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Rights Action
May 27, 2019
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‘Narcopolitica’ criminal investigations against Honduran presidents
 
Former Honduran president Porfirio Lobo – put in power after U.S. and Canadian-backed military coup in 2009 – investigated for illegally laundering drug money, with his son Fabio Lobo (in jail in U.S.) and former cabinet minister Miguel Pastor.  This builds on investigations linking current president Juan Orlando Hernandez to drug trafficking activities of his brother, former member of congress Antonio Orlando Hernandez, a drug cartel leader in jail in New York.
 
     
 
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Honduran anti-graft mission investigates ex-president over drug money
25 May 2019, https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/honduran-anti-graft-mission-investigates-ex-president-over-drug-money-11564336
 
TEGUCIGALPA: Former Honduran President Porfirio Lobo is being investigated on suspicion of involvement in laundering illegal drug money as part of a wider probe into his 2010-14 administration, an international anti-corruption mission said on Friday.
 
The anti-graft unit of the Organization of American States (OAS) said the probe into Lobo began after Devis Leonel Rivera, a leader of the "Los Cachiros" drug cartel, testified in a U.S. court that he had given money to Lobo's 2010 election campaign.
 
Rivera said Lobo "suggested to him that in exchange for donations to his political campaign, they would create companies that would be given contracts once he had won the presidential election," Luiz Guimaraes, spokesman for the Mission to Support the Fight Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH), told reporters.
 
Lobo told a news conference at his house in Tegucigalpa that he had never had any dealings with "these criminals." "I've never received money from criminals nor had any private meetings with them," Lobo said.
 
The accusation surfaced as MACCIH said it was investigating 12 people, including a former cabinet minister, Lobo's son Fabio and Rivera on suspicion of laundering drug money in a case that has been nicknamed "Narcopolitica" by the mission. Lobo was not among the 12, but was being investigated as part of the wider probe, said Guimaraes, a Brazilian.
 
Prosecutors believe the money laundered in the case went through 21 public works contracts for companies set up by Los Cachiros with the ministry for public works worth an estimated 68.3 million lempiras (£2.2 million), according to the indictment. Most of the works were never carried out, Guimaraes noted.
 
The investigators believe that Fabio Lobo, who in 2017 was sentenced to 24 years in prison by a New York federal court for drug trafficking, made sure Los Cachiros won the contracts.
 
Lobo's former public works minister Miguel Pastor, as well as two other officials accused by the MACCIH, turned themselves in to prosecutors on Thursday night in Tegucigalpa.
(Reporting by Gustavo Palencia, editing by G Crosse and Grant McCool)
 
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More information
“Honduras is a narco-state” & the forced migrancy crisis. “Testimony Brings Honduras President Closer to Brother’s Drug Trade Ties” (by Parker Asmann, InSight Crime, May 15, 2019), https://mailchi.mp/rightsaction/honduras-is-a-narco-state
 
Why an estimated 250,000 Hondurans & Guatemalans are fleeing, this year alone!
The U.S. and Canadian governments, the World Bank and global businesses and investors (privatized hydro-electric dams, mining extraction, African palm, sugar cane and fruit production, garment “sweatshop” factors, etc.) maintain profitable relations with deeply corrupted and repressive governments in Honduras and Guatemala, turning a blind eye to and benefitting from repression, environmental devastation, exploitation and human rights violations, and corruption and impunity.
 
“U.S. & Canadian problems”
Keep sending copies of this information, and your own letters, to families, friends and networks, to politicians and media, to pension and investment funds, asking: Why our governments, companies and investment firms benefit from and turn a blind eye to poverty, repression and violence, environmental and health harms that are directly causing the forced migrancy/refugee crisis in Guatemala and Honduras.
 
Rights Action (U.S. & Canada)
Since 1995, Rights Action has been directly funding community-based human rights, environment and territory defenders in Guatemala and Honduras. We provide relief funds to victims of repression and human rights violations, health harms and natural disasters. We work to hold accountable the U.S. and Canadian governments, companies and investors, international actors (World Bank, etc.) that cause, contribute to and profit from repression and human rights violations, environmental harms and forced evictions, corruption and impunity.
 
Tax-Deductible Donations (Canada & U.S.)
To support our partner community groups in Honduras and Guatemala, struggling and working in defense of land, the environment, human rights and justice, and for a return to real democracy, make check to "Rights Action" and mail to:
  • U.S.:  Box 50887, Washington DC, 20091-0887
  • Canada:  (Box 552) 351 Queen St. E, Toronto ON, M5A-1T8
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Donations of stock? Write to: info@rightsaction.org
 
Follow work of other solidarity/ NGO groups in U.S. and Canada
Honduras Solidarity Network: www.hondurassolidarity.org;  Witness for Peace: www.witnessforpeace.org;  School of Americas Watch: www.soaw.org;  Common Frontiers Canada: www.commonfrontiers.ca;  Breaking the Silence: www.breakingthesilenceblog.com;  NISGUA (Network in Solidarity with People of Guatemala): www.nisgua.org;  Mining Watch: www.miningwatch.ca;  CISPES (Committee in Solidarity with People of El Salvador): www.cispes.org;  Alliance for Global Justice: www.afgj.org;  CODEPINK: www.codepink.org;  GHRC (Guatemalan Human Rights Commission): www.ghrc-usa.org;  Mining Injustice Solidarity Network: https://mininginjustice.org;  Mining Justice Alliance: https://miningjusticealliance.wordpress.com
 
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