The son of former President Porfirio Lobo Sosa of Honduras was captured in an anti-drug operation in Haiti, a turn of events that may make other Honduran political elites very nervous.
The government of Honduras and former president Porfirio Lobo Sosa confirmed on May 22 that Fabio Lobo Lobo, the former president’s oldest son, was arrested in Haiti in a joint operation between the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Haitian police. Lobo was transferred to New York, where he will stand trial on drug trafficking charges, reported El Heraldo.
Lobo allegedly had links to the Cachiros, one of Honduras’s principal drug trafficking organizations. The Cachiros were once led by Javier Eriberto and Devis Leonel Rivera Maradiaga, two brothers who both surrendered to US authorities in January, according to El Heraldo. Lobo also reportedly had a close friendship with Ramon Matta, the son of legendary drug trafficker Ramon Matta Ballasteros.
Lobo Sosa did not rush to defend his son, telling a local television station, “If he is guilty, he has to answer to the law,” reported La Prensa. The US Ambassador to Honduras took to social media, tweeting, “No one is above the law,” a presumed reference to Lobo’s arrest.
No one is above the law.
— US Ambassador HN (@USAmbHonduras) May 21, 2015
InSight Crime Analysis
While few details have emerged about the charges Lobo is facing, or why he was in Haiti to begin with, it is certainly plausible that testimony from the two Maradiaga brothers led to his capture and might form the basis of the charges against him. The Maradiaga brothers reportedly rendezvoused with US authorities via boat in the Caribbean, after negotiating their surrender, which InSight Crime predicted would spell trouble for elites in Honduras.
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Lobo's arrest follows another mysterious incident in April, when a congressman and his father, a former Supreme Court judge, were murdered. The congressman was reportedly a political operator for the Valle family, a prolific drug trafficking clan whose two leaders, Miguel Arnulfo and Luis Alonso Valle Valle, were extradited to the United States in December. Other alleged political operators for the Cachiros have faced similar fates: just days after the Maradiaga brothers surrendered, a former governor with suspected close ties to the Cachiros was gunned down.
With the alleged leaders of Honduras's two biggest drug trafficking groups imprisoned in the United States, some of the country's elites are arguably now beginning to see the fallout from their well-documented collaboration with drug traffickers.