Wednesday, 16 Jan 2019

Former President of Honduras criticizes his brother's lawsuit

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Former President of Honduras Porfirio Lobo said on Tuesday that the current Central American government is flouting its honor by bringing corruption cases against his wife and brother just recently.

Last week, prosecutors accused Ramon Lobo, 91, of pocketing some $ 300,000 that the government had paid to soldiers who were watching him on a ranch north of the capital.

The authorities also arrested Wilfredo Cerrato, a presidential administrator during the Lobo term, which now represents Honduras in the Central American Parliament. Cerrato apparently gave checks to Ramon Lobo.

The wife of Porfirio Lobo has been detained since February for embezzling $ 700,000 of public funds. His son, Fabio, was sentenced in the United States last year to 24 years in prison for drug trafficking.

"Those who run this country allow them to violate my human rights and to violate my dignity," said Porfirio Lobo. "It's a show, a trick, to distract the public from the notorious corruption cases of the government."

An international anti-corruption mission supported by the Organization of American States is working with prosecutors in Honduras. In June, prosecutors announced the opening of an investigation into public funds allegedly diverted to the 2013 campaign of President Juan Orlando Hernandez.

The charges against Lobo's brother may be the last straw on the deteriorating relationship with his successor, Hernandez.

"It is clear that Lobo is unhappy with President Hernandez, whom he considers disloyal," said political analyst Raul Pineda Alvarado.

He added that Hernandez was trying to strengthen his international reputation in the fight against corruption by attacking a name as well known as Lobo from his own party.

Lobo was Hernandez's mentor and oversaw his rise to power in the National Party. Hernandez was reelected for a second term last year in a controversial election.

Thousands of Honduran migrants traveled to the US border in several caravans over the past month, complaining of an economy that did not allow them to support their families and the crimes of oppressive gangs. Many frequently sing against Hernandez's government, blaming him for their distress.

US President Donald Trump threatened to cut aid to Honduras if Hernandez did not prevent his citizens from emigrating.

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