This summary is based on the Spanish language reporting published by Pro-Honduras Network (ProHN). Watch videos posted below.
What Happened Today:
** Three witnesses were called to the stand: Miguel Reinoso, a Honduran detective from the Attorney General’s office; a DEA agent with knowledge of drug trafficking routes in Central America; and Victor Hugo Díaz Morales “El Rojo,” a collaborating witness of the prosecution also accused of drug trafficking by US federal prosecutors.
Key Details that Surfaced Today:
** Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH) was again implicated directly in receiving drug money by details documented in “drug notebooks” (“narcolibretas”). Tony and JOH’s name were written inside the notebook next to quantities of money.
** Witness “El Rojo” testified that he trafficked 140,000 tons of cocaine with Tony Hernandez and gave JOH $40,000 for his congressional campaign. In two days of the trial, accusations of drug funding for JOH’s electoral campaigns have reached $1,040,000 USD ($1 million from El Chapo/Sinaloa cartel & $40,000 from “El Rojo”.
What Will Happen Tomorrow:
** Witness “El Rojo” will continue his testimony
** Likely that more witnesses will be called if “El Rojo” finishes testifying.
Yesterday as mentioned in the Day One summary, Juan Orlando Hernandez tweeted and the Presidential palace put out a statement about the accusation that JOH received money from ‘El Chapo’ to finance his electoral campaign(s). Both public statements claimed that this is false and/or the prosecutor did not say what was being reported by national and international press.
JOH also made statements yesterday and today (October 3) via a public transmission from the Presidential palace that the drug traffickers’ statements in the US are how these extradited drug traffickers are seeking revenge against him and his family.
To clarify what was said, Pro-Honduras Network and other media, published the actual court transcripts. Here are some quotes from these documents (see links to these documents below):
“The defendant’s cocaine network thrived because of his political power in Honduras. Mayors, congressman, military generals, police chiefs, they all protected the defendant. They all protected his organization. They were all bought and paid for with the dirtiest of drug money. And most importantly, the defendant was protected by and had access to his brother, the current sitting president of Honduras, a man who himself has received millions of dollars in drug money bribes, bribes he received from some of the largest cocaine traffickers in the world, bribes he received from men like El Chapo and the Sinaloa cartel who personally delivered one million dollars to the defendant for his brother, bribes he was paid to protect the defendant, to protect his organization and to keep them in business.”
For a long time these bribes worked. The defendant and his co-conspirators were wildly successful. But while the defendant’s cocaine network soared, while his profits rose, his country suffered. You’ll learn during this trial that Honduras is one of the most violent places on earth in no small part because of people like the defendant and his coconspirators, people who infect the country with violence, with corruption and with cocaine, distributing the drug through its borders for distribution in the United States.” – October 2, 2019, opening statement of federal prosecutor, Mr. Richman. Document can be found on ProHN’s Facebook page.
Testimony of Honduran Detective Miguel Reinoso, Honduran Attorney General’s office:
** Spoke about the seizures in June 7, 2018 in Naco, Cortés of 2 vehicles, some “drug notebooks” (“narcolibretas”), $193,220, 2 weapons and grenades in secret compartments inside the vehicles. The drug notebooks mention JOH and Tony’s name and belonged to Magdalena Fúnez (1).
** Said he was surprised to see Tony’s name inside the drug notebook because he said that people were aware of Tony’s case and that he was the brother of the President.
Testimony of DEA Agent:
** Explained how drug is transited through Colombia, Central America and into the US.
** Said that 90% of all cocaine that makes it into the US market comes from Colombia and a lot of it passes through Honduras.
Partial Testimony of collaborating witness, Victor Hugo Díaz Morales “El Rojo” (2):
** As soon as “El Rojo” entered the courtroom, Tony looked nervous.
** First questions asked by Prosecutors: “Have you trafficked drugs with someone in this courtroom.” Then “What is that person wearing?” And El Rojo looked around the courtroom and identified Tony.
** Mentioned that he started trafficking drugs by working as “Don H’s” driver (3) through Carlos Toledo, a friend of Tony’s since his youth. It is believed that Tony started getting into the drug trade through Toledo and through him would meet drug traffickers in other countries.
