Former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández has been extradited to the United States. Hernández was put on board a Drug Enforcement Administration plane Thursday in the capital Tegucigalpa and flown to New York, where he faces drug trafficking and weapons charges. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the indictment at the Justice Department. He said Hernández abused his position as president to operate Honduras as a narco-state.
Attorney General Merrick Garland: “Hernández is alleged to have received millions of dollars from multiple drug trafficking organizations, including from the former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, known as El Chapo. In return, drug traffickers in Honduras were allowed to operate with virtual impunity. We allege that Hernández corrupted legitimate public institutions in the country, including parts of the National Police, military and National Congress. And we allege that Hernández worked closely with other public officials to protect cocaine shipments bound for the United States.”
Hernández was arrested in February, less than a month after his presidential term ended. He was a longtime U.S. ally, who received backing during his entire eight-year term despite mounting reports of serious human rights violations and accusations of corruption and involvement with drug smuggling. His brother Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernández is currently serving a life prison sentence in the U.S. after being convicted in 2019 of smuggling cocaine.