Current mayor of Tegucigalpa, Nasry Asfura Zablah, 63, wants to preside over Honduras under the banner of the ruling and organized National Party (PN, right). One of the favorites, he must deal with the stigmas of drug trafficking and corruption that stain his organization.
Of Palestinian roots and 1.85 m tall, this slim man in jeans is known as “Daddy on command”, which is the way he usually answers the phone or introduces himself to his interlocutors.
Always wearing factory operator boots, he uses an analog cell phone instead of a smart one, and comes across as a hard worker in the field and allergic to offices.
“Not a single day have I sat at my office in the mayor’s office, every day I go out to the streets to see where the problems are,” he said.
“I go out to solve problems, without any camera (…) without anyone to interview me,” he once said.
If he wins the November 28 elections, he promises to “generate work” in a country with 10.9% unemployment and more than half of its population living in poverty. He is called upon to protect the permanence of the PN, which has governed the country since 2010.
His critics acknowledge that, during his two four-year terms as mayor, he transformed the capital with the construction of bridges, tunnels and other cement and iron works, to decongest the city of more than one million inhabitants.
He is married to Lissette del Cid, with whom he has three daughters: Stephanie, Monique and Alexandra.
He enrolled in civil engineering at the National University, but retired to work as a builder and founded a construction company, one of the largest in the country.
However, at his rallies he does not usually deliver political arguments. The person who does it is usually the candidate for mayor of Tegucigalpa, David Chávez.
His group is against progressive proposals such as the legalization of abortion, completely prohibited in the country, and equal marriage.
“Asfura within nationalism is the least rejected person, and in Honduran society in general, but he does not have a fluent discourse,” said the professor of Sociology at the National University, Eugenio Sosa.
“However, he is an extremely representative person of the ruling group and has accusations not only in Honduras,” Sosa explained.
Mentioned in the list of “Pandora Papers” for having offshore companies to allegedly evade taxes, and for allegedly favoring a Costa Rican businessman in a process, “Papi” is also investigated for accusations of embezzling about $ 700,000 of municipal funds .
The partisan legacy he receives is complicated. The current president, Juan Orlando Hernández, has been implicated by drug lords in a trial in New York for being an accessory to this crime.
The president’s brother, “Tony” Hernández, is serving a life sentence in the United States for drug trafficking. The president denies the charges and says it is revenge for the drug traffickers his government helped extradite.
“That is not a good sign. For something Hernández chose him as his successor. If he becomes president, the one who takes him to the presidency is Hernández,” the academic considered.
Asfura has not been peppered with drug trafficking like the current president. As a candidate, he has remained silent about this crime, but “he is committed to protecting Hernández,” Sosa said.
“Hondurans, I am different, because of my work, my effort, my way of doing things, of doing politics,” Asfura said. “I am not behind anyone’s skirts, I have my criteria,” he defends himself.
nl-mav / yow