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  • For years, Juan Orlando Hernandez has been presenting himself as a champion in the fight against drug trafficking.

    For years, Juan Orlando Hernandez has been presenting himself as a champion in the fight against drug trafficking. | Photo: Reuters

Published 16 October 2019

Chang Monroy declared he saw Hernandez's label used to transport some of the cocaine for the first time in 2009.

On the eighth day of his trial held in New York City, it was revealed that Tony Hernandez, brother of Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH), sold drugs, ammunition and caliber rifles to a drug dealer named Fernando Chang Monroy, to later be sold to the Knights Templar Cartel, a Mexican criminal group, and to the Sinaloa Cartel, a drug trafficking, money laundering organization.

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Chang Monroy declared he saw the “TH [initials of Tony Hernandez] label,” used to transport some of the cocaine, for the first time in 2009, adding that Tony Hernandez possessed a narco laboratory, in which the cocaine was 100 percent pure.

Known as “Jack,” Monroy also testified that he and Hernandez trafficked around 15 tons of cocaine in a laboratory located in Colombia.

Hernandez faces life in prison for four charges including drug conspiracy and weapons charges. The prosecutors accuse him of having used his government connections to smuggle U.S.-bound cocaine through Honduras. They have labeled his brother, Honduras' President, a co-conspirator and said 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 firearmsIn a court filing, prosecutors say that for a decade, JOH 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.

In it, the court refers to Juan Orlando Hernandez as CC-4, (Co-conspirator 4), who is described as having been "elected President of Honduras in late 2013" and former president Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo is identified as CC-3 (Co-conspirator 3). Lobo was Hernandez’s mentor and oversaw his rise to power. 

According to the evidence presented by U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, in 2004 Tony Hernandez formed relationships with narcotraffickers using his family’s political influence to provide them with in exchange for bribes, “information about law enforcement activities and operations so that the traffickers could transport cocaine through Honduras without incident.”

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