Horror in Honduras: The Apocalyptic Alliance — a hidden world of money laundering

In this article, international financial crime expert Robert Mazur explores the risks to financial institutions — and the United States as a whole — presented by the current administration in Honduras. The investigation is based on Mazur’s decades of experience in law enforcement and the anti-money laundering world, and offers some insights for financial crime and sanctions compliance teams.  

In the shadows of the underworld, a network of drug kingpins, corrupt politicians, traitors within ally armed forces — and countless dirty cops — has created a clear danger south of the U.S. border. They have repeatedly murdered anyone in their way. Beyond riches, they appear to be motivated by an ideology pronounced by one of their most influential leaders, who declared he “wanted to shove the drugs right up the noses of the gringos” by flooding the United States with cocaine. He made it clear; he wants to cripple the country. 

It might be thought that this goal was crafted by the latest Pablo Escobar but in fact, according to four U.S. prosecutors, that quote came from the president of an ally nation, Honduras. Credible evidence asserts that President Juan Orlando Hernandez (also known as “JOH”) of Honduras spoke those words. JOH is also alleged to have stolen a large portion of the nearly $1 billion in U.S. foreign aid sent to Honduras to otherwise help the poorest of the poor during his “reign” as president. Based on the sworn testimony of many witnesses, the U.S. “ally” in Honduras is nothing less than a narco kingpin and thief. 

This is a story about how and why many elected officials, law enforcement officers, military leaders and drug kingpins in Honduras have aligned to attempt to destroy Americans, and have turned their backs on the poorest in their own country. It is also a story about how honest and brave men and women in law enforcement agencies put their lives on the line to expose what was happening. Thanks to a well-executed investigative plan undertaken by the Special Operations Division (SOD) of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and U.S. prosecutors, many members of this alliance have been unmasked. 

Honduras has one of the highest rates in the world of homicides and crime. The country has spiralled into a human rights, economic, political and social crisis, driving tens of thousands of Hondurans out of the country. Since 2015, between 150 and 300 tons of cocaine per year has passed through Honduras, and credible estimates suggest that 90% of that cocaine successfully made its way to the streets of U.S. cities. Honduras has become a sophisticated state-sponsored narco empire servicing Colombian cartels as the safest transhipment point for hundreds of tons of cocaine flown in planes and piloted in ships to its shores. 

At many Honduran clandestine airstrips, military bases and commercial ports, cocaine is delivered from secret labs in Colombia and Venezuela. From there, dump trucks full of cocaine traverse roads protected by corrupt soldiers, dirty cops, bribed politicians and traffickers to Guatemala and points north, where it is delivered and sold to Mexican cartels. With the help of an international network of gangs, the Mexican cartels push their wares into U.S. neighborhoods. 

The Honduran alliance with Colombian and Mexican cartels has also led to the creation of labs in the jungles of Honduras manned by a combination of Honduran and Colombian traffickers. The evidence presented in many U.S. courtrooms overwhelmingly indicates that this cabal has been organized and enabled by JOH. 

On the heels of a helpful diplomatic achievement by members of the Obama administration, special agents of the DEA’s SOD began to attack the Honduran narco-state in 2012. On January 18 of that year, U.S. officials met in Miami with Porfirio Lobo, the then president of Honduras, who would soon be replaced by Hernandez. Lobo and other Honduran politicians were heavily pressured, and within 24 hours the Honduran Congress passed a constitutional reform to allow the extradition of Hondurans to the United States if they were charged in the United States with drug trafficking, terrorism or organized crime. 

On the surface, this appeared to potentially offer the United States a powerful tool to prosecute major Honduran traffickers, but outside diplomatic circles many feared this treaty might be toothless on the Honduran side of the equation. Within months, the U.S. Department of Justice filed requests for the extradition of 19 Hondurans. As feared, the response was anemic. 

