The US has asked Honduras to arrest and extradite former President Hernández on drug trafficking charges.

Officials in Honduras confirmed on Tuesday, February 15, that the US has requested that former President Juan Orlando Hernandez be arrested and extradited.

The Honduran Foreign Ministry announced earlier in the day that the US Embassy had demanded the arrest of a Honduran politician. The request had been sent to the Honduran Supreme Court, according to the ministry.

While the ministry did not name the politician, officials who spoke to the media on the condition of anonymity said the request was for Hernandez.

Honduran security personnel encircled Hernández’s neighborhood on Monday night, and the Supreme Court of Justice convened an emergency meeting on Tuesday morning to choose a judge to hear the extradition request.

The allegations against Hernández are unknown, but he was previously called a co-conspirator in a drug trafficking case by federal prosecutors in New York, who said that his political rise was financed by narcotics earnings. Hernández has denied any misconduct for a long time.

Hernandez ruled the country for eight years and was once regarded as a key US ally in the region. He resigned on January 27 after President Xiomara Castro was sworn in. He was sworn in as Honduras’ delegate to the Central American Parliament on the same day.

His lawyer, Hermes Ramrez, informed local media that his client was immune from prosecution since he was a member of the regional parliament, and that government authorities were not following proper protocols. Hernández, he added, was inside the house.

U.S. asks Honduras to arrest, extradite ex-President Hern?ndez for drug trafficking

Prosecutors in New York repeatedly linked him in his brother’s drug trafficking trial in 2019, arguing that drug earnings financed his political career.

In March 2021, his brother, former Honduran politician Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernández, was sentenced to life in prison on drug and weapons charges. U.S. Attorney Matthew Laroche described the charges as “state-sponsored drug trafficking” during his sentencing hearing.

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