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Thu Apr 30, 2020, 05:57 PM

Ex-Honduran national police chief charged in New York

Claudia Torrens, Christopher Sherman and Marlon Gonzalez, Associated Press
Updated 4:22 pm CDT, Thursday, April 30, 2020



Photo: Fernando Antonio, AP
IMAGE 1 OF 3
FILE - In this Dec. 21, 2012 file photo, Honduras Police Chief Gen. Juan Carlos Bonilla Valladares, also known as the Tiger, or "El Tigre," salutes during an event in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The former chief of the Honduran National Police faces drug and weapons charges in New York, where prosecutors claimed on Thursday, April 30, 2020, that he traded his law enforcement clout to protect U.S.-bound shipments of cocaine.


NEW YORK (AP) — The former chief of the Honduran National Police faces drug and weapons charges in New York, where prosecutors claimed Thursday that he traded his law enforcement clout to protect U.S.-bound shipments of cocaine.

The charges were brought against Juan Carlos Bonilla Valladares, known as “El Tigre” or “The Tiger," in Manhattan federal court. He was not in custody.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said Bonilla played a key role in a violent international drug conspiracy, working on behalf of former Honduran congressman Tony Hernández Alvarado and, his brother, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández.

“Bonilla Valladares oversaw the transshipment of multi-ton loads of cocaine bound for the U.S., used machineguns and other weaponry to accomplish that, and participated in extreme violence, including the murder of a rival trafficker," Berman said in a release.

More:
https://www.chron.com/news/article/Ex-Honduran-national-police-chief-charged-in-New-15238064.php

Also posted in LBN:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/10142483712









Honduras’ New Top Cop Comes with Dark Past
ANALYSISWritten by Hannah Stone -MAY 29, 2012
Honduras

Honduras’s new police chief, “El Tigre,” has a particularly mixed record: he is a one-time fugitive from justice, accused of being part of a death squad. Still, the government human rights commissioner, and others, say he is the best man for the job.

Juan Carlos Bonilla Valladares, known as “El Tigre,” was appointed to head Honduras’ police on May 21, becoming the fourth person to hold the post in the last five years. His predecessor lasted only six months, losing his job amid allegations that police were involved in the murder of high-profile radio journalist Alfredo Villatoro.

. . .

Bonilla has also received praise from Honduras’ National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH). Commissioner Ramon Custodio told La Prensa last year that the organization had received Bonilla’s report on police corruption, and “Since then has accompanied this brave and honest official.” Last week, he said that Bonilla’s appointment was “the best message” that the president could possibly give to the Honduran people. (Custodio, it should be noted, has his own baggage, coming under fire during the 2009 coup for defending the military and police crackdown on protesters.)

However, before his incarnation as an anti-corruption crusader, Bonilla was accused of being a member of a death squad that patrolled the streets of the country, executing suspected criminals — some of them minors. The group was known as “Los Magnificos,” the Spanish title for TV series “The A-Team.” He was charged with an extrajudicial murder in 2002, and went on the run. He handed himself in some months later, as the State Department documents, and in 2004 was then found innocent. Honduras Culture and Politics notes that the prosecutor in the case quit mid-trial.

More:
https://www.insightcrime.org/news/analysis/honduras-new-top-cop-comes-with-dark-past/

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