Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images
The former president of Honduras, John Orlando Hernandezpointed out in the United States as possible links with organized crime, was put in chains by the Police of his country.
The images of the arrest circulated on social networks and were even shared by current officials of the president. Xiomara Castrolike Vice President Salvador Nasralla.
“This awaits the accomplices of Juan Orlando Hernández,” the president wrote on his Twitter account, where he shares the images that the former Honduran president was chained hands and feet.
This week, the Department of Justice of the United States requested the Government of Honduras the extradition of Hernándezafter on February 7, the government of President Joe Biden announced that on July 1, 2021 he was placed on a “blacklist” for corruption and links to organized crime.
The Alianza Americas organization – a transnational immigration group – celebrated the judicial process and the request for the extradition of the former Honduran president.
“This is a welcome development that signals a commitment by the US Department of Justice to strengthen the administration of justice in Honduras and the rule of law. This action should guide future US foreign policy towards Honduras. and the rest of Central America”, considered Óscar Chacón, executive director of the group.
“This turn of events is a reminder of how US foreign policy has failed in Central America, allowing the entrenched corruption and drug violence that is driving migration. It was the US government that, in 2009, backed the coup that shattered the democratic order of Honduras. This decision eventually led to the election of Juan Orlando Hernández. To make matters worse, the United States government legitimized the illegal re-election of this same individual in 2017, despite a call by international observers to declare such an election fraudulent and invalid,” said Chacón.
The president of the Board of Directors of Alianza Americas, Mirtha Colón, originally from Honduras, also highlighted the positive impact of the persecution of Hernández and how this can contribute to restoring democracy in her country.
“The consolidation of democratic governance in Honduras, along with much-needed economic and social reforms, will go a long way toward eventually transforming this nation into a place where the majority of citizens can be secure and prosperous,” he said.
Patricia Montes, executive director of the Present Center, also celebrated the extradition process of the former Honduran president.
“We applaud the US government for finally admitting and taking action on what it has known for a long time: that former dictator Juan Orlando Hernández was and is a corrupt, drug-trafficking threat to democracy,” he said.
Hernandez’s case could be taken to the Southern District Court of New York, where his brother Juan Antonio “Tony” was sentenced to life in prison for drug trafficking. The name of Juan Orlando came up during that trial and that of Geovanny Fuentes Ramirez, also sentenced for drug trafficking.
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.
In July 2020, Jon Piechowski, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the State Department’s Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs, acknowledged in an interview with this newspaper the difficulties of relating to the Honduran government, led by Hernández, in the midst of efforts to address the migration crisis and its relationship with the organized crime.