“Chepe Luna,” the trafficker who has done the most to develop El Salvador’s drug trade, was freed just one day after being arrested in Honduras, in the latest of his series of narrow escapes from the law.
Jose Natividad Luna Pereira, known as “Chepe Luna,” was arrested by Honduran police at 11:30 a.m. on August 7 in the offices of his company Transportes Ulua, in Tegucigalpa, as La Prensa reported. Though Chepe has been one of El Salvador’s most prolific traffickers, wanted by the US and Interpol, he was arrested on the strength of a 1998 warrant issued by a Honduran court for human trafficking.
But just as it looked as though Chepe Luna's ability to evade justice might have run out, he was freed the following afternoon, after Honduras’ Supreme Court accepted a habeas corpus request filed by his lawyer.And here's Boz
There are a lot of things that are troubling about this case. Let me point out just one. There are over 6,000 people sitting in prison in Honduras in pre-trial detention status. They are waiting, sometimes for months or even years, for a judicial hearing or sentencing. In contrast, Luna received a Supreme Court hearing and ruling about his detention less than 24 hours after he was arrested. He has a high-priced lawyer and good political connections because he's a major criminal leader, so he gets quick 'justice'.
The one time that the world would have benefited by having the Honduran court system move a bit more slowly, they are a model of efficiency and speed. Meanwhile, thousands of other people waiting in Honduras's hellish prison system would sure like their day in court.So what's the over/under on whether U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate’s Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs will threaten to cut aid to Honduras following this pretty clear sign of corruption in the Honduran courts? Menendez and Rubio threatened this action nearly one month ago during the constitutional conflict in El Salvador.