Friday, January 26, 2018

New Police Chief Tied to Wilter Blanco

The new Police Chief of Honduras's National Police, José David Aguilar Moran, aided Wilter Blanco in moving cocaine from Honduras to the United States, the AP reported this morning.

Jose David Aguilar Moran was sworn in last week after President Juan Orlando Hernandez appointed him as the Police Chief of the National Police.  Juan Orlando Hernandez said of Aguilar Moran that he was "of the highest confidence".

According to a Honduran Security Ministry's Inspector General's report, in 2013, police stopped a tank truck with 780 kilograms of cocaine hidden in the tank.  The truck was on the way to a property owned by Wilter Blanco, a drug trafficker from Honduras who turned himself in to the DEA and was recently sentenced to 20 years in prison.Aguilar Moran was the chief of Police Intelligence at the time.

In 2013, Aguilar Moran was the head of the Intelligence division of the National Police.  The then Police Chief of La Ceiba, José Rolando Paz Murillo, was a known associate of Wilter Blanco, who visited Paz Murillo in his office and reportedly delivered millions of dollars in bribes to Paz Aguilar. 

The officers stopping the truck belonged to the Tourist Police in La Ceiba led by Grebil Cecilio Giron Miranda.  They had been tipped off to the truck containing cocaine by a phone call from a rival gang (Los Cachiros?) .  The truck was being escorted by 11 police officers in four vehicles.  After the truck was stopped, Giron Miranda escorted it to a local police station.  There the La Ceiba Police Chief, Paz Murillo, ordered him to release the truck and threatened to get all the officers who stopped the truck fired.

According to the report, Giron Miranda drew his gun and pointed it at Paz Murillo, made him lie on the ground, then handcuffed him.  While continuing to threaten Giron Miranda, Paz asked to make a phone call, who called Aguilar Moran, then passed the telephone to Giron Miranda.  Aguilar Moran reportedly ordered Giron Miranda to release the truck, Paz Murillo, and all those detained.

Among those involved in this case were Aguilar Moran, then Chief of Police Intelligence, the then Inspector General of the National Police, Orlin Javier Cerrato Cruz,  and Orbin Alexis Galo Maldonado, who at the time was Aguilar Moran's second in command.

The AP says that one of the officers escorting the truck was later forced to retire, but otherwise none of the involved police were punished, reportedly at the request of Blanco.  Nor was the Public Prosecutor's office informed.  Nor was the US Ambassador, Lisa Kubiske, informed. Paz Murillo is currently a judge in Roatan.

In addition to the Inspector General's report, the AP notes the event was mentioned in a page of Aguilar Moran's personnel file given to them, and corroborated by several former police officers in Honduras that they interviewed. Maria Maria Borjas, who headed the internal investigations division of the National Police until forced out, authenticated the Inspector General's report.

The Honduran Government, when asked for comment, called the report "fake".

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