Former president surrounded after US request — Analysis

Ex-Honduran leader Juan Orlando Hernandez was holed up at his home on Monday following Washington’s demands for extradition

On Monday, dozens of Honduran officers guarded the residence of Juan Orlando Hernandez, former president. Washington had requested that Hernandez be taken into custody and extradited. 

Hernandez was already placed on the US blacklist. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in February that credible reports had been made about Hernandez “has engaged in significant corruption by committing or facilitating acts of corruption and narco-trafficking.”

A witness told Reuters that around 100 police officers including special forces, as well as military police, were waiting outside Hernandez’s house. To secure the area, barriers were also put up. 

Hermes Ramirez, Hernandez’s lawyer, told Canal 5 television that the proposed arrest and extradition of the former president was illegal because he has immunity as a member of the regional Central American parliament.

“They are trying to trample on the rights of President Hernandez,” Ramirez said.

Hernandez joined Parlacen – a Guatemala-based regional body – just a few hours after leftist leader Xiomara Castro replaced him as president last month. It provides members with immunity from Central American prosecution. troops withdrawing from Ukraine border – Moscow

News of a US extradition request was announced by Honduras’ Foreign Affairs Ministry but did not mention any names. However, Honduras’ current vice president, Salvador Nasralla, confirmed to the Associated Press that the request names Hernandez.

A meeting was also requested by the president of Supreme Court of Justice to elect an emergency judge to handle the extradition case.

For months, there has been speculation about whether or not the US will attempt to extradite Hernandez after he leaves office. US prosecutors had repeatedly implicated him during his brother’s 2019 drug trafficking trial and claimed that his political ascent was fueled by narco profits.

Hernandez was president for eight consecutive years.

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