Honduras’ former president Juan Orlando Hernández, who still left workplace in January, was extradited to the U.S. Thursday to facial area drug trafficking prices in New York.
Hernández is accused of running a “narco-point out” through his 8 a long time in office and pocketing tens of millions of bucks from drug cartels.
U.S. prosecutors allege Hernández participated in a “corrupt and violent drug-trafficking conspiracy” that moved a lot more than 550 tons of cocaine to the United States.
U.S. Attorney Typical Merrick Garland said the previous chief, who the U.S. when touted as an ally in the war on drug trafficking, “abused his ability” while president.
He is accused of permitting cartels to run in the nation with “virtual impunity,” Garland claimed, and utilizing the cash to finance his political campaigns and take part in voter fraud.
“We allege that Hernández corrupted respectable community institutions in the country — like elements of the nationwide law enforcement, armed service and national Congress,” Garland mentioned.
He additional, “Drug trafficking fuels violent criminal offense and dependancy it devastates households, and it ravages communities. The Justice Division is dedicated to disrupting the total ecosystem of drug trafficking networks that harm the American men and women, no make a difference how far or how substantial we will have to go.”
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The previous chief was succeeded by Xiomara Castro in January, who ran an anti-corruption marketing campaign, especially targeting Hernández, who took office in 2014.
Hernández was billed with collaborating in a drug trafficking conspiracy, possession of device guns and destructive equipment and conspiracy to possess equipment guns and destructive gadgets.
A team of Hondurans had been seen celebrating outdoors the airport as the airplane taking Hernández to the U.S. took off on Thursday. A lot of citizens still left the region all through his presidency, accusing him of corruption, deficiency of job opportunities and complaining of rampant gang violence in Honduras.
Honduras’ Supreme Court docket denied Hernández’s appeal this 7 days following a choose made a decision in favor of extradition. He has denied all the fees versus him, professing he is the target of drug traffickers he extradited through his presidency – and who subsequently testified in opposition to him – in search of revenge.
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Hernández was arrested at his residence in Tegucigalpa in February at the ask for of U.S. authorities. He arrived in New York overnight Thursday, in accordance to stories on social media.
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Past calendar year, his brother Tony Hernández, a previous Honduran congressman, was sentenced to existence in jail for drug trafficking in the Southern District of New York, the same court where the previous president faces charges.
On Wednesday, Honduras’ Supreme Court docket also denied an attraction from the former main of the National Police, Juan Carlos Bonilla Valladares, greater acknowledged as “El Tigre” or “The Tiger.” He was arrested at the request of U.S. prosecutors on similar rates and is envisioned to be extradited in the coming months.
The Online News 72h contributed to this report.