Honduras extradites a drug trafficking kingpin to the US

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Honduras extradited drug trafficking boss Erasmo Ávila to the United States this Tuesday, bringing the total to 38 delivered to that country since 2014, the most relevant being former president Juan Orlando Hernández, accused of conspiring to introduce 500 tons of cocaine to North America.

Ávila, 47 years old and alias "The Monster", was requested by the Eastern District Court of the state of Virginia (east), the head of the Cobra Special Forces Command of the Police, Commissioner Julio Romero, confirmed to journalists.

In the midst of a strong security operation, the Honduran was taken to the Palmerola airport, about 50 km north of Tegucigalpa, where an aircraft with agents from the United States Anti-Drug Agency (DEA) was waiting for him.

Ávila, arrested on August 16, is the "38th person accused of drug trafficking to surrender" to the United States since extradition measures were established in 2014, said police spokesman Edgardo Barahona.

According to the Minister of Security, Gustavo Sánchez, 25 drug trafficking defendants requested for extradition by the United States remain fugitives, one of them the former Honduran soccer player Oscar 'el Pescado' Bonilla, an alleged member of a cartel.

For his part, Hernández, who governed Honduras in two terms from 2014 to 2022, was extradited in April 2022 to New York, accused of sending 500 tons of cocaine to the United States, between 2004 and 2022.

The former president, 55, runs the risk of being sentenced to life in prison, as happened with his brother, Tony, in March 2021.

Since the 1970s, Honduras has been a bridge for cocaine sent by cartels from South America to the United States, but since 2017 authorities began seizing small coca plantations.

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