** Discussed that JOH’s bodyguards attended meetings in Carlos Toledo’s plantations in Lempira along with Tony, his bodyguards and other drug traffickers. Some traffickers came from Colombia and Guatemala to attend the meetings. Also present was Alexander Ardón (who is believed to be a collaborating witness for the prosecution).
** The Sinaloa cartel was in charge of running the drugs into the US but Tony worked with the cartel and others in Guatemala to run the drugs to the US market.
** All meetings with drug traffickers are dangerous and Tony and his security team were always heavily armed
** That he worked with Tony from 2004 to 2010.
** Since 2008, Tony has stamped his cocaine with his initials TH, modeled off of the Tommy Hilfiger brand and that Tony would brag about his TH label.
** He paid $40,000 to Tony for Juan Orlando Hernandez’s congressional campaign.
** Never sent drug shipments less than 500 to 1,000 kilograms of cocaine at a time.
** Said that he paid Tony Hernandez $5,000 in exchange for all types of information each time he received it. For example, the locations of the military and police check-points along the drug transit route, who would be at the check-points, and also that the drug shipments could pass without problems, and what investigations were underway in Honduras by Honduran authorities. Tony told him that as long as the payments were on time, all of the information to El Rojo would be on time. These payments would increase to $10,000 around 2013.
** Prosecutor that questioned El Rojo mentioned routes that drug traffickers including El Rojo used. These included the military base Puerto Castilla (north coast) and from there that was where the route started until the drugs arrived to Guatemala.
** Tony provided information coming out of Puerto Lempira from the Honduran navy including the coordinates of military operations (naval or other). This made it clear that Tony was an untouchable figure with extensive amounts of information. Another route was in Naco, Cortés on a military base – it was identified as an important route, which according to El Rojo was a critical and really the only route for drugs to pass through.
** There were 4 drug transiting routes mentioned including:
o A narco landing strip located in Gualacho eastern Olancho where drugs were taken from Juticalpa to Tegucigalpa to Naco, Cortés, and then were passed over the border into Guatemala through border crossings Los Terceros, El Espiritu (Copan), El Paraíso (Copan) and El Florido (Copan)
o Another route: Drugs would land on narco landing strip in Brus Laguna (located in eastern La Moskitia).
** Tony provided essential information to El Rojo in order to ensure the safe passages of drug shipments through the country.
** He trafficked at least 140,000 kilograms of cocaine with Tony Hernandez in the time he worked with him
** Said that the principal protector of Tony, is JOH and that many drug traffickers financed JOH’s campaigns.
** Confessed to having murdered 18 people and seriously injuring 4 more.
** Assured that he met with Tony 3-4 times per year and in one meetings in 2007, Mario Jose Calix Hernandez, Carlos Toledo, JOH/Tony’s cousin Hernan Hernandez, Juan Carlos Valenzuela (a sitting National Party Congressman) (4) and one of JOH’s bodyguards with the last name Portillo were also present.
** $2,000-$2-500 cocaine price in Colombia, $3,000 in Honduras, and the closer it gets to the US market, the price increase. One kilogram of cocaine
(1) According to Honduran press, Magdalena Fúnez was arrested along with four other individuals including Nery López Sanabría in June 2018 in Naco, Cortés. López Sanabría’s extraditions was also requested by US authorities and in order to avoid being arrested by the DEA and US authorities, López Sanabria faked his own death.
(2) “El Rojo” was arrested in Guatemala on March 4, 2017. He is a confessed drug trafficker and murderer. He was extradited to the United States in April 2018 and is believed to be closely linked to drug trafficker Wilter Blanco.
(3) Hector Emilio Fernandez Rosa, known as “Don H” was sentenced to life in prison for distributing over 150 tons of drugs into the US. He was arrested in Honduras in October 2014 and extradited to the US in September 2015. Don H worked closely with the Valle Valle cartel, who are known to also have helped finance JOH’s electoral campaigns.
(4) Congressman Juan Carlos Valenzuela is a National Party representative for the department of Lempira – the department where Tony and JOH were both born. In December 2018, anti-corruption body, the MACCIH and its investigative arm, UFECIC, indicted Valenzuela and 20 other congress reps, ex Congressional reps, and others for corruption charges and being involved in stealing $860,000 USD that was laundered through the NGO Association Green Planet. The case was named “Arco Abierta” by the MACCIH and continues to proceed through Honduran courts.