Truth Frequency Radio

Nov 03, 2013


Fernando Antonio/AP

Honduras Police Chief, Gen. Juan Carlos Bonilla, is the US government’s go-to man for fighting drug trafficking in Honduras. Bonilla has been accused of running death squads, heading a social cleansing campaign, and encouraging the use of brutal tactics in the police force.

By Alberto Arce, Associated Press

Tegucigalpa, Honduras

In a capital accustomed to daily bloodshed, the man in charge of law enforcement is as feared as the criminals. Few dare speak his name above a whisper.

Five-star Gen. Juan Carlos Bonilla was accused a decade ago of running death squads and today oversees a department suspected of beating, killing, and “disappearing” its detainees. He is the top cop in the country that serves as a way station for most South American cocaine bound for the United States and beyond.

Bonilla is also the US government’s go-to man in Honduras for the war on drug trafficking.

Though the State Department officially keeps the 49-year-old chief at arm’s length over his dubious past, Bonilla embraces the US government as his “best ally and support.” If the US wants to fight drug trafficking in Honduras, it has to work with Bonilla.

“I am the director general, and I don’t delegate that responsibility to anyone,” Bonilla said during his first interview with a reporter since 2011.

In a wide-ranging conversation with The Associated Press that started over lunch at his favorite Tegucigalpa restaurant and ended after a late dinner at his well-appointed home, Bonilla denied he once led a social cleansing campaign, that his police force is as criminal as those it arrests, or that he is in any way responsible for a rash of gang members who disappeared after being arrested. Two of them later turned up dead on the edge of town.

“I can’t be on top of everything. Sometimes things will escape me. I’m human,” Bonilla said.

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