FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2022
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In response to the U.S. government formally requesting the extradition of former Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernández on drug trafficking charges, and the subsequent arrest of Hernández by Honduras authorities on February 15, Alianza Americas released the following statement:
“This is a welcome development that signals a commitment by the U.S. Justice Department to strengthening the administration of justice in Honduras and the rule of law. This action should guide future U.S. foreign policy towards Honduras and the rest of Central America,” said Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas.
“Even though a new government was recently installed in Honduras, it is important to remember that Honduras’ justice system is now stacked with judges and officials named by the previous government, largely motivated by a desire to protect criminal elites,” Chacón added.
“This turn of events is a reminder of how U.S. foreign policy has backfired in Central America, allowing for the entrenched corruption and drug violence that is driving migration. It was the U.S. government that, in 2009, backed the coup d’état that broke Honduras’s democratic order. This decision eventually led to the election of Juan Orlando Hernández. To make matters worse, the US government legitimized the illegal reelection of this same individual in 2017, in spite of a call by international observers to declare such an election fraudulent and invalid,” Chacón said.
“The consolidation of democratic rule in Honduras, along with much-needed economic and social reforms, will go a long way in eventually transforming this nation into a place where the majority of citizens can be safe and prosperous, fulfilling their aspirations for a dignified life,” said Mirtha Colón, a Garifuna leader originally from Honduras, who currently serves as president of the Alianza Americas Board of Directors. “In the meantime, it is incumbent that the U.S. government do everything within its reach to help advance democracy and shared economic prosperity in Honduras. One concrete measure the US government should take is to designate Hondurans and other Central American nationalities as recipients of Temporary Protected Status, a humanitarian relief program.”
“We applaud the U.S. government for finally admitting and taking action on what it has known for a very long time: that ex-dictator Juan Orlando Hernández was and is a corrupt, drug-dealing threat to democracy,” said Patricia Montes, executive director of Centro Presente.
Alianza Americas is the premier transnational advocacy network of Latin American migrant-led organizations working in the United States, across the Americas, and globally to create an inclusive, equitable and sustainable way of life for communities across North, Central, and South America.
Presente.org is the nation’s largest online Latinx organizing group — and the nation’s premier Latinx digital organizing hub — advancing social justice with technology, media, and culture. Presente.org is now a project of Alianza Americas.