lobo (2010-2014) and the re-election as congressman of Juan Orlando Hernández.


Both El Rojo and Chander stated that Tony Hernández offered them information about the police presence or possible police or judicial operations against drug trafficking to facilitate the transport of cocaine in Honduras.

Ardon said that the current president of Honduras guaranteed protection on several occasions to continue trafficking.

El Rojo also spoke of the participation of officers of the National Police of Honduras and of military personnel in the transport and safety of drugs.

According to Ardon, Juan Orlando Hernández dismissed in 2014 the then police director Ramón Sabillón for criticizing that Tony Hernández was not arrested.

The former mayor of El Paraíso also said that in 2011 the regional police chief Juan Carlos "el Tigre" Bonilla was responsible for the murder of a rival narco by order of Tony Hernández and at his request. Bonilla assumed the General Directorate of the Police between 2012 and 2013.

Ardon also said that Porfirio Lobo sent for two months in 2008 a detachment of 120 soldiers to the northwest of Honduras to prevent an alleged attack by Guatemalan drug trafficker Jairo Orellana who apparently wanted to take control of the drug on the border between Honduras and Guatemala.


Since the beginning of the trial, President Juan Orlando Hernández has repeatedly rejected accusations from both the Prosecutor's Office and drug traffickers.

On the same day that the process started, he accused the accusation that he and his brother received money from El Chapo as "100% false, absurd and ridiculous."

Jorge Fuentelsaz

. (tagsToTranslate) US Judgment (t) (t) draws (t) Honduras (t) narco-State

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