Security & Strategic Review - April 2024

HONDURAS: A long-awaited verdict

A US federal jury has unanimously found Honduras’ former president Juan Orlando Hernández (Partido Nacional, PN, 2014-2022) guilty on three drug and weapons-related counts. Hernández’s conviction in the US, where he was extradited in April 2022, less than three months after leaving office, is one of the most significant of a Latin American leader since Panama’s former military dictator Manuel Noriega (1983-1989) was found guilty on drug charges in April 1992. The conviction marks a rare positive for Hondurans seeking justice for past impunity. However, the extent of corruption unveiled during the trial and previous others linked to the case, involving not just Hernández and his PN but other parties and politicians, including those with ties to his successor, President Xiomara Castro, raises questions as to how far this represents a turning point.

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