DEA prevented Juan Orlando Hernández from taking refuge in Nicaragua, says Honduran deputy

DEA prevented Juan Orlando Hernández from taking refuge in Nicaragua, says Honduran deputy

The deputy of the Libertad y Refundación (Libre) party, Ramón Barrios, declared that the former president of Honduras Juan Orlando Hernández was intercepted by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA, in English) when he tried to flee to Nicaragua to avoid being extradited to United States for drug trafficking.

“I met with the commission, with representatives of the United States government and the DEA, and the latter confided in us that Hernández tried to enter Nicaragua,” said the parliamentarian in an interview published on April 6 in the Honduran newspaper El Tiempo.

Related news: Judge authorizes extradition of former Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernández to the US

Barrios assures that “it was immediately after he left the Presidency (…) a DEA commando followed him and warned him that if he left for the neighboring country they would capture him and take him away.” After that refusal, Hernández decided to abort his mission and wait for his capture and subsequent extradition process to proceed to the United States, a country that links him to drug trafficking and the use of weapons.

“It was then that Hernández decided to return home and stay to give his last battle in the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) and face the extradition process, believing that he still dominated that structure of the State,” added Barrios.

On February 14, the United States Embassy in Honduras requested the capture for extradition purposes of the former president for three charges related to drug trafficking, and a day later he was captured in Tegucigalpa and transferred to the Special Forces Barracks where he is kept in preventive detention.

Related news: Juan Orlando Hernández will undergo extradition trial in a maximum security prison

On February 16, he was presented before the Supreme Court of Justice so that the charges against him could be known and a month later, on March 16, the hearing for the presentation and proposition of evidence was held; that same day the Judiciary approved the extradition. The United States accuses him of three charges related to drug trafficking and the use of weapons.

Hernandez, according to the indictment, “participated in a violent drug trafficking conspiracy to receive multi-ton shipments of cocaine shipped to Honduras from Colombia and Venezuela, among other places.” They detail that the drug was moved by air and sea routes, and to transport the drugs to the west of Honduras, to the border with Guatemala, and finally to the United States.

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