In that same year, Nicaraguan authorities charged Javier Eriberto Rivera Maradiaga, and other high-ranking members of the ruthless Honduran drug cartel known as Los Cachiros, with drug trafficking and money laundering offences. At about the same time, agents assigned to the DEA’s SOD unleashed a focused initiative to develop prosecutable cases against every member of the Rivera Maradiaga family, all of whom were senior leaders of Los Cachiros. This initiative included coordination with the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) that levied sanctions on every member and asset of the Rivera Maradiaga family pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. The OFAC sanctions were designed to cripple Los Cachiros through the seizure of what was estimated to be an $800 million illicit fortune. 

As it became evident to competing narco clans in Honduras that the Rivera Maradiaga family was seriously weakened, Devis Leonel Rivera Maradiaga, the most powerful member of Los Cachiros, knew that his own and his family members’ futures in Honduras would eventually be in grave danger. His instincts told him that his competitors, and powerful people about whom he knew dark secrets, would eventually try to kill every Rivera Maradiaga they could find. 

He had only one option — secretly to reach out to DEA and U.S. prosecutors to work out a deal for himself and his entire clan. As a result, beginning in late 2013, he secretly agreed to plead to very serious charges in the United States and began several years of covert assistance with the very DEA agents who had pursued his lengthy imprisonment. 

Cooperation by members of the Rivera Maradiaga family gave the DEA a roadmap that connected the dots between corrupt politicians, dirty cops, corrupt military personnel and some of the most powerful traffickers in the world. Cases were quietly built against an array of Honduran elites, and the DEA began arresting those key players when they travelled outside of Honduras. Arrests were made in Nicaragua, the United States and Mexico. DEA and DOJ prosecutors also negotiated the voluntary surrender of a significant number of high-level Honduran traffickers who quietly travelled to the United States, agreed to long prison sentences, and divulged everything they knew about the members and methods of the Apocalyptic Alliance. 

As expected, Honduran officials dragged their feet responding to extradition requests and applications for evidence pursuant to the new Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty. The leaders of one powerful Honduran trafficking group, however, the Valle Cartel, were extradited from Honduras to the United States during the Hernandez administration, something JOH suggests demonstrates his shoulder-to-shoulder fight against crime with the United States. 

What JOH did not reveal about the Valles is that, unlike Honduran traffickers that were not extradited, JOH knew the Valles clan wanted him dead. They were outraged that, after paying him massive cash bribes for protection, he would no longer answer their calls. Given the Valles’ plan to assassinate JOH, it was expedient for JOH that members of the Valles should be delivered to the United States. 

The biggest public window into the extent of corruption, trafficking and murder carried out by the Apocalyptic Alliance in Honduras played out in a Manhattan courtroom in late 2019 during the trial of Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernandez, the brother of JOH. Like his brother, Tony was a member of the National Party of Honduras. He was a deputy in the National Congress of Honduras until 2018, but the DEA knew he was also a drug kingpin. To get him in a court of law, they had to make a strategic move. They knew the Honduran government would never honor a request for his extradition. His brother, the president, would not permit it. 

The DEA smartly kept a lot of the cooperation it had secured from Honduran drug kingpins secret, and arrested Tony in November 2018 at Miami International Airport, as he was on his way back to Honduras. 

Although the DEA knew plenty about Tony’s underworld life at the time, when they took him into custody they hoped he would consent to a recorded post-arrest interview. For the DEA, there would be no downside to either a recorded confession or documented lies by the president’s brother. To achieve their goal, they played it low-key during his arrest. Rather than attempt to bully him into a confession, the case agent played possum, giving Tony Hernandez all the rope he needed to hang himself later in a sea of tightly documented false denials. 

Tony took the bait, apparently thinking he could outsmart the “good cop”, and agreed to the recorded interview. One has to wonder if his many years of operating with impunity in Honduras gave him a sense of arrogance that he could successfully continue the lie about his innocence in the United States. As his jury would later see when the video interview was played at his trial, Tony admitted to knowing virtually every major trafficker in Honduras. They were just friends that were apparently involved in bad things on their own. He professed that he had never been involved in drug trafficking, a lie that would be proved beyond any reasonable doubt during his trial. 

