LatinNews Daily - 14 February 2022

US reveals Honduras’s Hernández on blacklist

Honduras: On 7 February the US State Department revealed that it was declassifying and publicising the inclusion of Honduras’s former president Juan Orlando Hernández (2014-2022) on the US Corrupt and Undemocratic Actors list, effective 1 July 2021, which generally makes the listed individuals ineligible for visas and admission to the US. The US State Department cites “multiple, credible media reports” that Hernández has engaged in “significant corruption by committing or facilitating acts of corruption and narco-trafficking, and using the proceeds of illicit activity to facilitate political campaigns.” The US State Department adds that “Hernández was identified by name in sworn witness testimony in a US federal criminal proceeding as having received narco-trafficking proceeds as part of his campaign funding”. There have been various allegations implicating Hernández, whose brother, Juan Antonio Hernández, was convicted in the US in October 2019 for crimes including drug trafficking. On 27 January Hernández was sworn in as a member of the Central American parliament (Parlacen) which confers immunity from prosecution in the region. The same day, US Representative Norma Torres (D-CA) issued a statement noting that she had sent a letter to US Attorney General Merrick Garland calling on the US Department of Justice to immediately indict Hernández and request his extradition. “He has been repeatedly identified as a co-conspirator in…drug trafficking cases… I believe it is essential that the US hold him accountable for his criminal behaviour,” Torres said.

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