A jury in New York's brother president Honduras convicted of cocaine trafficking charges on Friday, culminating in a trial which gave a blueprint for the way drug drugs reinforced the highest levels of Honduran politics to buy protection and immunity.
As his brother was arrested last year, a key issue facing Hondurans is how President Juan Orlando Hernández can fight with drug traffickers while his brother was under investigation for the alleged passing of tons of cocaine. to the United States.
Over two weeks, parade for witnesses – some Drug traffickers confessed – replied to: The president looked the other way in exchange for millions of dollars for political party and party campaigns.
Among those who sent money to the president's brother, according to one witness, was Joaquín Guzman Loera, the approaching Mexican drug called El Chapo. A life sentence is being presented by Mr Guzmán in federal security prison.
“These bribes were,” said US Assistant Counsel, Emil J. Bove, regarding the disbursements, and “they came with strings.” T
With this cash, “drug trafficking rulers of Honduras government and ruled it,” said Mr Bove.
After considering for more than seven hours, the brother jury of the president, Juan Antonio Hernández, called Tony, found guilty of each of the four charges, including being a Drug Enforcement agents asked him in 2016. He has a potential life sentence.
Mr Hernández did not do much because the four counts were read aloud. Some people were seated with the animals linked to the family because the verdict was read, and Mr Hernández's mother was watching, crying, as he left the courtroom.
President Hernández, who was not charged but was Prosecutors stated that as joint halls, he repeatedly denied the evidence of prosecution witnesses, arguing that he had come from confiscated drug traffickers seeking revenge for his strong anti-drug policies.
“There are now more than 40 narcos in Honduras custody,” he said in English statement. “Forty three per cent of the National Police were called. Major prosperity in criminal assets has been adjusted from the narcos. ”
Dismissing the trial as “Alice in Wonderland,” the president wrote that “the police would kill police; they lie with prosecutors; they seek to reduce their sentences; they want revenge. ”
The evidence presented in Manhattan's courtroom appeared to have had little impact on US policy in respect of Mr Hernández, who was a strong member of Washington.
In close proximity on Wednesday, government prosecutors described “state-sponsored drug trafficking” in Honduras and the Department of State executed its strong relationship with its government.
US Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduran capital, put on Twitter about the two countries' co-operation on migration, security and combating drugs. And President Trump announced that Honduras and his neighbors in Central America, El Salvador and Guatemala, would be revisited in response to their work on preventing migration.
The verdict arose on the willingness of jurors to believe that there were five admitted drug traffickers who described how they worked with him. Tony Hernández to move cocaine through Honduras by airplane, boat, truck and helicopter.
The star witness was the government former the mayor of the small town who said he had traded between 30 and 40 tonnes of cocaine with Mr Hernández and was launched at least $ 4 million in bribes to the president and his predecessor, t Porfirio Lobo. Prosecutors also described Mr Lobo as joint halls, but he did not indicted and that it had rejected any connection with drug trafficking.
The former Mayor of Amarcar Alexander, Soriana, said Mr Guzmán, the most wanted man in the world, traveled twice to Honduras in the months leading up to the Honduran presidential election in 2013 to meet Tony Hernández and $ 1 million give towards the president's final push campaigns.
Mr Ardón set up the meeting around his dining room table, where one of Mr Guzmán's colleagues set out the cash packaging in pieces of $ 50,000 and $ 100,000 – for counting Mr Hernández and Mr Ardón.
Mr Ardón said that Mr Guzmán wanted protection as an alternative, and that his commitment to Honduras was promised. Mr. Ardon and cartel Valle Valle – it would not be extradited to the United States.
But when President Hernández took office, He left the discussion. The three brothers Valle Valle were sent to the United States. Mr Ardón pointed out that President Hernández subsequently said that “he did not put himself on anyone and would return the money if he wanted it.” T
In a message sent on Twitter, President Hernández rebutted Mr Ardón evidence. “That never happened,” he wrote. “No $ 1 million, no amount, no one ever.”
According to witnesses, this is not the only bribe given by the president's National Party.
Mr Ardón said it was $ 4 million was paid in elections from 2009 to 2017, including $ 2 million for Mr Lobo in 2009 and $ 1.6 million for Mr Hernández in 2013.
Devis Leonel Rivera Maradiaga, one of the leaders of Los Cachiros, a drug gang who was afraid of him, revealed that Mr Lobo brought $ 500,000 or $ 600,000 in 2009. Another trafficker, Víctor Hugo Díaz Morales, said he had paid $ 100,000 into the campaigns that year.
Mr Lobo denied accepting any bribes or is involved in drug traffickers. “I reject the drug criminals and the murderers,” he wrote on Twitter, and said he put his hand at the US Embassy in Honduras since 2017 and the US Attorney General in Manhattan for investigation.
Mr Hernández's The lawyers argued that there was nothing to bind the drug traffickers except their own words. “The terrible mountaineer comes on top of the stand and tells you what happened with this incredible memory of what happened 15 years ago, ten years ago,” his defense attorneyMichael R. Tein said, when arguments were closed.
Their testimony was an attempt to discover “early prison cards,” he said. And “if you recommend something to them,” he said, “I'm going to dance.”
The story of El Chapo's bribe, he said, was not more than the word “non-collateral, non-uncovered without disclosure of a multi-functional admitted,” Mr Tein said.
The jury also heard Mr. Hernández, who did not give evidence, but was seen on the tape twice.
In one recording, from 2014, it has been seen to meet Mr Rivera, the leader of the Cachiros who has accepted to kill 78 people. Both deal with government contracts given to one company controlled by the Council – and used to launder money – with another company controlled by the gang after the first one was signed by the Office of Foreign Asset Control. Treasury.
Mr Rivera, who worked in conjunction with the US Drug Enforcement Administration, recorded the meeting using a secret camera in his watch.
Another recording shows Mr Hernández being questioned by federal agents in Florida. Although he knew he was under investigation in the United States since 2016, he went to the United States in November.
He was arrested and, in a tapered interview, the narco traffickers he knew, including Mr Rivera, were named. He also described how cocaine traffickers had been worn by authorities and identified a photograph of a kilo of cocaine stamped with the initials “TH.” When the letters were asked, he said, “Tony Hernández is a said."
In addition to the recordings, prosecutors showed photographs of Mr. Hernández's phone. These included images of him money and machine guns – including one that is inscribed with the name of the president.
The machine gun said, “Mr Bove, the prosecutor,“ is an obstacle to the state-sponsored drug trafficking. ”