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Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Israeli Diplomat Implicated in Drug Money Laundering During Honduras Ex-President's Trial

"Socalj" for Borderland Beat

Last week, a confidential witness in a high-profile criminal case alleged that an Israeli embassy participated in a money-laundering scheme linked to the illicit trade of cocaine involving the Sinaloa Cartel and Colombian traffickers.

It was a major twist in the trial of Juan Orlando Hernandez, a former Honduran president convicted on Friday of participating in a “violent drug-trafficking conspiracy” while in office.

On the witness stand sat a convicted drug trafficker, going by the pseudonym "Luis Perez." That witness also went by the name Alexander Monroy-Murillo, originally from Colombia, in previous trials against Honduran politicians convicted of drug trafficking and bribery. He appeared in a United States district court in New York to testify against Hernandez, whom he accused of being involved in drug trafficking operations.

But as the defense team cross-examined "Perez" about his relationship with Hernandez, he revealed another alleged participant in the scheme: the Israeli embassy in Colombia.

“We worked with officials at the Israeli embassy,” Perez told defense lawyer Raymond Colon in Spanish while on the stand. “The woman who transported money for us from Honduras to Colombia was an official in the Israeli embassy.”

Perez, who was affiliated with the Sinaloa cartel, accused the unnamed Israeli official of laundering between $100 million and $150 million between 2008 and 2010.

Alexander Monroy-Murillo's Testimony

"Perez" by his own admission, trafficked 200,000 kilograms (441,000 pounds) of cocaine from Colombia to northwest Honduras for 7 years, starting in 2008.

His buyers allegedly included Mexican drug lords like Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, both leaders in the Sinaloa cartel at the time.

But in 2015, Perez turned himself in to US authorities, in exchange for a reduced prison sentence. Though it was not clear why he turned himself into US authorities, he said that he left because “the US and Honduran authorities started surveilling people closest to us.”

He served 65 months (almost 6 years) for conspiring to import 200 tons of cocaine into the United States, down from a possible sentence of 135 months of more than 11 years.

He has since acted as a cooperating witness for US prosecutors, who shield his identity for his safety. He previously testified in the 2022 trial against former Honduran congress member Fredy Najera, who was accused of “operating a large-scale narcotics trafficking organization”.

Nájera has since pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Perez was introduced as “Alexander Monroy-Murillo” at the time of the trial.

During the trial of Tony Hernandez, the ex-president's brother, Monroy Murillo reported that his boss was César Gastelum Serrano, who was responsible for the Sinaloa Cartel cell in San Pedro Sula. According to Monroy Murillo, in 2013 the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel approved the support of one million dollars to the presidential campaign of Juan Orlando Hernández.

He also testified that the Valle Valle Cartel asked him to help procure weapons to be used to assassinate Honduras' President Hernandez.

According to the story of Monroy Murillo, known in the underworld as alias 'Serrucho', he made the two payments of $500,000 each to an emissary of Juan Orlando Hernández for his campaign, in exchange for providing security to the operations of the cartel in case he remained president.

César Gastelum Serrano was arrested in Cancún, Mexico, in April 2015, and extradited in November of that same year to the United States. 

The defense has sought to portray witnesses like Perez as unreliable, motivated to testify for reduced sentences in their own criminal cases. One of the defense lawyers, Renato Stabile, told the jury in his opening statement, “You’re going to hear from a lot of devils.” 

Israeli Diplomat Money Laundering

In his testimony during the Hernández trial, Perez made it clear that the former President had nothing to do with the Israeli diplomatic official who allegedly transported drug money.

Instead, he described the unnamed employee as using her luggage to move the money from Honduras to Colombia, on behalf of the Sinaloa cartel. “To launder the money, we moved it in a diplomatic briefcase using the diplomatic passport of an official working at the Embassy of Israel in Colombia,” Perez told the jury.

This happened over multiple shipments, Perez alleged. Colon, the defense lawyer, pressed him to specify how many times the trips happened. “I can’t give an exact number,” Perez replied. “But it happened many times.”

In exchange for participating in the money-laundering scheme, Perez said the official received “3% of the money they moved”. Monroy-Murillo said that for the money laundering, he received 1% from the Sinaloa Cartel, that is, at least $5 million.

Historic Honduras-Israeli Ties

The allegations, while unproven, were not a surprise to Alexander Avina, a historian of Mexico and Latin America and professor at Arizona State University.

Avina has researched alleged Israeli connections to drug networks in Central America, and he pointed to a long history of foreign intervention in Honduras. “Honduras has had a close relationship with Israeli military and arms dealers since at least the late 1970s,” Avina told Al Jazeera.

At the time, Honduras was in turmoil. Tensions were simmering with the neighboring country of El Salvador, and a series of military leaders had taken the Honduran presidency through coups, though corruption scandals ultimately toppled many of them.

The presidency of General Juan Alberto Melgar Castro, for example, came to an end in the 1978 “Cocaine Coup”, after his government was accused of participating in drug trafficking.

In the middle of the tumult, Avina explained that Israeli military trainers and advisors helped Honduras’s security forces carry out bloody campaigns against leftists and dissidents. Aviña also pointed out that the Israeli government also provided weapons, advisors, and logistical support to the military regimes in neighboring Guatemala. 

Starting in the 1960s, Guatemala was enmeshed in a decades-long civil war, which led to a genocide of Indigenous people. The United Nations has estimated that more than 200,000 people were killed.