The trial of “Tony” Hernandez 

As the trial of the Honduran President’s brother “Tony” Hernandez began, the first witness to expose him as a major trafficker spoke from his grave. More than a year before Tony’s trial began, Nery Orlando Lopez, one of Honduras’ major traffickers, was arrested by Honduran intelligence agents when he and his wife were driving to one of his farms. Unlike the hordes of dirty cops that sold their honor to Honduran traffickers, these arresting officers were part of a Sensitive Investigative Unit (SIU) a special DEA-vetted counter-narcotics police team. 

Despite having faked his death, including having pictures taken as he laid in a coffin, the SIU determined that Lopez was living under another identity. When the agents searched his and another car at the arrest site, they uncovered secret compartments under the rear seats of both vehicles that offered solid proof about the Apocalyptic Alliance. Along with the nearly $200,000 in cash, luxury Rolex watches, high-end jewelry, radios, four phones, and handguns (one with a silencer), the SIU officers found nine spiral notebooks. 

Within the hundreds of pages of notes in the notebooks, there were many detailed entries about cocaine shipments received and distributed by Tony Hernandez. There was also an entry documenting $440,000 paid to “JOH and his associates”. The most famous person in Honduras known to be commonly referred to as “JOH” is Juan Orlando Hernandez, Tony’s brother and the country’s President. 

Not long after Lopez was held in a Honduran prison, his lawyers made requests to the Honduran government to have him moved and placed in a military facility because he was being abused in his assigned Honduran high-security jail. The request was ignored by Honduran authorities. 

That same month, Lopez’ lawyer secretly met with DEA officials and began negotiating his cooperation. A few months later, while Lopez was standing and speaking with the director of the prison, 6 inmates jumped from a security sliding door with guns and knives. Lopez was shot and stabbed to death. 

The trail of blood continued to flow from the near-cooperation of Lopez. Six weeks after Lopez was murdered, one of his lawyers was murdered by several gunmen who walked into a roadside cafeteria and shot him as he sat at a table. Four days after Lopez’ lawyer was assassinated, while in his pickup truck in broad daylight, a gang of heavily armed assassins on motorcycles pumped at least 6 shots into the prison director that brought Lopez near the inmates that killed Lopez, silencing the director of the prison forever. 

Thanks to one of the DEA-vetted Honduran officers involved in the seizure of the spiral notebooks, portions of the ledgers were admitted into evidence at the outset of Tony Hernandez’ trial. The jury learned the story behind the man who made the damning entries, and how they related to the President’s brother. The dates, amounts and other details of the drug deals referencing Tony Hernandez in the ledgers would later match the testimony of Tony’s cohorts in crime who decided to flee Honduras for long stays in U.S. prisons. 

After the ledgers were presented as evidence, one of Tony’s most famous drug lord buddies, Victor Hugo Diaz Morales (a/k/a El Rojo) took to the stand. He crushed Tony’s alibi. They were not just friends; they were partners in crime at the highest level of the Apocalyptic Alliance. Between 2004 and 2010, he trafficked a total of 140,000 tons of cocaine with Tony. Tony operated his own clandestine drug labs, one in Colombia and the other in Honduras. In some instances, El Rojo provided Tony with transhipment services, helping to safely move large amounts of cocaine through Honduras for Colombian cartels that sold bulk cocaine shipments to Mexican cartels. He started buying multi-hundred kilo shipments of cocaine directly from Tony in 2008. Tony was so vain, he had a large portion of his kilogram packages of cocaine labelled with the initials, “TH”. 

El Rojo and Tony worked with dozens of Honduras’ corrupt politicians, dirty cops, crooked military chiefs and drug kingpins. The dirty cops included two of Tony’s cousins, Mauricio Hernandez Pineda and Hernan Hernandez. Through Tony’s army of compromised officials, each time he passed law enforcement information to El Rojo, Tony was paid $5,000. That price was raised to $10,000 per bit of information in 2013.Through this process, El Rojo learned about the location of military and police check-points, details about investigations, naval operation locations, and more. At a cost of $50,000 per occasion, Tony passed on details about radar tracking in Honduras by DEA and Honduran law enforcement. 

