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Testimony In JOH Trial Shows How US And Canada Ignored Warnings

Above photo: U.S. Ambassador James Nealon (middle) poses with a group of men, among them Alexander Ardón (circled in pink) from El Paraíso, Copan. Ardón paid $2 million in drug money to finance Lobo and JOH’s political campaigns.

NOTE: Listen to the Clearing the FOG interview about the trial and the campaign to hold the United States and Canada accountable for their complicity in Honduras here.

In 2013, the Honduras Solidarity Network (HSN) and over 170 electoral observers warned the U.S. and Canadian governments about the narco-violence and drug interests we witnessed during the 2013 general elections in the municipality of El Paraíso, Copan in Honduras. Last week in Juan Orlando Hernández’s trial in New York, more details about the violent electoral fraud in El Paraíso were outlined by Alexander Ardón, the government’s collaborating witness, confessed drug trafficker, and the former mayor of El Paraíso.

On November 27, 2013, HSN electoral observers wrote: “50 MER [voting table] workers were held captive by armed masked men in a hotel in El Paraíso, Copan until 9:00AM, ostensibly with the goal of preventing their integration into the MMERs [voting tables] tables. Our observers recorded first person interviews with two of these workers. In the middle of the interview, the workers received an anonymous phone call saying, “You’re still in town? You better leave.”

According to Ardón in his testimony last week in the New York Southern District Court, the threats we outlined during the 2013 elections were part of the deal that Ardón struck with Presidential candidate Juan Orlando Hernández (JOH) to ensure his victory as President.

Our 2013 observations were shared with the Canadian and U.S. governments. They were ignored. Instead, the U.S. and Canada called the elections “transparent” and “peaceful.”

Last week in court, Alexander Ardón, a confessed drug trafficker, former mayor of El Paraíso, Copan, and U.S. government witness, explained how he and the two post-coup Presidents of Honduras, JOH and Porfirio Lobo bought votes, stacked the voting tables, and threatened voting table workers in El Paraíso to guarantee their victory in several elections. Ardón also described how controlling the outcomes of the elections was fundamental to the continued rise of the narco-state and JOH’s victory as President.

As early as 2011, U.S. media and organizations were already talking about El Paraíso, Copan. They referred to the presence of drug trafficking routes known as “the roads to death”, and visits to the area by ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, the infamous Mexican drug trafficker and leader of the Sinaloa cartel. In 2011, the U.S.-government funded Wilson Center wrote a report about the municipality and mayor Ardón, who was already known to be working with the Sinaloa cartel:

“Ardón has built a town hall that resembles the White House, complete with a heliport on the roof, and travels with 40 heavily armed bodyguards. Cameras monitor the roads leading in and out of the town, intelligence services say.”

In 2013, around a week after the election, the Center for Economic Policy Research, wrote an extensive article about the drug-fueled electoral fraud in El Paraíso and U.S. support for “technical electoral assistance” to Honduras:

“… despite the millions in [U.S.] direct support and technical assistance, and the presence of numerous official electoral observation missions, violence and intimidation continue to plague the electoral process in Honduras. Regardless of any discrepancies that a possible recount might uncover, this important fact [the case of El Paraíso] cannot be ignored.”


Today, we want to know why the U.S. and Canada ignored the warnings of a narco-municipality and narco-elections in El Paraíso starting in at least 2011 and continuing in 2013 and beyond. Congressional and Parliamentary investigations must examine what the U.S. and Canadian knew about the former mayor Ardón and the 2013 electoral violence.

To follow and support the campaign

We are campaigning to hold the U.S. and Canada responsible for supporting the Honduran narco-state as former President Juan Orlando Hernández & police officers go to trial in New York on February 2024 (pending any further date changes).

  • Read Update #1: U.S. and Canadian support for the coup: Creating the conditions for the construction of a narco-state.
  • Read Update #2: Trial date change. The campaign continues.
  • Read Update #3: “The U.S. government’s go-to man on the war on drug trafficking” pleads guilty to drug trafficking
  • Read Update #4: The U.S. and Canada Supported Three Contested and Fraudulent Elections (2009, 2013, 2017).
  • Read Update #5: Live from New York.
  • Read Update #6: The U.S. Government is Blocking the Use of Classified Information Outlining U.S. Relations with JOH and the Narco-state.
  • Read Update #7: The Trial Against Juan Orlando Hernández Finally Starts in New York
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