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You are here News International After 78 Killings, a Honduran Drug Lord Partners With the U.S

After 78 Killings, a Honduran Drug Lord Partners With the U.S

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Honduran drug lord MaradiagaThe number of murders the Honduran drug lord admitted to orchestrating over 10 years was stunning.

The dead included people he described as killers, rapists and gang members. Then there were the innocents: a lawyer, two journalists, a Honduran refugee in Canada, an official who was serving as Honduras’s antidrug czar and a politician who became his adviser; there were even two children caught in a shootout.

In all, the drug lord, Devis Leonel Rivera Maradiaga, said that, working in concert with drug traffickers and others, he had “caused” the deaths of 78 people — a number that posed a dilemma for United States officials when Mr. Rivera came to them offering to expose high-level corruption in this Central American nation of some nine million people.

Knowing that he was already in the sights of United States investigators, Mr. Rivera sought to help the Drug Enforcement Administration root out corrupt Honduran politicians and other elites who had made Honduras a gateway for massive amounts of cocaine headed for the United States through Mexico.

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