Juan Orlando Hernández, former president of Honduras, willing to face justice after US request for extradition

The former president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, could face justice in the US.

Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

In a surprise message via Twitter, the former president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, said he was willing to surrender to the police authorities from his country to face accusations against him, after the extradition request made by the United States Government.

“The purpose of this message is that the National Police, through my attorneys, have already received the message that I am ready and ready to collaborate and voluntarily arrive with their accompaniment at the moment that the natural judge appointed by the honorable Supreme Court of Justice so decides, to be able to face this situation and defend myself,” Hernández said.

At 5:44 in the morning, Honduras time. That is, at 6:44 in the morning Eastern time in the United States, the former president published the audio message on his official Twitter account.

This occurred a few hours after The Washington Post revealed the formal extradition request made by the United States Department of Justice against Hernández, who is singled out for protecting cartel membersincluding “facilitating the use of personnel from the Honduran armed forces for their security.”

The name of the former Honduran president was mentioned in the trials of his brother Antonio “Tony” Hernández and Geovanny Fuentes Ramirez, who faced proceedings in the New York Southern District court.

In some of the testimonies it was even pointed out that the former Honduran president received bribes from Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, who was the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel and faces life imprisonment in Colorado.

On February 7, The government of President Joe Biden announced that on July 1, 2021, he included the former president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, on a “blacklist” for corruption and links to organized crime, for which they will be denied entry into the country with a visa.

It was the State Department that was responsible for confirming Hernandez’s inclusion on the list of “Corrupt and Undemocratic Actors in the United States”under Section 353 of the United States-Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act.

“Enlisted persons are not eligible for visas and admission to the United States,” the Biden Administration stated.

The process against Hernández was not reported before and although the Biden Administration does not mention the reason, between July and December of last year the Central American country was in the middle of the electoral process, which was won by the current president Xiomara Castro.

In early February, Senator Bob Menendez (New Jersey), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, asked to “mark” Hernández as a “drug trafficker.”

“As detailed in our report to Congress, according to multiple credible media reports, Juan Orlando Hernández has engaged in significant corruption by committing or facilitating acts of corruption and drug trafficking,” the State Department later stated.