The Honduran head of congress is connected to a major drugs clan, according to a news investigation which exposes more connections between the country’s top government officials and its underworld.
The report, published by Central American magazine Expediente Público, details how Mauricio Oliva Herrera, president of the National Congress, allegedly acquired a series of properties in Tegucigalpa from a business associate at Inversiones Acrópolis, a company linked to a notorious Honduran drug trafficking family known as the Cachiros.
This news came as Oliva Herrera, of the of the National Party (Partido Nacional – PN), confirmed he would run for president of Honduras, ahead of elections in March 2021.
An associate, Luis Alfonso Deras, allegedly transferred ownership of an apartment to him in 2016, in exchange for 4 million lempiras (about $200,000), according to a contract notarized by former Cachiros lawyer and director of Inversiones Acrópolis, Francisco Arturo Mejía, who is currently imprisoned on asset laundering charges.
Oliva Herrera, along with his wife and daughter, then acquired two condominiums from Alfonso Deras in 2018 for a fee of 20.9 million lempiras ($836,000), according to documents compiled in the Expediente Público investigation.
In 2006, Alfonso Deras had transferred ownership of a separate house to a Honduran official, who later gifted the property to her brother and Oliva Herrera’s son-in-law, César Antonio Pinto.
In 2018, Oliva Herrera placed his assets in a trust, again with his wife and daughter, in an alleged attempt to cover up the acquisitions and shield them from potential seizures, according to the report.
Oliva Herrera, a potential candidate for the incumbent PN in the 2021 elections, also reportedly attended a birthday party held in 2014 for the daughter of a prominent drug trafficker, according to a Honduras Attorney General’s Office investigation cited by the magazine.