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Juan Orlando will face the trial abandoned by his allies

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Juan Orlando will face the trial abandoned by his allies

Former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández Faces Trial in New York

The former president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, is set to begin his trial in New York this week, abandoned by his allies Juan Carlos ‘El Tigre’ Bonilla and Mauricio Hernández Pineda, both co-defendants who pleaded guilty at the beginning of the month.

Bonilla, the former chief of the National Police during Hernández’s term, was the last to admit his guilt for the crimes of “conspiring to import cocaine into the United States” and the possession and use of weapons to facilitate the transfer of drugs. Hernández Pineda, Hernández’s cousin and former National Police officer, had previously pleaded guilty to the same crimes.

In the American judicial system, a guilty plea is usually accompanied by an agreement for a reduction in sentences in exchange for collaborating with Justice or revealing the existence of criminal plots.

In anticipation of his trial, Hernández sent a letter to his followers, published by his wife on social networks, claiming that the accusations against him are “false and unfair” and based on the testimony of “confessed drug traffickers.”

Hernández was captured on February 15, 2022, and extradited to the United States on April 21 of that same year, where he faces three charges associated with drug trafficking and the use of weapons to introduce drugs into the country.

The trial, which should have started on February 5, was postponed at the request of Hernández to change lawyers and is expected to last between four to six weeks, with each of the three charges carrying a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

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A team of prosecutors from the Public Ministry of Honduras will also be present in the process to evaluate whether what was revealed during the case warrants new proceedings in the Latin American country against the companies, people, or groups mentioned.

Hernández was president of Honduras for two terms, with the second term marred by a questioned re-election, complaints of fraud, and accusations of association with the former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, Joaquín Guzmán Loera, alias El Chapo.

Since 2014, the US has been singling out and requesting the extradition of Hondurans to try them for drug trafficking, including former President Hernández and his brother, Juan Antonio, who has already been sentenced to life imprisonment.

The trial of Hernández is being closely followed in Honduras, as it marks the first indictment of a former Honduran ruler in the United States for drug trafficking.

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