HomeNewsBriefAnother Honduras Narco Negotiates Plea Deal With US
BRIEF

Another Honduras Narco Negotiates Plea Deal With US

ELITES AND CRIME / 13 OCT 2017 BY HÉCTOR SILVA ÁVALOS EN

The heir of one of Honduras’ most notorious drug trafficking groups is negotiating a plea deal in the United States, adding to the growing list of Honduran capos in talks with US authorities.

In exchange for the right deal, Juan Ramón Matta Waldurraga would provide officials in the United States with information and plead guilty to trafficking cocaine into the United States between 2005 and 2010.

The indictment against Matta Waldurraga was filed in the Eastern District Court of New York on August 1, 2014, but unsealed in August 2017. He pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to introduce more than five kilograms of cocaine into the United States and money laundering charges.

Matta surrendered to US authorities in Panama days before his appearance in New York, La Prensa reported.

In June of this year, Honduran authorities seized 49 properties linked to Matta Waldurraga during the final stage of "Operation Earthquake," a drug trafficking investigation opened by the Honduran National Police in 2001 that included the monitoring of bank accounts and telephone intercepts.

After the operation, the police said that Matta Waldurraga had operated a drug trafficking operation from the San Esteban estate in the department of Olancho. Authorities allege this is where he received drugs from Colombian suppliers that he then sent to the United States. According to El Heraldo, Matta Waldurraga also had state contracts in the private security and hydroelectric generation sectors.

SEE ALSO: Elites and Organized Crime in Honduras: Juan Ramón Matta Ballesteros

Matta Waldurraga is the son of Juan Ramón Matta Ballesteros, who was one of Honduras' most influential drug traffickers during the 1980s. Matta Ballesteros was even a US ally during the so-called Iran-Contra scandal, the illegal operation that took place under the administration of former US President Ronald Reagan that used money from arms sales to Iran to organize a guerrilla insurgency in Honduras against the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. In exchange for his collaboration, Matta Ballesteros secured alliances and pacts with the Honduran elites that made him the primary ally of the Medellín Cartel.

InSight Crime Analysis

The story of Matta Waldurraga shows the deep legacy organized crime has left on this Central American country, as well as the close ties between Honduran political power and drug trafficking that have used the nation as a bridge since his father's era.

The case against Matta Waldurraga adds to the growing list of Honduran drug traffickers who have been arrested or prosecuted in the United States and have testified against other actors in their country of origin, including top-level politicians and businessmen in exchange for benefits from the US Attorney General's Office.

The most recent case is that of Devis Leonel Rodríguez Maradiaga, the alleged leader of one of Honduras' largest drug trafficking groups, the Cachiros. His testimony has accused current Honduras president Juan Orlando Hernández of accepting bribes from drug traffickers, something the president has denied.

Honduran elites from all sectors would be wise to worry about what Matta might offer to prosecutors in exchanged for a reduced sentence.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

HONDURAS / 16 FEB 2015

Four low-ranking military police officers in Honduras were arrested on kidnapping charges, prompting a swift response from the president who…

BRAZIL / 12 APR 2018

The 2018 Summit of the Americas will likely see many uncomfortable conversions between nervous politicians -- and perhaps a heavy…

ELITES AND CRIME / 10 JUL 2015

Another scandal involving people close to Guatemala President Otto Perez Molina has surfaced, calling attention not just to the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…