World

Ex-Honduran President extradited to United States on charges of drug trafficking, money laundering

Juan Orlando Hernández, a former president of Honduras, was recently extradited to the United States in order to face charges of drug trafficking and money laundering.

Hernández, who had governed over the Central American country through January, was taken aboard a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration plane headed for New York.

Hernández had been arrested in his home just a few weeks after the conclusion of his second term in office. So far, he has denied any wrongdoing, saying that frustrated drug traffickers are attempting to frame him. Hernández is facing charges of: conspiracy to import a controlled substance into the United States, using or carrying firearms including machine guns, and conspiracy to use or carry firearms.

In a video posted to a Twitter account owned by his wife, he denied the allegations, saying: “I am innocent. I have been subjected to an unfair trial.” 

The U.S. Department of Justice released a statement on Friday saying that Hernández was expected to make his first appearance before a New York court on Friday of last week.

U.S Attorney Damian Williams added that the former president had “partnered with some of the world’s most prolific narcotics traffickers to build a corrupt and brutally violent empire based on the illegal trafficking of tons of cocaine.” 

Hernández has further been accused of accepting millions of dollars in bribes throughout his eight years as president of Honduras in exchange for protecting drug traffickers form investigation, arrest, and extradition.

In the extradition request, the U.S. highlighted some of the allegations in additional detail, accusing Hernández of “participating in a violent drug trafficking conspiracy to receive shipments of multiple tonnes of cocaine sent to Honduras from Colombia and Venezuela and other locations by air or sea routes.”

The request goes on to specify that the drugs had been transported to the Guatemala border and to the U.S. from there. 

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: REUTERS

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