With Tony’s help, El Rojo got the opportunity to have an ace up his sleeve within the Honduran Police, none other than Juan Carlos Bonilla Valladares (a/k/a El Tigre), the chief of the Honduran National Police. With the help of a small army of corrupt subordinates, El Tigre provided armed police escort for drug shipments, inside information and — most importantly —assassination services. Tony assured El Rojo that their corrupt national police chief was a man of trust to everyone in their alliance, including his brother, the President. Tony made it clear that his brother, JOH, was the principal protector of many traffickers who had financed JOH’s campaigns. In keeping with that requirement, El Rojo gave JOH $40,000 in drug money to finance one of his campaigns. He also gave Tony $100,000 for his Congressional campaign. 

By the time El Rojo finished testifying, he had named countless politicians, cops, traffickers, lawyers and military personnel that operated on behalf of the Apocalyptic Alliance. He shared all his secrets, including the fact that he, El Rojo, had murdered 18 people. 

The testimony of the next cooperating witness, Amilcar Alexander Ardon Soriano (a/k/a Chande), was as riveting as that of El Rojo. Ardon was the Mayor of El Paraiso, a town along the southern border of Honduras. In 2008, Tony made a proposal to him. If Ardon gave money to candidates of the National Party, including the current President, Porfirio Lobo, and the man who would succeed him as President, Tony’s brother JOH, both Lobo and JOH would provide protection to Ardon’s trafficking network. At the time, Ardon was well known to be the leader of a major trafficking group named on his behalf. His cartel was known both as the “Alex Cartel” and the “AA Cartel”. 

In 2009, Ardon decided to accept Tony’s offer. He sent $1 million in cash to Lobo’s residence, and gave Tony $1 million in cash for JOH. He later met with Lobo and JOH, who confirmed that they had received their shipments of $1 million and would provide the promised protection. On the heels of that meeting, Ardon sent another $1 million to Lobo’s home. 

Ardon was a supplier of large cocaine shipments to “El Chapo” Guzman, the leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel. In 2013, El Chapo met in Honduras with Ardon, Tony, and other high-level Honduran traffickers. With the promise of continued protection from the Honduran government, El Chapo gave Tony $1 million in cash wrapped in a slew of plastic bags for his brother, JOH. Before the meeting ended, El Chapo gave Tony his contact information. 

Much of Ardon’s testimony corroborated the earlier testimony of El Rojo. Ardon rattled off the names of corrupt politicians, dirty cops and bribed military leaders that were part of the alliance. He too identified Honduran National Police Chief Bonilla (El Tigre) as a double-dealing cop who carried out murders for the group, passed along law enforcement information, and provided armed military escorts for drug shipments through Honduras. He furnished details about two murders orchestrated by El Tigre at the request of Tony. Ardon admitted killing 56 people, at least one of whom he executed at the request of Tony. He admitted that he made roughly $250 million by transporting 30 to 40 tons of cocaine through Honduras that was destined for the U.S. 

Former Honduran National Police Sub-Director Geovani Rodriguez also testified in the Tony Hernandez trial. He confirmed that he was a member of the alliance with Tony. He trafficked drugs, provided law enforcement information, and protected drug shipments for Tony. During the timeframe that he trafficked drugs with Tony and others, he continued to get promotions in the Honduran National Police. He gave information to El Rojo and to Tony’s cousin, Mauricio Hernandez, both of whom also worked with Tony. In 2009, when Rodriguez was accused of stealing drugs seized by the Honduran police, Tony’s lawyer, Oscar Ramirez, represented Rodriguez and paid the judge presiding over the matter to have Rodriguez released. Payoffs by Tony made by his lawyer, Oscar Ramirez, ensured that all charges were dropped against Rodriguez. Other evidence would identify Oscar Ramirez, Tony’s attorney as the alliance’s “fixer” who specialized in paying off judges and prosecutors. 

