Less than three weeks after leaving office, usurped for more than four years after his illegal and fraudulent re-election, former President Juan Orlando Hernandez was handcuffed and taken into custody to the barracks of the Honduran Special Forces.
Hernandez, whose brother ‘Tony’ last year was sentenced to life in prison by the Manhattan federal court, is being charged with arms trafficking, organized crime, and drug trafficking.
In particular, he is accused of having participated in a violent conspiracy to bring some 500 tons of cocaine into the United States from 2004 to the present.
As part of this conspiracy, the embassy explains, the former president collected millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks from multiple drug trafficking organizations. In return, he shielded drug traffickers from investigation, arrest and extradition.
The former president will now be placed before a judge to decide on the extradition request.
“The arrest of Juan Orlando Hernández was a death foretold and we interpret it as a first sign of a break with the impunity of the past.
However, we cannot forget that the dictatorship still controls key state powers for the future of the country. We have no doubt that they will react.
That is why it is up to us to recover our dignity and patriotic pride, which has been shattered, and continue on this path,” Bertha Oliva, coordinator of the Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (Cofadeh.
The human rights defender regretted that it was not the national justice system that brought charges against the former president.
“It is very unfortunate that the justice system of another country accused him. This hurts us as citizens. We need structural changes to democratize justice and strike at the criminal structure that has sunk Honduras.
Juan Orlando Hernández should not be left as a scapegoat. His arrest must be the beginning of a profound process that puts an end to impunity and that prosecutes and punishes all criminals. This is not about revenge, but about justice,” said Oliva.
The United States and its double standards
Cofadeh’s national coordinator also underscored the double standard of the U.S. Government.
“Hernandez is a Washington man. They endorsed his illegal reelection, closed their eyes to electoral fraud and the valuable lives that were lost as a result of repression.
This support,” Oliva continued, “turned Honduras into a country that expels its own people, that puts its territory up for sale, that allows the plundering of common goods, that humiliates its sovereignty.
In this sense, the human rights defender said that the United States must learn to have less interference and to listen to the people when they rise up and demand independence.
Cofadeh and memory
In the new context of the country after President Xiomara Castro took office, Cofadeh maintains its objectives firm.
“Our approach will remain the same: to vindicate memory and seek justice for the disappeared detainees and martyrs. In addition, we will continue to work to ensure respect for human rights in the country.”
Together with the new human rights authorities, the Honduran organization hopes that the new amnesty decree, recently approved by Congress and promulgated by President Castro, will be implemented.
“It would be a very important step. We want this measure to restore the rights that were taken away from the people who were judicially persecuted after the coup”, concluded Oliva.
source la nueve.info
translation Red en Defensa de la Humanidad – Cuba