For the US, this is a painfully embarrassing fortnight to count Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernández as a key ally in Central America.
On Monday he was named in a New York federal courtroom as a co-conspirator in the conviction of his associate, Geovanny Fuentes Ramirez, for smuggling tons of cocaine into the US, and receiving a $250,000 bribe from Fuentes, an alleged drug kingpin.
Next week, the president’s brother, Tony Hernández, is expected to be sentenced in the same New York court for his own drug trafficking conviction. At his trial President Hernández was implicated by Devis Leonel Rivera, the leader of a Honduran cartel, “Los Cachiros”, who alleged the Honduran leader received millions of dollars in bribes from drug traffickers to protect cocaine shipments to the US.
Rivera, who confessed to ordering 78 murders, cooperated with the DEA since 2013 before turning himself in the following year. He proved to be a devastating witness, providing a detailed account of his relationship with the Hernández family.