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Honduras: Drug trafficking and presidency?

Tony Hernández and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández have been accused of having ties to drug trafficking

Honduras: Drug trafficking and presidency?

In recent days the president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez has been involved in a scandal, product of the links that his brother has with drug trafficking. Juan Antonio "Tony" Hernández was accused of trafficking tons of cocaine, using weapons to protect his shipments and providing false information to federal agents, as the US Department of Justice revealed.

Leer en español: Honduras: ¿Narcotráfico y presidencia?

The complaint was filed by the federal court in Manhattan, as indicated by CNN. In addition, Hernandez was captured on November 23 and on the 26th he was presented before the court. There, Miami judge Jonathan Goodman ordered his transfer to New York City, where the defendant must respond to the charges presented on December 11 where he will face a penalty of 10 years in prison and life imprisonment, this according to the middle The Tribune.

On the other hand, La Prensa affirms that the defense attorney, Manuel Retureta, explained that Tony Hernández will declare himself "not guilty" and that he is willing to show that the accusations that are presented are false. Likewise, Retureta explained to CNN that "in the accusation, they are not facts, they have not been proven and they are only allegations that are brought to justice (...) All the actions that Tony has carried out have been of a person who is willing to collaborate with the US authorities."

 

 

Who is Juan Antonio Hernández?

Tony Hernández is the brother of the current president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández. In addition to being a lawyer, and according to the BBC, he has ventured into the politics of that country since he is a member of the ruling National Party of Honduras and has participated as a member of Congress. There, he was a deputy from the Department of Lempira.

However, his alleged links with drug trafficking began with the scandal of Devis Leonel Rivera Madariaga and who was the leader of the drug gang Los Cachiros. Rivera revealed that Hernandez agreed to the payment, by the Government, of contracts made with the company established by the drug trafficker to launder money, according to CNN. Thanks to Rivera's testimonies, several connections that drug trafficking had with the Government have been unmasked.

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Presidency and drug trafficking

As it was expected, the president of Honduras was also involved in the scandal. It should be noted that in 2016, Hernández had already been involved with drug trafficking networks by ex-army captain Santos Rodríguez Orellana.

This time the manager of linking the current president with drug trafficking networks was Fernando Suárez. Suárez was the representative of the Dibattista and Todos Somos Honduras foundations, in which (allegedly) "more than 282 million lempiras were diverted through the Secretariat of Agriculture and Livestock (SAG), for political campaigns of three parties", as The Hondudian informs it.

Faced with the accusations, the Honduran government published a statement stating that, given its fight against drug trafficking, "The Government of the Republic today reiterates that in Honduras nobody is above the law and in no way, one's responsibilities are transferable to others". "He also reiterates once again his commitment to continue advancing in the fight against drug trafficking, regardless of who falls, without fear, with the support of all the powers of the State and various sectors of civil society."

 

 

The alibi for the opposition

Before the accusations made, the Liberal and Refoundation Party (LIBRE), expressed its dissatisfaction with the current situation of the country and demanded the resignation of the president, due to the capture of his brother in the United States.

Through a statement, they expressed that "The accusation against Tony Juan Antonio Hernández, brother and partner of the usurper of the Presidency of the Republic Juan Orlando Hernández, reveals widely the level of putrefaction reached by the bipartisan leadership, historically submitted to the imperial dictatorship".

This is how they demand "Make use of the constitutional right to insurrection, for the immediate and unconditional exit of Juan Orlando Hernández, (...) take out the dictatorship and lay the foundations of a democratic order."

Given this series of events, it would seem that the solution would be the immediate resignation of the Honduran President. However, despite the pressure of the opposition, it seems unlikely that Hernandez will resign because there would have to be a stronger accusation than currently exists. In addition, it is important to observe how the law will be applied in the case of Tony, due to the president's statement and position.

 

 


LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz

Translated from "Honduras: ¿Narcotráfico y presidencia?"

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