US: Senator calls for sanctions against former Honduran president

Rate this post

Washington Hispanic:

Bob Menéndez, the congressman who heads the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called Thursday for former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández's visa to be revoked and for him to be sanctioned for being "a drug kingpin abroad."

Menéndez said in a statement that he sent a letter to the State Department and the US Treasury making the request.

“The United States must continue to demonstrate its support for the rule of law and the peoples of all of Latin America by identifying, denouncing, and punishing any foreign official implicated in drug trafficking and the undermining of democracy in the hemisphere, regardless of whether or not themselves are presidents or high-ranking officials of allied countries,” Menéndez wrote in his letter.

Hernández has faced accusations of ties to drug trafficking for years in the federal court of the southern district of New York that he has denied. His brother Tony Hernández was sentenced in March 2021 to life in prison for having brought tons of drugs into the United States. Prosecutors allege that the president collaborated with him, although so far there is no formal accusation against him.

The sanctions under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act imply the freezing of the assets that the sanctioned person has in US territory and the prohibition of US citizens from carrying out commercial transactions with the sanctioned person.

Hernández finished his term last month after being elected for the first time in late 2013. The new president of Honduras, Xiomara Castro, was sworn in a week ago as the first woman to hold that position.

According to US prosecutors, Hernández received several payments from drug traffickers in exchange for guaranteeing them the protection of the Honduran government. The money, prosecutors say, was used to finance electoral campaigns and buy votes from National Party politicians to help the president.

Former drug traffickers who testified at the Tony Hernández trial in 2019 claimed that President Hernández received various bribes, including a $1 million payment from Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. The alleged payment was made in 2013 through Tony Hernandez, they said. That year Hernández was a candidate for the presidency.

Menéndez is not the only congressman who has called for Hernández to be punished.

Norma Torres, a California representative in the lower house, recently sent a letter to the Justice Department asking that criminal charges be brought against Hernández and that he be extradited to the United States. Torres is the only Central American in the US Congress.

Author Profile

Nathan Rivera
Allow me to introduce myself. I am Nathan Rivera, a dedicated journalist who has had the privilege of writing for the online newspaper Today90. My journey in the world of journalism has been a testament to the power of dedication, integrity, and passion.

My story began with a relentless thirst for knowledge and an innate curiosity about the events shaping our world. I graduated with honors in Investigative Journalism from a renowned university, laying the foundation for what would become a fulfilling career in the field.

What sets me apart is my unwavering commitment to uncovering the truth. I refuse to settle for superficial answers or preconceived narratives. Instead, I constantly challenge the status quo, delving deep into complex issues to reveal the reality beneath the surface. My dedication to investigative journalism has uncovered numerous scandals and shed light on issues others might prefer to ignore.

I am also a staunch advocate for press freedom. I have tirelessly fought to protect the rights of journalists and have faced significant challenges in my quest to inform the public truthfully and without constraints. My courage in defending these principles serves as an example to all who believe in the power of journalism to change the world.

Throughout my career, I have been honored with numerous awards and recognitions for my outstanding work in journalism. My investigations have changed policies, exposed corruption, and given a voice to those who had none. My commitment to truth and justice makes me a beacon of hope in a world where misinformation often prevails.

At Today90, I continue to be a driving force behind journalistic excellence. My tireless dedication to fair and accurate reporting is an invaluable asset to the editorial team. My biography is a living testament to the importance of journalism in our society and a reminder that a dedicated journalist can make a difference in the world.