Facing pressure over human rights abuses in Central America, the US government collaborated with Israel to supply its allies in the region, even when it could not do so directly. A New York Times report from 1983 described how Israel, “at the request of the United States”, was sending weapons to Central American countries through Honduras.

Avina also noted that Israel has a history in Colombia as well, helping to train members of the United Self-Defence of Colombia (AUC), a right-wing paramilitary with links to cocaine trafficking.

“Israel has played a death squad counterinsurgent role throughout the Americas since the 1970s,” Avina said. “Drugs form part of that counterinsurgency because government forces have historically relied on narcos to do their dirty work.”

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, right, and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez shake hands in Jerusalem on Thursday, June 24, 2021.

Close Relations Under Hernandez

In more recent decades, Israel and the US have maintained close ties in Central America, including with President Hernandez.

The former president was a key ally in the US’s regional “war on drugs”, and he had a personal relationship with Israel as he studied there in the 1990s as part of an international development program called MASHAV.

The Israeli government touted him as “the first MASHAV graduate to become a head of state”.

Hernandez continued his warm relationship with Israel while in office. Under his presidency, Honduras became one of the first Latin American countries to move its embassy to Jerusalem, a controversial move seen as denying Palestinian claims to the city.

As allegations piled up about his ties to drug trafficking rings, Israeli media reported that Hernandez even asked Israel to help prevent his extradition to the US.

Journalist Cristian Sanchez has been attending Hernandez’s trial on behalf of the Pro-Honduras Network, a civil society organization focused on exposing corruption. He, too, was struck by the allegations about the Israeli official in the court proceedings.

“For the public in the audience,” Sanchez said, “it was impactful to hear that a person in the Israeli embassy would lend themselves to form part of the money-laundering scheme of the Sinaloa cartel.”

In his view, the allegations are part of a wider trend of state institutions becoming complicit in the drug trade.

Ex-President Convicted

“What the testimony shows is that the level of infiltration of drug traffickers has gotten to its highest levels, with an ex-president being judged for narco-trafficking — and with a diplomat from the government of Israel in Colombia involved.”

In both the cases of Najera and former President Hernandez, Perez accused Honduran officials of seeking campaign contributions in exchange for their participation in drug smuggling.

Najera, for instance, was said to have used his government office to tip off Perez whenever a police operation threatened his cocaine business.

As for Hernandez — a conservative president popularly known by his initials JOH — US prosecutors say he transformed Honduras into a “narco-state”, partnering with “some of the world’s most prolific narcotics traffickers to build a corrupt and brutally violent empire”.

He was extradited to the US in 2022, shortly after completing his second term in office.

Hernandez, however, had pleaded not guilty to the drug trafficking and weapons charges he faced. Earlier this week, he, too, appeared on the witness stand, refuting any allegations of wrongdoing.

When asked if he took bribes from figures like El Chapo, Hernandez replied simply: “Never.” A jury has since found him guilty of all three charges he faced.


  1. Off Topic..I can't wait for Throw back to articles please hurry.

    1. You mean throw back Thursday, it's coming tomorrow.😁

  2. Lol doubt a jew is going to jail

    1. The same was said about Harvey Weinstein. And look how that turned out for him.

    2. @2:58PM. Convicted Jews serve time just like everybody else. Madoff, Epstein, Maxwell. The crypto-swindler Bankman-Fried will soon be sentenced. And these names are well-known, Jewish criminals who are not public figures go to the big house too.
      The old "Kosher Nostra" Jewish mob saw plenty of its members do time.

    3. @Sol damn man, that's a huge bummer dude. Looks like they finally caught Sicario006's Mossad Handler.

  3. Of course a khazar was involved in a money capacity. They just cant help themselves truly..... btw folks checkout Europe The Last Battle in bitchute since youtube deletes it. Pretty damn good documentary also The Other Israel is on there.. very eye opening and thought provoking... oy vey goys lol

    1. @1612 hrs.: Spot on. One addendum--the khazarian playbook is otherwise known as "The Protocols Of The Learned Elders Of Zion."

      "Eye opening" is exactly right.


    2. Facts. People need to wake up mexico is in for a wild ride with SHEINBAUM lol

    3. The protocols are an embarrassing fabrication.

  4. 90 percent of people convicted of government treason/spying are jews/dual Israeli citizens ex:jonathan pollard who was given a heros welcome to israel when the usa released him. Odd isnt it. Always up to vermin activities

    1. But but- nooo— it’s akshully all da liberalz fault

    2. Is Mexico ready for its ashkenazi rulers to ascend lol

    3. 7:52 It's not going to happen. We Mexicanos are too proud and tribal to chose others. Too much blood letting has occurred. Of course this can be a moot point if it's all a simulation.

    4. Carlos Slim Helu is puro Lebanese

    5. 08:52 yo, u got a problem with Ashkenazis?

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Damn… 440,000 lbs at even just $20,000 a key wholesale comes out to $4.4billion USD… and that’s just from one of their sources. I wonder how deep the Israeli rabbit hole goes in the narco world. Ex-original Zeta member Gerardo Villareal claims that the MX gov sent a secret group of soldiers (himself as well) to Israel for specialized training… guess where most of these guys ended up?

    1. @07:23 Hamas and Hezbollah. Houthis have nuclear capable hypersonic missiles on Israel courtesy of Russia, Iran, and Los Chapitos.


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