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Ex-Honduran President Hernandez Arrested, U.S. Seeks Extradition

The arrest of former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández and the images that followed, a leader shackled and paraded before the cameras like a common criminal, were a stunning uprooting for a man who seemed impervious to growing allegations of corruption, the Associated Press reports. Hernández was scheduled to make his initial court appearance in Tegucigalpa on Wednesday. He was arrested Tuesday at the request of the U.S. government on charges of drug trafficking, using weapons for drug trafficking and conspiracy to use weapons in drug trafficking. While president from 2014 until last month, he had the support of U.S. officials waging the war on drugs and some diplomats who did not see a better option. Less than three weeks out of office, the U.S. government moved for his extradition and the chance to make him an example in a region wracked by corruption.

U.S. prosecutors have accused Hernández of funding his political rise with profits from drug traffickers in exchange for protecting their shipments. Accusations of ties to drug traffickers would stream from a New York City courtroom and Hernández would pop up in the U.S. or at an event with U.S. Embassy officials in Honduras, reinforcing the idea that he had U.S. support and bitter drug traffickers were telling stories to seek revenge for his efforts against them. On Tuesday, Honduran Vice President Salvador Nasralla shared video of Hernández being led away from his home in shackles, writing: “This is what awaits the accomplices of Juan Orlando Hernández who produced so much pain, emigration and death for the Honduran people.”


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