Henry Farinas was convicted of money laundering, drug trafficking and organized crime in a Managua court on Thursday. Farinas and 21 other conspirators were found also guilty of smuggling money for drug traffickers on Wednesday after a month long trial. Two were acquitted.
Farinas' gang laundered more than $1 billion for a Costa Rican drug traficker named Alejandro Jimenez, who is being held in Guatemala pending trial. Authorities believe that Jimenez launched an attack against Farinas in Guatemala in August 2011 that killed Argentine folksinger Facundo Cabral which is how this whole investigation started. Farinas stills maintains his innocence.
So are the convictions a sign that individual legal systems can prosecute wealthy and powerful drug traffickers or more evidence that drug connections between individuals operating in Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Guatemala need some sort of regional body to really make a dent?
In other news out of Nicaragua, Tim Rogers has a few stories of interest. First, the Central Bank argues that the country's economy is up 30% under the Sandinistas since 2006. Unemployment and poverty remain a problem but maintaining positive economic growth will make lowering unemployment and poverty much more likely. Questions remain about the destination about much of ALBA investments for the last five-plus years as well.
Second, Hezbollah in Nicaragua rumors continue. There's a little speculation at the end that the US military-industrial-complex might be behind the rumors so as to capitalize on militarizing the region. I don't know about that one.
Finally, Nicaragua's Roman Catholic Conference of Bishops called for political change in the country one month before November's local elections.