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Former President Juan Orlando Hernandez, who governed the Central American nation until January, is escorted to an aeroplane for extradition, April 21 2022. Picture: BLOOMBERG
Former President Juan Orlando Hernandez, who governed the Central American nation until January, is escorted to an aeroplane for extradition, April 21 2022. Picture: BLOOMBERG 

Honduras extradited former president Juan Orlando Hernandez to the US on Thursday, where he will face drug trafficking charges. 

Hernandez, who governed the Central American nation from 2014 until January, boarded a US Drug Enforcement Administration aeroplane in Tegucigalpa, destined for the US, reports said. 

Prosecutors in the southern district of New York accuse Hernandez of being part of a conspiracy to help ship cocaine to the US. They allege that he received millions of dollars from drug traffickers for protection, including from Mexican narco-kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman

Guzman was convicted in the US in February 2019 of trafficking hundreds of tonnes of cocaine and other drugs into the US over 25 years.

Hernandez has repeatedly insisted he is innocent. In a video message on Thursday before his extradition, Hernandez said “the truth will be revealed and will prevail in my case. I’m innocent and I’m being subjected to an unjust process.” 

His brother, Tony Hernandez, was sentenced to life in a US prison in 2021 after being found guilty of participating in the importation of at least 185,000kg of cocaine. 

Honduras is a major hub for cocaine shipped to the US from Colombia. Hernandez’s government was plagued by accusations of ties to organised crime.  With Staff Writer

Bloomberg News.  More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

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