El Chapo gave a briefcase with $1 million to the campaign of the ex-Honduras president now accused of US drug trafficking: witness – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

El Chapo gave a briefcase with $1 million to the campaign of the ex-Honduras president now accused of US drug trafficking: witness

Ullstein Bild; Orlando Sierra/AFP via Getty Images; AP Photo/Fernando Antonio; Alyssa Powell/BI

Mexican drug lord El Chapo gave $1 million to the ex-Honduran president’s campaign, prosecutors say.The money was intended to secure a drug trafficking route through Honduras.The detail reveals the depth of drug cartel corruption and how cocaine makes its way to the US.

Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán personally handed a briefcase filled with $1 million to the brother of Juan Orlando Hernández, the one-time Honduran president, in hopes that his election would secure a drug trafficking route through Honduras, a former supplier to El Chapo testified Thursday.

Amilcar Alexander Ardon Soriano, the former mayor of the Honduran town of El Paraíso, who previously pleaded guilty to a laundry list of violent drug offenses — including drug trafficking, murder, and torture — testified in the Manhattan federal trial of Hernández.

Prosecutors accuse the ex-Honduras president, who was first elected in 2013, of working for years with “violent” drug traffickers to harm the United States.

In court documents, prosecutors wrote that Hernández told his coconspirators he wanted to ‘stuff the drugs up the noses of the gringos.”

The trial, which began with opening statements Wednesday, sheds light on how deep the corruption of the drug cartel runs in Honduras — and how that corruption allows cocaine to end up on the streets of cities and towns in America.

Ardon Soriano testified Thursday that he gave millions in drug money to Hernández and the National Party over the years and assisted with election fraud and bribing voters.

Soriano described to the jury on Thursday a 2013 meeting he attended with El Chapo in Espíritu, Copán, at the property of Miguel Arnulfo Valle Valle and his younger brother Luis Alfonso — two of the most notorious cocaine traffickers in the world.

Ardon Soriano testified that an associate of El Chapo had told him to bring Hernández’s brother, Tony, to the meeting. At the meeting, El Chapo told Tony Hernández he was looking to open new trafficking routes through Honduras.

Tony Hernández said that if his brother won the presidential election ‘” he could help,” Ardon Soriano testified.

El Chapo then asked if, under his brother’s administration, the Valle brothers or Ardon Soriano himself would be extradited for prosecution.

“Tony Hernández said that if Juan Orlando won, that we would not be extradited,” Ardon Soriano told the jury.

At that point, El Chapo offered $1 million to Hernández’s campaign, Ardon Soriano testified. 

“Tony Hernández said he had to speak with his brother to see if he should accept the money,” Ardon Soriano said, adding later, “Tony Hernández told me that he’d spoken to Juan Orlando Hernández and that they needed the money for the campaign.”

At a different meeting that year, Ardon Soriano and Tony Hernández met with El Chapo again, and El Chapo personally handed the briefcase with $1 million to Hernández, the convicted drug trafficker testified.

Hernández barely won the 2013 election, with 36.89% of the votes.

The next year, when the Valle brothers were extradited to the United States to face prosecution on drug trafficking charges, El Chapo and his associates were worried, Ardon Soriano testified.

The drug lord wanted to know if Ardon and others were safe.

At some point in 2014 or 2015, both Juan Orlando and Tony Hernández met with El Chapo to discuss the extradition, Ardon Soriano testified.

“Juan Orlando Hernández told me that he had had them extradited because they had tried to have him killed,” Ardon Soriano told the jury.

The president then got angry.

“Juan Orlando Hernández said that he had no obligation to anyone and that if they wanted the money back, he could return it,” Ardon Soriano testified, adding that the president then stormed out.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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