Next, the former leader of the Los Cachiros drug organization, Devis Leonel Rivera Maradiaga (Leonel) testified at Tony’s trial. In late 2013, Leonel and his lawyers negotiated his cooperation with DEA, part of which involved his agreement to plead guilty to serous charges that are likely to result in his incarceration for decades. In early 2014, while secretly working with the DEA, he met with Tony Hernandez and others at a restaurant in Honduras. With a watch that contained a hidden video recorder, he captured audio and video of the meeting and, through his attorney, passed the recording to the DEA. During the meeting, he paid a $50,000 bribe to Tony for the purpose of getting the Honduran government to send funds to one of Leonel’s front companies. 

During the years that the Cachiros worked with Tony and other corrupt Honduran officials, Leonel made payoffs to Tony and his brother, JOH, in return for protection for his drug operations. He distributed about 130 tons of cocaine through Honduras. Leonel provided an endless list of names and details about payoffs he made to many elected officials, including the current President of Honduras, JOH, and the former President of Honduras, Porfirio Lobo. He paid more than $500,000 in cash to Lobo and $250,000 to JOH. Among his many confessions from the witness stand, he admitted to committing 78 murders. 

Although his drug trafficking and related crimes are horrific, the jury found Leonel to be credible. Before testifying against Tony, he was prepared to testify against Fabio Lobo, the son of Porfirio Lobo, the former President of Honduras. Fabio brokered the Cachiros’ relationship with high-level elected and government officials including officials in Honduran customs, the military, law enforcement and Congress. Although Fabio started doing that in 2009, when the Cachiros’ leadership decided to assist the DEA in 2013, Fabio had no idea that such an arrangement had been made. 

Confidential sources within the Cachiros organization, under the DEA’s supervision, recorded meetings attended by Fabio, corrupt police officials and corrupt military personnel about an alleged 3,000-kilogram cocaine shipment that would pass through Honduras in 2015. Fabio and a long list of corrupt officials attended numerous recorded meetings with the Cachiros’ leadership, explaining in great detail what they were prepared to do to assist in the 3,000-kilogram shipment, and what fees they would require for their security and logistics. When Fabio travelled to Haiti for the purpose of receiving proceeds from the alleged cocaine transaction, he was arrested and extradited to the U.S. He and many other corrupt officials had no choice but to plead guilty. He was sentenced to 24 years in prison. 

The field of cooperators at Tony’s trial ended with the testimony of Fernando Josue Chang Monroy (a/k/a Jack). Jack was a high-level cocaine trafficker from Guatemala. From 2001 through the time of his arrest, he trafficked about 200,000 kilograms of coke into the United States. By his own admission, he was involved in 15 killings. Among other things, he purchased aircraft in the U.S. and moved them to Guatemala where modifications were made to enhance their use as drug smuggling planes. He offered those planes and pilots to trafficking organizations. 

Jack met Tony through Carlos Toledo, a close associate of Tony and El Rojo. Carlos told Jack that Tony supplied El Rojo with cocaine, and Tony was quite capable of killing anyone he did not like. 

When he met with Tony, the Honduran President’s brother said he controlled a lab that made cocaine. Tony also said he had an array of police that worked with him, helping him to move coke and protecting his operations. Jack vividly recalled that, every time they met, Tony had heavily armed Honduran military personnel with him that were his bodyguards. Tony informed Jack that he could obtain and sell any type of weapon, including F7s (commonly termed “cop killers”), Rocket Propelled Grenade launchers, and American made M-16s. Tony, in fact, sold 40 M-16 rifles to Jack, as well as boxes of ammunition. Jack recalled that the boxes that contained the ammunition bore numbers and markings suggesting they were ammunition from the Honduran government. Jack sold most of the M-16s to members of the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico, a sad testament to how some American automatic weapons got into the hands of murderers within the Mexican cartels. 

