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Fri Mar 31, 2017, 05:22 PM

NEW YORK DRUG CASE OPENS WINDOW ON DARK PERIOD FOR HONDURAS

Mar 31, 4:05 PM EDT

NEW YORK DRUG CASE OPENS WINDOW ON DARK PERIOD FOR HONDURAS
BY CLAUDIA TORRENS AND BEN FOX
ASSOCIATED PRESS


NEW YORK (AP) -- A case unfolding in a lower Manhattan courtroom has caused political tremors in Honduras, seeming to confirm long-held suspicions that corruption at the highest levels of government helped turn the Central American country into a violent epicenter of the drug trade at the start of this decade.

Fabio Porfirio Lobo, the son of the Honduran president in 2010-2013, is preparing to go before a federal judge for sentencing after pleading guilty to his role in a drug-trafficking ring involving members of Honduras' national police. But it is the details of the conspiracy that emerged in testimony and newly released court documents which have captivated people back home by tying his father and a brother of the current president directly to traffickers.

Political and civil society groups have been demanding investigations into the allegations, especially against former President Porfirio "Pepe" Lobo Sosa, who remains a leader in the ruling National Party and is among the wealthiest people in the country, with extensive agricultural land holdings.

"This is something that everyone suspected," said Edmundo Orellana, a former attorney general of Honduras. "But what we didn't know was the extent of the involvement with the politicians. This has been a surprise."

. . .

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence met with Honduras' president on March 23 and praised the country's progress fighting drugs and corruption.

More:
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/L/LT_US_HONDURAS_DRUG_WAR?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-03-31-00-14-56

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