Honduran president denies protection for drug traffickers

FILE PHOTO: Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez holds a news conference at the Presidential House in Tegucigalpa
FILE PHOTO: Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez holds a news conference at the Presidential House in Tegucigalpa, Honduras October 3, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera/File Photo

October 18, 2019

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez denied on Thursday that the Central American nation protects drug traffickers or is a narco state, following allegations in the U.S. trial of his brother that the two men accepted bribes from cocaine smugglers.

President Hernandez spoke as a jury deliberated after closing arguments from U.S. prosecutors.

The president’s brother Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernandez faces charges of conspiring to import cocaine into the United States.

Tony Hernandez, a former congressman, has pleaded not guilty.

(Reporting by Delphine Schrank; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel)

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