Former Honduran President Pleads Not Guilty to US Drugs and Firearms Charges

    Photo: AP [via CNN]

    The Facts

    • Former Honduran Pres. Juan Orlando Hernández pleaded not guilty to federal drug trafficking and firearms possession charges in a NYC court on Tuesday.

    • The once-US-ally stands accused of helping international drug traffickers, including Mexican drug lord "El Chapo" Guzmán, in exchange for millions of dollars in bribes. US Attorney General Garland claims that he abused his position to operate the country as a Narco state.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    The trial will have sweeping consequences for the region. Arresting and prosecuting a former head of state will send a strong message to a country plagued by drug trafficking and corruption that the US will hunt down those who aid and abet the international drug trade.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    The US may be stepping in now, but for years it has played a defining role in the evolution of violence throughout Central America, including Honduras. Where was America when Hernández increasingly militarized the police, or brutally crushed opposition in a bid to win his last election?

    Establishment split



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