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US wants Hernandez over drug trafficking

Regional 22 Feb, 2022 Follow News

Juan Orlando Hernandez is wanted in a New York court

The United States has requested Honduras to arrest former president Juan Orlando Hernandez for his eventual extradition to the US over drug trafficking issues.

National police and soldiers surrounded the neighbourhood around Hernandez’s home on Monday night.

Honduras’s foreign affairs ministry initially said via Twitter that it had notified the country’s Supreme Court of Justice that the US Embassy had formally requested the arrest of a Honduran politician for the purposes of extradition.

The ministry did not identify the politician. But the country’s current vice president, Salvador Nasralla, confirmed that request names Hernandez.

Hernandez left office on 27 January with the swearing in of president Xiomara Castro. The same day Hernandez left office he was sworn in as Honduras’s representative to the Central American Parliament.

With a weak and co-opted Honduran justice system, Hondurans’ hope for justice had rested for years with US federal prosecutors in New York, where a string of revelations against Hernandez being closely followed back home.

Speculation had swirled for months over whether Hernandez would be charged when no longer president, because US prosecutors repeatedly implicated him in his brother’s 2019 drug trafficking trial, alleging that his political rise was fuelled by drug profits. Hernandez strongly denies any illegal activities.

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