The mayor of the paradise island of Roatán, Honduras, Jerry Hynds, was arrested for allegedly escorting a water tanker carrying hidden drugs, the local Public Ministry said Saturday (28).
According to a statement from the MP, the mayor was detained on Friday night with three other people, during vehicle inspections carried out by the Technical Criminal Investigation Agency (ATIC) and the Special Prosecutor’s Office against Organized Crime (FESCCO).
Inside a water tanker “98 bags of alleged drugs were found”, informed the Public Prosecutor’s Office. According to local media, the drug found would weigh two tons. Two people traveled in the vehicle.
“Meanwhile, behind the water truck was Mayor Jerry Hynds, aboard a Toyota Land Cruiser, double-cab vehicle” and another person in a third vehicle, the note explained.
The mayor was taken to the capital, Tegucigalpa, to be prosecuted by authorities with federal jurisdiction.
In statements to the newspaper “El Heraldo”, Hynds’ lawyer, Norman Reaño, said that everything was a planned coincidence. “The mayor went to the City Hall and when the water truck was stopped, he came after that, and after that, he was stopped,” he explained.
For Reaño, the mayor fell into a trap for being critical of the creation in his jurisdiction of a “model city” – or Special Economic Development Zone (Zede). The term refers to autonomous territories which, although they are within Honduras, have their own laws and jurisdiction to attract investment.
In Roatán is Zede Próspera, dedicated to tourist activities. A few days ago, Hynds himself had said that he wanted to transform the entire municipality into a Zede, so that investments in the island would not go exclusively to Prospera.
Honduras is in the crosshairs of the United States for drug trafficking charges against its top officials. Tony Hernández, former congressman and brother of President Juan Orlando Hernández, was sentenced to life in prison in New York for drug trafficking.
In the United States, he was also sentenced for drug trafficking Geovanny Fuentes, whom the US court considers the president’s partner. Prosecutor Jacob Gutwillig called Honduras a narco-state.
Hernández has denied the allegations and says all the accusations are part of a revenge by drug lords that his government captured or helped to extradite to the United States.
Honduras will have presidential elections on Nov. 28 and several candidates are singled out for corruption or drug trafficking.