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A Honduran drug dealer said Thursday that he had given Juan Antonio ‘Tony’ Hernández $ 40,000 to fund his brother’s election campaign, then running for Congress and who is now president of Honduras.
Trafficker Víctor Hugo Díaz Morales, aka 'El Rojo', testified that Hernández had helped him transfer more than 140 tons of cocaine in Honduras between 2004 and 2006 during the continuation of the trial against him in a federal court in Manhattan, New York , the Telemundo News correspondent reported in court.RELATED
In return, ‘El Rojo’ received information about the location of police checkpoints and their investigations to facilitate drug smuggling from eastern Honduras to western Guatemala.
Díaz Morales has been imprisoned for 17 months in Enchisi, New York, where he was extradited after he was arrested in Guatemala City. After pleading guilty to trafficking cocaine and methamphetamine, he signed a cooperation agreement with the Government.
Prosecutors accused Hernández of using his relationship with President Juan Orlando Hernández to move tons of cocaine to the United States. Hernandez is serving the second term of his term and had previously been president of Congress.
For his presidential campaign in 2013 he would have received at least 1.5 million dollars from the drug, according to prosecutors.
The president has vehemently denied the accusations, noting that he promoted the agreement that allowed the extradition of drug traffickers to the United States. He said that measure is the reason why traffickers are seeking revenge now with false accusations.
Orlando Hernández has been named co-conspirator in the case of his brother Tony Hernández, but faces no charges.
‘El Rojo’ testified that ‘Tony’ Hernández rubbed shoulders with the main drug traffickers for more than a decade, carrying a gun and receiving about $ 5,000 in bribes every time the drug packages moved.
In addition, he said that the defendant not only gave them information, he also produced his own cocaine in a Colombian laboratory and distributed it with the stamp of his initials, T.H.
"It was like the logo of (the brand) Tommy Hilfiger," said Diaz, who admitted to being involved in 18 murders.
A presidential bodyguard sometimes accompanied Tony Hernández to his meetings with traffickers, and a current Honduran congressman was also present, according to Díaz's testimony.
US prosecutors also showed the jury photos of notebooks confiscated from a well-known drug trafficker who reportedly registered shipments and payments of drugs that included the president's brother's name, the Associated Press news agency reported.
The accounting books were taken after the arrest of Nery Orlando López Sanabria last year in Honduras along with weapons, cash, a radio and jewelry, prosecutors said.
The revelations came during the second day of the drug trafficking trial of Tony Hernandez, who listened carefully to the procedures dressed in a dark blue suit. The trial could last two weeks, according to the Associated Press.
Amílcar Hernández, brother of ‘Tony’ and President Orlando, told Telemundo News outside court this Thursday that he was confident that the innocence of the family would be proven.
On the first day of the trial, prosecutor Jason Richman said the government would demonstrate that Mexican drug trafficker Joaquín Cha El Chapo ’Guzmán personally gave millón Tony’ Hernández a million dollars for his brother.
President Hernández addressed journalists in the capital of Honduras on Thursday without answering questions.
“In the next few days, as happened yesterday (Wednesday) in a New York court, a series of novel stories from drug traffickers who see in this trial of Juan Antonio Hernández, the ideal opportunity to attack the person responsible for having been extradited and imprisoned, ”he said.
The president said it was he who told his brother to first talk to U.S. authorities in 2016 when rumors circulated about his involvement in drug trafficking.
Edgar Zúñiga Montoya contributed from Manhattan, New York, to this article.
A lawyer from ‘El Chapo’ says he did not testify against the president of Honduras