Monday, January 18, 2021

Honduras president took bribes from drug traffickers, US prosecutors say | Honduras

US federal prosecutors have filed motions saying the Honduran president, Juan Orlando Hernández, took bribes from drug traffickers and had the nation’s armed forces defend a cocaine laboratory and shipments to the US.

The paperwork quote Hernández as saying he wished to “shove the medicine proper up the noses of the gringos by flooding the US with cocaine”.

The motions filed on Friday with the southern district of New York don’t particularly title the president, referring to him as “CC4”, or co-conspirator No4, however clearly establish him by naming his brother and his personal submit as president.

The president, who has not been charged, has repeatedly denied any connection to traffickers regardless of the 2019 conviction of certainly one of his brothers, Juan Antonio Hernández. Throughout that trial, the president was accused of accepting greater than $1m from the Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán – an accusation repeated within the new motions.

Hernández has stated traffickers are falsely accusing him to hunt vengeance for clamping down on them.

The US authorities didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon the brand new filings.

The motions search pre-trial approval to confess proof within the case of Geovanny Fuentes Ramírez, who was arrested in Miami in March. They usually broaden upon allegations filed shortly after the arrest accusing Hernández of taking bribes in trade for cover from legislation enforcement.

Fuentes Ramírez is accused of conspiring to smuggle cocaine into the US and the motions filed on Friday accuse him of manufacturing “tons of of kilograms a month” of cocaine and of getting a number of folks killed to guard his illicit enterprise.

“By late 2013, the defendant partnered instantly with CC4 and high-ranking officers within the Honduran army. Right now, CC4 was pursuing election because the president of Honduras as a member of the Partido Nacional de Honduras (the ‘Nationwide Celebration’),” the movement stated.

It added {that a} witness “would testify that that they and different drug-traffickers had been paying huge bribes to CC4 in trade for cover from legislation enforcement and extradition to the US” and that the president-to-be “accepted roughly $1m in drug trafficking proceeds that was supplied to his brother by the previous chief of the Sinaloa Cartel, Joaquin Guzman Loera”.

Prosecutors say he had agreed to work by means of the president’s now-convicted brother. The motions additionally implicate senior army, police, political and enterprise figures in laundering cash and bribery.

Hernández, president of Congress earlier than being elected president in 2013, was re-elected in 2017 to a time period that ends in January 2022. He has cooperated with the Trump administration and its efforts to stem migration from his nation and others in Central America.

Throughout a January 2020 go to to Honduras, the appearing US homeland safety secretary, Chad Wolf, stated: “Honduras is a valued and confirmed companion to the US in managing migration and selling safety and prosperity in Central America.”

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