Honduras vows fight against drug gangs after narco-chief testimony

Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez, pictured in January 2017, pledged that "nobody is above the law" in his administration's crackdown on drug traffickers

Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez vowed Thursday to go after drug traffickers, days after a narco-boss imprisoned in the US gave explosive testimony implicating the previous president, Porfirio Lobo.

Hernandez, in a national broadcast, pledged "a full-frontal fight against criminals, no matter who they are."

"Nobody is above the law," he said.

Lobo, who ruled 2010-2014, was alleged to have taken bribes from and done money-laundering business with a Honduran drug cartel known as the Cachiros, according to testimony given Monday in a New York court by one of the cartel's bosses, Devis Leonel Rivera Madariaga.

Rivera, who was arrested by US anti-narcotics officers in December 2015, was giving evidence in a pre-sentencing hearing against Lobo's son, Fabio Lobo.

The younger Lobo was arrested in Haiti in 2015 and last year was convicted in New York of conspiring with the Cachiros to send cocaine to the United States.

Rivera said Honduras' current security minister, Julian Pacheco, two lawmakers, a mayor and a wealthy family, the Facusses, had all also been involved with the Cachiros.

The former crime boss -- who told the court he had murdered 78 people -- said he had photos and videos to back his claims.

All those implicated have denied the allegations.

But Honduras prosecutors have started an investigation, backed by the Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras, a body set up the Organization of American States.