Over charges of cocaine-importation conspiracy, ex-Honduran president gets extradited to US  

Edited By: Gandharv Walia
Washington Updated: Apr 22, 2022, 09:07 AM(IST)

Former Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernandez is escorted by security forces towards a plane of the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), during his extradition to the United States at the air force base in Tegucigalpa on Thursday. Photograph:( AFP )

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The leader, who was a former Washington ally, had led the Central American country from 2014 to January 2022. Hernandez got huge amounts of money from drug trafficking organisations, the federal prosecutors in Manhattan said. The money was used to fund political campaigns 

For allegedly being a part of a cocaine-importation conspiracy, United States (US) government has come up with charges against former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez. The leader has also been extradited to the US, the government said on Thursday.  

The Honduran leader has also been booked under related firearms offenses by the US Justice Department, media reports said.  

In Washington, US Attorney General Merrick Garland told reporters, "Hernandez abused his position as president of Honduras from 2014 through 2022 to operate the country as a narco-state. Hernandez worked closely with other public officials to protect cocaine shipments bound for the United States."  

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The leader, who was a former Washington ally, had led the Central American country from 2014 to January 2022.   

Hernandez got huge amounts of money from drug trafficking organisations, the federal prosecutors in Manhattan said.  

The money was used to fund political campaigns and his benefit.  

According to the indictment, Hernandez and his officials gave protection to the drug traffickers from arrest. They also provided access to law enforcement and military information, preventing extradition to the United States.   

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"If you turn the power of the state into a violent drug trafficking machine, if you allow violence and murder to flourish at the hands of the cartels, then the DEA will stop at nothing to hold you accountable," DEA Administrator Anne Milgram told reporters.   

The ex-president was arrested and escorted to the airport by security forces in the capital, Tegucigalpa. Hernandez was taken to the US in a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) plane on Thursday afternoon.  

(With inputs from agencies)

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