The former president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, has been arrested on drug trafficking charges and is now facing extradition by the United States Federal government. This comes just weeks after he stepped down from his role as president and was succeeded by Xiomara Castro.
For years, Honduras has been a key country for trafficking drugs to the United States. In more recent years, it has become a center of cocaine production. More than 1 million pounds of cocaine have been smuggled into the United States since 2004.
The country took a turn for the worst in recent years; unemployment was at an all time high, gangs and cartels ran the streets, and migrant children were fleeing the country in record numbers to escape poverty and violence and drug trafficking engineered by the drug cartels. Honduras, along with Guatemala and El Salvador, received extensive amounts of aid from the United States to tackle the root issues of migration.
Hernández’s brother, Tony Hernández, was sentenced in the United States to life in prison last year. He had ties to El Chapo, and there was witness testimony that Juan had connections to drug trafficking and had used his political power to aid in trafficking cocaine from Colombia and Honduras to the United States.
However, the previous administration was willing to turn a blind eye against this alleged involvement, so long as Hernández assisted them by holding back migrants. Tides began to turn when the Biden administration took office. In July, he was blacklisted along with 50 other Honduran, El Salvadorian and Guatemalan officials that were deemed too dangerous to cooperate with the United States.
Not only did Hernández use drug trafficking money to fund his political campaigns for himself and members of his party, the National Party of Honduras (a conservative party founded in 1902), but he also used his ties with the US anti drug trafficking operations to share information with his partners. After leaving office, he was elected as a member of the Central American Parliament, many thought this may give him immunity.
The swift call for the extradition of Hernández is a shocking movement, as he was long hailed by the United States government for fighting corruption and seen as an ally. Extradition of a president, even a former one, is incredibly rare. This will likely send a pointed message to nearby countries; such as El Salvador and Guatemala, that they must clean up their acts or risk being pursued by United States courts.
If you are facing extradition or drug trafficking charges, the lawyers at Dhar Legal have the skills and experience of working with high profile clients from countries in Central and South America — such as Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, Dominican Republic — as well as U.S. citizens facing extradition to a foreign country. We have a Spanish-speaking staff that accompany us on trips to South America to meet with and assist clients. Not all lawyers are well-equipped to deal with more complex cases, but here at Dhar Law, we have a team that is well versed in international law as well as United States Federal laws. Choosing a less experienced lawyer can put you at risk of greater fines and more prison time.
We have represented high profile international crime cases that other drug trafficking attorneys simply cannot match. We have represented high-profile government officials, kingpins, and narcotraffickers facing extradition in Massachusetts and other states. Do not hesitate to contact Dhar Law for a comprehensive and free consultation. We will be able to review the facts of your case and recommend the best course of action to proceed. Contact us at 617-880-6155 or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation today.