Home WORLD AMERICA Honduras: claimed by the United States, ex-president Hernandez surrenders to the police

Honduras: claimed by the United States, ex-president Hernandez surrenders to the police

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Dressed in blue, the former head of state came out of his residence, located in the Honduran capital. He was immediately fitted with a bulletproof vest and chained at the wrists and ankles by the police to be brought before a judge, noted an AFP photographer.

Mr. Hernandez’s home had been surrounded by about 600 police since Monday evening, when Washington’s extradition request was sent to Honduran justice.

Shortly before, a judge of the Supreme Court of Honduras had issued an arrest warrant against the former head of state. The judge was charged to decide whether to issue a warrant for his arrest, and one was issuedSupreme Court spokesman Melvin Duarte said at a press conference.

I am ready and willing to collaborate and surrender voluntarily to meet the judge who will be appointed by the honorable Supreme Court so that I can deal with this situation and defend myselfhad indicated in the morning the former president in an audio message.

Mr. Hernandez, 53, usually referred to by his initials JOH, left power after two terms at the head of Honduras since 2014. He was replaced on January 27 as president by his leftist rival, Xiomara Castro.

His younger brother and former deputy, Antonio Tony Hernandez, was sentenced in March 2021 in the United States to life in prison for drug trafficking. New York prosecutors suspect JOH of being his accomplice.

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Dozens of people with banners celebrated Washington’s extradition request outside Mr. Hernandez’s home. In other cities across the country, residents took to the streets singing Juancho goes to New York!, in reference to another nickname of the ex-president.

Revenge

Another of the former head of state’s relatives, Geovanny Fuentes Ramirez, was also sentenced to life last week for drug trafficking by federal court in Manhattan, New York.

During the trial, prosecutors accused JOH of helping the defendant smuggle cocaine into the United States.

Mr. Fuentes Ramirez himself said during the hearing that President Hernandez had told him that they were going put drugs in the nostrils of gringos.

So far, however, no formal charges have been filed against JOH.

The former head of state rejected all the charges which he described as revengeclaiming to have arrested and delivered to the United States many drug traffickers.

Since the end of his term, Mr. Hernandez has been an ex officio member of the Central American Parliament, a privilege enjoyed by all former heads of state in the region after leaving office.

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According to several analysts interviewed by AFP, the Central American Parliament grants its members the same immunity enjoyed by deputies in each of the countries. However, there is no immunity for deputies in Honduras.

Furthermore, this immunity can be waived at the request of national governments.

In Honduras, JOH is also accused by his political opponents of corruption in the context of infrastructure and supply contracts to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The head of the American diplomacy, Antony Blinken, revealed on February 7 that Mr. Hernandez appeared, since July 1, 2021, on a list of people accused by the United States of corruption or attacks on democracy in Central America. .

John has committed or facilitated acts of corruption and drug trafficking, and used the proceeds of these illicit activities for political campaignssaid Mr. Blinken.

A month before the November election, JOH signed a surprise border deal with his Nicaraguan counterpart Daniel Ortega during a whirlwind visit to Managua that raised suspicion.

MM. Hernandez and Ortega maintain good relations, and Nicaragua is a frequent refuge for Central American politicians wanted by the courts to avoid extradition to their country or the United States.

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