The former president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez, was extradited on Thursday, April 21, aboard a plane of the American Anti-Drug Agency, which took off from Tegucigalpa in the direction of the United States, where justice accuses him of drug trafficking, noted Agence France-Presse.
A New York court estimates that he participated, between 2004 and 2022, in a gigantic traffic of 500 tons of cocaine. Mr. Hernandez has regularly proclaimed his innocence. This Thursday, in a video released just before his extradition to New Yorkhe stated : “The truth will soon be revealed, and it will prevail in this case. I am innocent. I was and still am the victim of an unfair judicial process. »
These accusations are, according to him, a “revenge of the cartels, an orchestrated plot so that no government will ever resist them again”. But for the American Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, it “has committed or facilitated acts of corruption and drug trafficking” and has “used earnings from illicit activities to [financer] political campaigns”.
Extradition on all TV channels
His transfer, by helicopter, then by plane, was widely covered by the Honduran media. A large crowd was present near Toncontin airport. The former head of state (2014-2022), escorted and handcuffed, took off at 2:27 p.m. local time (10:30 p.m. Paris time).
The man who presented himself as the champion of the fight against drug trafficking was first seen by the United States as an ally in this fight. Washington was in 2017 one of the first capitals to recognize his re-election when the opposition denounced fraud against the backdrop of demonstrations that left around 30 people dead.
The former president faces life in prison, as did his brother, Tony Hernandez. This former deputy was arrested in 2018 in Miami (Florida) for drug trafficking. In March 2021, he was charged with prison in the United States after being found guilty of having participated in the importation of at least 185 tons of cocaine.