Jack bought about 15,000 kilograms of cocaine from Tony at a price of $10,000 per kilogram. At Tony’s request, he often paid Tony in bundles of U.S. $100 dollar bills. As a result of his deals with Tony, he met many of the corrupt Honduran police officers and military personnel that worked with Tony. He identified them and detailed their roles in the alliance. 

Jack’s testimony was made possible in Tony’s trial because Guatemalan authorities arrested him in 2015, and he was extradited to the United States. In 2016, he pled guilty and was sentenced to more than 21 years in prison. 

The fate of the Apocalyptic Alliance 

Some aspects of the saga of the Apocalyptic Alliance in Honduras are still untold but, given the focus and accomplishments of DEA’s Special Operations Division (SOD), it is highly likely that more significant prosecutions are on the horizon. One need only look at the federal court docket of Tony Hernandez to read the tea leaves. He was convicted in the U.S. District Court in October 2019, 17 months ago. Four months after his conviction, he was no longer represented by the same attorney that represented him at trial. He is now represented by a court appointed attorney with no apparent ties to Honduras. 

Hernandez’s court appointed attorney has since filed multiple continuances of his sentencing hearing, with no objection raised by the prosecutors handling the matter. At the same time, on Tony’s docket there have been a series of court filings that have been made under seal and placed in the court’s vault. One can’t say for sure, but I’ve seen that pattern in many dockets of convicted defendants that became government witnesses. If Tony were to choose that path, it would blow the roof off the Apocalyptical Alliance and offer the Honduran people a glimmer of hope that they might be able to free themselves from the decades of tyranny and oppression that has enslaved them. 

A review of the testimony in major cases brought against members of the Honduran version of the Apocalyptic Alliance reveals the involvement of no less than 25 dirty current and former Honduran politicians, including the current and former presidents. It also exposes the involvement of no less than 20 corrupt high-level law enforcement and military personnel, including police chiefs, commanders of Anti-Organized Crime Departments, deputy commissioners and the former chief of the National Police. Clearly, this represents only a portion of those in Honduras who have poisoned America with countless illegal drug shipments. One has to wonder how this tyranny got its talons so deeply into Honduran society. 

Despite the phenomenal achievements of the DEA in Honduras over the past 9 years, history may offer some answers about whether our nation may have previously contributed to the Honduran elite’s disrespect for the rule of law. Some of the truthful answers to that question have been confined within a high-security prison in Pennsylvania since the late 1980s, and will continue to remain there until the death of U.S. inmate number 37671-133. That inmate is Juan Ramon Matta-Ballesteros (Matta). 

By the mid-1980s, Matta was one of the most important drug lords in the world. As a Honduran, like “Tony” Hernandez, he operated with impunity for decades. He was protected by those entrusted with protecting the common men and women of Honduras, Mexico and Colombia. He was the key bridge between the Medellin Cartel that had compromised the integrity of Colombia’s government, and the ruthless Mexican cartels that had a stranglehold on many of Mexico’s government institutions. Matta was Pablo Escobar’s “go to guy” who coordinated Escobar’s relationship with the largest Mexican cartel at the time, the Guadalajara Cartel led by Miguel Felix Gallardo, Rafael Caro Quintero and others. 

At the same time our nation knew Matta’s key role in the mega drug trafficking world the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) turned a blind eye and worked closely with him, despite his trafficking with corrupt Honduran military and police. Matta controlled something the CIA desperately yearned to exploit, a Honduran based commercial airline, SETCO. 

Matta and his cartel associates were using SETCO to move massive quantities of cocaine to Mexican cartels that provided the Colombians with transportation services. At the same time, officials in the United States, a nation that has publicly embraced the responsibility of being a beacon of truth and law, worked a deal with Matta to use SETCO aircraft as the principal company to surreptitiously transport supplies, personnel, weapons, food, uniforms and military supplies to the Contra rebels in Nicaragua. This was in support of the efforts to overthrow the socialist Sandinista government that, at the time, controlled Nicaragua. 

