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Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Former President of Honduras Juan Orlando Hernández Arrested on Drug Trafficking Conspiracy Charges

"Socalj" for Borderland Beat

According to the United States extradition request submitted to Honduras, Hernández was part of a “violent drug-trafficking” conspiracy that trafficked roughly 500,000 kilos of cocaine since 2004.

Former Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernández has been arrested, a day after the US Department of Justice requested his extradition over drug trafficking and weapons charges, culminating a spectacular fall from grace for a man who was once considered one of Washington’s top allies in Central America.

On Tuesday afternoon Hernández left his home in a wealthy neighborhood in the country’s capital, Tegucigalpa, where he was cuffed at the hands and feet and provided a bullet-proof vest before being taken away in a police caravan to a special forces base. He will appear before a judge for his first hearing within 24 hours.

The long-rumored indictment comes just over two weeks after Hernández, 53, left office and strikes a critical blow to the reputation of a former president who had been praised early in his presidency by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for his government’s efforts to extradite drug traffickers.

About 100 police officers had surrounded Hernández’s home late on Monday, pending the decision by the supreme court to issue an arrest warrant. Hernández has previously described the allegations against him as lies made up by violent drug traffickers who are seeking revenge and reducing their sentences. “They found the magic key to go unpunished, surrender and negotiate and accuse the institutions for putting them behind bars,” said Hernández in a February 2021 address.

He has also pointed to a constitutional reform allowing Hondurans to be extradited to the US – passed while president of Congress in 2012 – as evidence of his innocence. “A person who has colluded with drug traffickers would never approve extradition,” he said.

But evidence presented by US prosecutors in recent trials of Honduran drug traffickers suggests that Hernández believed he could control who was extradited –and therefore avoid repercussions for him and close allies. Formal accusations of Hernández’s alleged involvement in drug trafficking first came to light in August 2019 when he was named in a court filing as a co-conspirator of his brother Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernández, who was arrested while visiting the United States, as reported by Borderland Beat. During the subsequent trial, prosecutors accused the brothers of overseeing a scheme that they described as “state-sponsored drug trafficking”.

Tony Hernández was convicted on drug trafficking conspiracy and related weapons charges. He was sentenced last year to life in prison. During Tony Hernández's trial, prosecutors alleged that the infamous Mexican drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán had personally handed Tony Hernández $1 Million.

According to the prosecutors, "El Chapo" Guzmán told the younger Hernández to pass the money on to his brother Juan Orlando as a bribe. Honduras has for years been a key transit country for drugs smuggled from South America to the United States and more recently has also become a place where cocaine is produced.

In April 2020, Hernández was named again as a co-conspirator when US prosecutors indicted former national police chief Juan Carlos “El Tigre” Bonilla Valladares with drug trafficking and related weapons charges. As reported by Borderland Beat, Hernández entrusted Bonilla “with special assignments, including murder”.

In a third case less than a year later, a court heard that Hernández had allegedly plotted with another Honduran drug trafficker, Geovanny Fuentes, to “shove the drugs right up the noses of the gringos”. Fuentes was convicted of drug trafficking conspiracy and related weapons charges. His sentencing is scheduled for February.

Bucking tradition, Hernández did not attend the inauguration of his successor, Xiomara Castro, on 27 January – the same day that an arrest warrant was issued in the United States. Hernández began his political career in 1998 when he won a seat in congress to represent his home department of Lempira – located within a key drug trafficking corridor in western Honduras. In 2010, he became president of the congress and then four years later, president of the republic. According to prosecutors, his rise in politics is owed in part to millions in bribes from drug traffickers.

The drug trafficking conspiracy charge carries a sentence of 10 years to life.



20 comments:

  1. Hillary is next to be arrested.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have been giving dumb azz lame comments lately.

      Delete
    2. Unkown is a dork.
      Michoachangos Cjng going down.

      Delete
    3. You know there is more than one unknown right?
      Just like there is more than one anonymous.
      It's like ne saying "anonymous is stupid" but there's like a hundred if not more in this blog

      Delete
    4. Unkown it's being directed to the unkown that said Hillary that has been stating dummy comments.

      Delete
  2. Juanchi Juanchi Juanchi va para Nueva York

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's funny pretty sure the government was collaborating the whole time bt now that they don't need him they dispose of him

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    Replies
    1. Can you imagine the dirt chapo had on US government officials? The government like all governments have the upper hand when it comes to hiding things. Moreover, prevent liability for governments treacherous behavior.

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  4. Can i say that every minority-run country is prone to major corruption- democracy or not? However, European ancestry only lessens the amount.

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    Replies
    1. Corruption exists everywhere. As for minority countries being most susceptible to corruption?? There are not the minority but the majority in their own country.

      Delete
  5. More $$$ wasted on a scam 4-ever war! Oh wow retired agents on their golden pensions will be commenting how great they are on all the netflix documentaries about this case!

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    Replies
    1. Not really little nuts flame truther.

      Delete
    2. So after 50 years of failure what is your solution? Bigger budgets!!!??
      All you have is childish insults but no solutions!!!!

      Delete
    3. Lol they call ublittle nuts flame truther
      Cjng Michoachangos going down

      Delete
  6. https://apnews.com/article/business-honduras-caribbean-drug-trafficking-tegucigalpa-15a18167195c32e8745d0b649e77d23a

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thats anout 25 tons a year if that dates back to 2004 lol moving serious weight

    ReplyDelete
  8. Epic arrest...I hope Mexican corrupt politicians are next...

    ReplyDelete

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