The narco-power in Honduras and Mexico

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With the trial and sentenced to life imprisonment by the federal court of the Southern District of New York, for his close ties with drug trafficking to Antonio (“Tony”) Hernández, former deputy of the National Party of Honduras and uncomfortable brother of Juan Orlando Hernández (JOH), president of the Central American country (2014-2022), highlighted the links between drug trafficking and political power. Development of a criminal activity that has existed for several decades in the political, economic and social scene of Honduras. But without a doubt, at the beginning of the third decade of the 21st century, the dimensions of one of the submerged activities that for years deteriorate the image and development of a prominent part of Latin American political actors of a neoliberal nature are highlighted.

In this context, it can be recognized that the US judicial system in recent times has presumed to put prominent figures in drug trafficking in the dock, but also various actors of the regional political system. However, it is also striking that the great US drug lords have not been brought to trial and less sentenced to prison than their Latin American counterparts.

Characters of transnational organized crime are in fact on trial or have been convicted, as have been the cases of Joaquín Guzmán Loera (“Chapo” Guzmán), head of the Sinaloa cartel; or Genaro García Luna, who was appointed to command the Mexican police as Secretary of Public Security by President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa (2006-2012) of the National Action Party (PAN). In the same way, let us recall the case of José Antonio Noriega, Chief of the National Guard of Panama, who, with his ties to the Colombian cartels, the US took him to prison and sentenced him after US troops invaded Panama in December 1989.

Other relatively recent cases were those of the former governors of the PRI in the state of Tamaulipas, Tomás Jesús Yarrington Rubalcaba (1999-2004) in prison in South Texas who in March 2021, recognized his narrow interests and business with the cartels of the drug, who according to the US Department of Justice, accepted that candidate for the Mexican presidency in 2005, having laundered 3.5 million dollars of organized crime (https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdtx/pr/former- Mexican-governor-and-presidential-candidate-convicted-money-laundering). There is also the case of former Tamaulipas governor Eugenio Hernández Flores (2005-2010), that the same Federal Court of the Southern Federal District of Texas has requested his extradition for money laundering and who is in a Mexican prison for these and other crimes.

In the case of the history of drug trafficking in Honduras, we are reminded of another famous illicit drug businessman, Ramón Matta Ballesteros, who was likewise extradited to the United States in 1988. Famous organized crime figure who is alleged to have accumulated an estimated wealth of more than 2 billion dollars. It has been commented that this emblematic drug lord maintained a close relationship in the 1970s “with the chief of the armed forces, General Paz García. The latter became head of state after the so-called ‘cocaine coup’ in 1978, which Matta Ballesteros allegedly helped finance ”(https://es.insightcrime.org/investigaciones/elites-crimen-organizado-honduras-juan- ramon-matta-crossbowmen /). A) Yes, Matta Ballesteros along with other Mexican drug trafficking bosses such as Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo (“Don Neto”), Rafael Caro Quintero (a fugitive from the Mexican courts and now a drug lord in the Mexican state of Sonora), and Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo (great head of the extinct Guadalajara Cartel and the Board of Directors of the disappeared Mexican Commercial Ship), was accused as one of the intellectual authors of the kidnapping, torture, and death of Enrique Camarena Salazar, agent of the DEA in Mexico. Matta Ballesteros was arrested in 1986 in Colombia, but due to his ties to the Medellín Cartel, he managed to escape from prison and return to Tegucigalpa, where in 1988 DEA agents arrested him again. His imprisonment took place at a time when Honduras had become a large US base of operations to overthrow the Sandinista government of Nicaragua and prevent the revolutionary triumph of the Salvadoran guerrillas. Territory in which the SETCO airline operated to carry weapons to the anti-Sandinistas and return loaded with cocaine to the United States. Company linked to the covert operations of the CIA, but also to Matta Ballesteros. When this situation was exposed (Iran-Gate case), together with the participation of American Colonel Oliver North (today president of the National Rifle Association), it was when Matta Ballesteros was extradited in April 1988 by means of an operation by the DEA to the US. This situation encouraged a series of protests in April of that year in Tegucigalpa for the extradition of the “Honduran Robin Hood.” Riots that led to the death of 5 people and the burning of the consular annex of the Washington Embassy in the Honduran capital. A milestone in those moments of the protests in front of the US embassies in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is striking that in those violent claims, prominent leaders of the National Party of Honduras were present. Matta Ballesteros, Insightcrimen states: “He used to organize parties with senior officials at his home, and he had connections with military officers. In his legal businesses, he employed thousands of locals, who honored him because he provided medicine, built schools, and donated to charitable causes. 

The situation in 2021 is that with the case of the Hernández Clan and its close circles with the politicians of the National Party of Honduras, they have created a scenario where the narco-power has gained international discredit. They lost their drive belts with the White House when Donald Trump had to abandon it reluctantly. They were left extremely weak internationally and nationally discredited by the re-election of JOH when carrying out electoral fraud (November 2017), as well as by being re-elected unconstitutionally when the constitution prohibits it. Another burden for JOH among the many that weigh on him is the femicide of Bertha Cáceres, an indigenous leader of Lenca communities and an environmental activist, who was murdered in 2016. 

It is postulated that the arrival of the Hernández Clan would show us in the reading of Insightcrimen, that the “Hernández government is, in essence, a hybrid of landowning elites and traditional bureaucrats. The president’s own background illustrates this mix. Born into a family of 17 children, Hernández studied at a military school. His family was made up of small coffee growers and apparently, he progressed thanks to his political connections and his marriage to Ana García Carías, a descendant of General Tiburcio Carías Andino, the same one who started the changes that turned out to be key in the transformation of the military. to a bureaucratic elite. These connections have resulted in lucrative businesses. It is said that he owns coffee farms, among other agricultural operations, as well as hotels and radio and television stations. Hernández is also a powerful man in the National Party. He has obtained support for important party personalities, such as Porfirio Lobo and his brother, Ramón, from whom he has also received support, and he supposedly leads the party. He has been linked to a mysterious pressure group called Colibrí, which apparently has designed lucrative contracts and commission schemes for its members and supporters. ” Thus, with the life sentence of “Tony” Hernández and the evidence of the federal court of the Southern District of New York, against JOH, they suggest that the narco-power of the rulers and leaders of the National Party of Honduras have the days counted. from whom he has also received support, and supposedly leads the party. He has been linked to a mysterious pressure group called Colibrí, which apparently has designed lucrative contracts and commission schemes for its members and supporters. ” Thus, with the life sentence of “Tony” Hernández and the evidence of the federal court of the Southern District of New York, against JOH, they suggest that the narco-power of the rulers and leaders of the National Party of Honduras have the days counted. from whom he has also received support, and supposedly leads the party. He has been linked to a mysterious pressure group called Colibrí, which apparently has designed lucrative contracts and commission schemes for its members and supporters. ” Thus, with the life sentence of “Tony” Hernández and the evidence of the federal court of the Southern District of New York, against JOH, they suggest that the narco-power of the rulers and leaders of the National Party of Honduras have the days counted.

Source: telesurtv.net

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