The son of Desi Bouterse, Suriname’s former president, has pleaded guilty to offering a base for Hezbollah to operate. Dino Bouterse also admitted that he trafficked drugs. This story brings together a lot of the common themes we see with a Hezbollah in South America: a mix of corruption, drugs, secret terror encampments, and politically connected palm greasers:
From Reuters earlier this month:
Suriname leader’s son gets 16 years U.S. prison for Hezbollah aid
By Jonathan Stempel
(Reuters) – The son of Suriname’s president was sentenced on Tuesday to 16-1/4 years in prison, after pleading guilty last August to U.S. charges that he tried to offer a home base to the Lebanese paramilitary group Hezbollah.
Dino Bouterse, 42, who worked in a Suriname counter terrorist unit, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan. Bouterse had also admitted to drug trafficking and firearms charges.
U.S. prosecutors accused Bouterse of inviting people he thought were from Hezbollah to establish a base in his home country, located north of Brazil, in exchange for $2 million that was ultimately not paid.
Bouterse was arrested by Panamanian authorities after a sting in which he allegedly talked about his activities with confidential informants from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Hezbollah has since 1997 been designated by the U.S. State Department as a foreign terrorist organization…