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US asks Honduras to extradite ex-president suspected of drug trafficking: source

The United States has asked Honduras to extradite former president Juan Orlando Hernandez,for suspected drug trafficking
The United States has asked Honduras to extradite former president Juan Orlando Hernandez,for suspected drug trafficking - Copyright POOL/AFP/File ANDY BUCHANAN
The United States has asked Honduras to extradite former president Juan Orlando Hernandez,for suspected drug trafficking - Copyright POOL/AFP/File ANDY BUCHANAN

The United States has asked Honduras to extradite former president Juan Orlando Hernandez who is suspected of drug trafficking, a Honduran official who declined to be named told AFP on Monday. 

The official added that Hernandez, who left office last month, is currently in Honduras as police special forces could be seen encircling his residence in the capital Tegucigalpa on Monday evening. 

The Honduran Foreign Ministry had said earlier on Twitter that an “official communication from the US Embassy” was sent to the Supreme Court formally asking for the provisional arrest of an unnamed “Honduran politician” for extradition. 

News channel CNN broadcast images of the document, which made a “formal request for provisional arrest for the purpose of extradition to the United States of America of Juan Orlando Hernandez Alvarado.”

Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Hernandez was included on a list last year of people accused of corruption or undermining democracy in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. 

“The United States is advancing transparency and accountability in Central America by making public visa restrictions against Honduras’ former president, Juan Orlando Hernandez, on account of corrupt actions,” Blinken said on Twitter on February 7. “No one is above the law.”

Hernandez, who left office on January 27 after eight years as president, has been linked to drug trafficking operations by New York prosecutors. 

His brother, former Honduran congressman Tony Hernandez, was sentenced in March 2017 to life imprisonment in the US for drug trafficking. 

Blinken said in a statement last week that “according to multiple, credible media reports” Hernandez “has engaged in significant corruption by committing or facilitating acts of corruption and narco-trafficking and using the proceeds of illicit activity to facilitate political campaigns.”

Hernandez has denied all charges and claims the accusations are a part of a revenge plot from the same drug lords that his government captured or extradited to the United States. 

AFP
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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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