Monday, March 11, 2024

This is Why People are Fleeing Here. They are not Immigrating


This is why people are fleeing here. They are not immigrating

Former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández was found guilty of cocaine trafficking Friday after a two-week trial in a New York federal court, where prosecutors accused Hernández of ruling the Central American country as a narco-state and accepting millions of dollars in bribes from cocaine traffickers in exchange for protection. He faces a possible life sentence. Hernández served as president of Honduras from 2014 to 2022 and was a close U.S. ally despite mounting reports of human rights violations and accusations of corruption and involvement with drug smuggling during his tenure. Hernández was arrested less than a month after his term ended and was extradited to the United States in April 2022. “The majority feeling is satisfaction, a feeling of progress in achieving justice,” says activist Camilo Bermúdez from Tegucigalpa. He is a member of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, the organization founded by Berta Cáceres, the Lenca Indigenous environmental defender who was assassinated in 2016 while Juan Orlando Hernández was president. We also speak with Dana Frank, professor of history emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who says the 2009 U.S.-backed coup against President Manuel Zelaya set the stage for the corrupt governments that followed. While U.S. prosecutors may have convicted Hernández, Frank stresses that multiple U.S. administrations “legitimated and celebrated him.”

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