Honduras: Former President Hernandez arrested
By James Blears
Ex Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez`s home in the Capital Tegucigalpa was surrounded by one hundred heavily armed Police. He emerged wearing a bullet proof vest and handcuffed in manacles. He will be brought before a Judge in the coming day to decide what happens next. He was President of the country from 2014, until he left office on January 27th. On that day, his immunity from prosecution evaporated, so within hours he joined the Central American Parliament. His lawyers claim this provides him with immunity. But it could be removed if Honduran Authorities so agree.
The United States aims to extradite him on drug trafficking and weapons charges. A US Embassy documents accuses him of participating in a scam to receive hundreds of tons of cocaine from Colombia and Venezuela, which were then trafficked into the United States. Juan Orlando Hernandez denies all the charges saying this was a revenge plot by drug cartels, that his Administration was cracking down on. Last year his brother Tony was jailed for life plus thirty years for drug trafficking. During his trial Prosecutors alleged that Sinaloa drug cartel boss Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman had personally handed Tony one million dollars, telling him to onpass it to Juan Orlando as a bribe.
The Honduran Supreme Court will now assess and rule on the US extradition request. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says Juan Orlando Hernandez is on a list of people accused of corruption, also stressing that no one is above the law.