US Drug Trial: Honduras President Received $1M From ‘El Chapo’

(TELESUR) – In a shocking opening statement in the New York drug trial of Tony Hernandez, brother of Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH), a federal prosecutor alleged Wednesday that Mexican drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman personally delivered US$1 million to the current head of state.

United States prosecutors allege Tony Hernandez used his government connections to smuggle U.S.-bound cocaine through Honduras. They have labeled his brother, Honduras’ President, a co-conspirator and said Wednesday he has received millions from other drug lords as well, though he hasn’t been charged.

According to prosecutor Jason Richman’s accusation, in exchange for the delivery of bribes to JOH, Tony Hernandez received protection from the former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, recently sentenced to life imprisonment for cocaine, heroin and marijuana trafficking to the US, laundering of money and violence with firearms.

In a court filing, prosecutors say that for a decade, Juan Orlando Hernandez and other top Honduran politicians and officials “relied on drug proceeds to fund National Party campaigns, and other political operations, to control large swaths of the Honduran government, to bribe officials who helped ensure safe passage for their cocaine.”

The 44-page report, which is related to the trial in New York’s Southern District on mainly drug trafficking charges, summarizes some of the key evidence collected by the plaintiffs.