US bars former Honduran president over corruption allegations

US bars former Honduran president over corruption allegations
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The United States has barred former Honduras President Porfirio Lobo Sosa and his family from entry into the U.S. due to corruption allegations.

The Department of Justice on Tuesday said in a statement that Lobo Sosa and his wife, Rosa Elena Bonilla Avila, were involved in “significant corruption.”

Neither Lobo Sosa, his wife, nor their immediate family is eligible for entry into the United States.

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The action comes after the State Department stripped the couple’s visas earlier this month.

Lobo Sosa accepted bribes from his narcotics traffic organization Los Cachiros in exchange for political favors, the State Department said.

The agency further said that Bonilla Avila engaged in fraud and “misappropriation of public funds for her personal benefit.”

“While their corrupt acts undermined the stability of Honduras’ democratic institutions, former President Lobo has not yet been convicted and Rosa Lobo has been released from prison awaiting a retrial."  

Authorities are investigating whether Lobo Sosa was involved in laundering illegal drug money during his 2010-2014 administration, Reuters reported.

Bonilla Avila was sentenced to 58 years in prison in 2019 for fraud and embezzlement, but a Honduran court overturned the sentence in March 2020. She was released from prison in July 2020 pending trial, The Associated Press reported at the time.

Lobo Sosa’s son, Fabio Porfirio Lobo, was sentenced to 24 years in prison in 2017 after pleading guilty to conspiring to import cocaine into the U.S.