America’s fear was that the Sandinistas would give communism another foothold in the Americas. The same clandestine landing strips in Honduras used by planes smuggling weapons to the U.S.funded Contras were used to traffic massive amounts of narcotics — and we knew it. We knew Matta was doing that with the support of a horde of corrupt Honduran officials. Despite that, the U.S. State Department paid big money to SETCO for covert services, a move motivated by a mantra that undermines the credibility of any nation: “The End Justifies the Means”. 

Despite being broadly known as a major drug kingpin, Matta was a public figure in Honduras, seen by many as a businessman and philanthropist. He had agro-industrial companies, as well as holdings in coffee, tobacco, spice, dairy and cattle. He built schools and his businesses employed thousands of Hondurans. He was a folk hero in his home country. 

Everything changed for Matta after he was accused of participating in the kidnapping, torture and murder of DEA Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. There was no doubt that Matta’s closest associates in Mexico, Felix Gallardo and Rafael Caro Quintero, were directly responsible for agent Camarena’s demise. With the help of members of the Honduras Special Troops that were loyal to the DEA, 4 U.S. Marshals basically kidnapped Matta in Honduras, whisked him off to the Dominican Republic, and then transported him to the United States. He was found guilty at trial for many drug-related and other offenses, and sentenced to life in prison. 

The CIA’s unholy alliance with Matta is not an excuse for today’s Apocalyptic Alliance in Honduras. But it does help us to understand why some power-hungry officials in Honduras might think they should not fear follow-up by America to uproot the source of their evil. Is it possible that President Juan Orlando Hernandez thinks he will be spared prosecution because members of the Trump administration, like acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, said that “Honduras is a valued and proven partner to the U.S. in managing migration and promoting security and prosperity in Central America.” 

Remarkably, Mr. Wolf made that statement in January 2020, months after prosecutors with the Department of Justice and a room full of witnesses exposed the current President of Honduras and an army of corrupt Honduran government officials as narco kingpins. Is the U.S. so fearful of lawful mass migration from Honduras to the U.S. that we would sell our souls to JOH, like we did to Matta? 

I find Mr. Wolf’s statement about Honduras chilling. In my opinion, it is “political speak” that, when translated, told JOH: “If you stop the tens of thousands of your citizens trying to flee your oppression by coming to the United States, we’ll turn a blind eye on your crimes.” In January of 2020, how could anyone seriously suggest that Honduras is a “valued and proven partner promoting security and prosperity in Central America”? That’s outrageous. 

Hopefully, the newer generations of DEA agents that now man the Special Operations Division (SOD), and our country in general, have permanently turned a page on allowing America to turn a blind eye on the lawlessness in Honduras. Through the heroics of the agents of all nations that have righteously attacked the Apocalyptic Alliance in Honduras, a signal has been sent to today’s Honduran population. We have shared with them a truth that America truly cares and is prepared to win the ugliest of wars, while playing by the rules. 

The United States has a crisis on its hands as a result of the widespread corruption in Honduras and other countries south of our border. If we fight the good fight and adhere to the rule of law in every regard, there is hope that we can earn the hearts and minds of the citizens of our ally nations and build strong long-term relationships that will overcome the Apocalyptic Alliances that are eroding the rule of law throughout the Americas. 

Well done, my brothers and sisters in the DEA and the prosecutors that support you. We’re all very proud of you — and thank you for your service to both our nation and the free world. 

Join our financial intelligence webinar …

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Robert Mazur, President, KYC Solutions Inc

Michael Messier, Private Consultant & Senior Advisor, Financial Crimes and Compliance 

Nathan Lynch, APAC Manager, Regulatory Intelligence, Thomson Reuters

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Robert Mazur was a highly decorated U.S. federal agent for 27 years. He is a court-certified expert in money laundering-related matters in both the United States and Canada. He is the NY Times bestselling author of The Infiltrator, a memoir of his life undercover as a money launderer within the underworld, and was an executive producer of the internationally released film by the same name based on his book. He is now the President of KYC Solutions, a company that provides speaking, training, consulting and expert witness services globally.

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