The Honduran Foreign Ministry said Monday via Twitter that it had notified the country’s Supreme Court that the U.S. Embassy had requested the “official provisional arrest of a Honduran politician” for extradition.
The ministry did not identify the politician, but Honduran Vice President Salvador Nasralla confirmed to the Associated Press that the request named Hernandez.
On Monday, dozens of police officers surrounded Hernandez’s home, Reuters news agency reports.
Images of a document, which showed a “formal request for provisional arrest for the purpose of extradition to the United States of America of Juan Orlando Hernandez Alvarado,” were also released by CNN.
Nicole Navas, spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Justice, declined to comment. The U.S. State Department has yet to comment.
Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Hernandez was on a list last year of people accused of corruption or undermining democracy in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
“The U.S. is advancing transparency and accountability in Central America by making public the visa restrictions against former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez due to acts of corruption,” Blinken said on Twitter Feb. 7. “No one is above the law. ”
Hernandez left office on Jan. 27 with the swearing in of President Xiomara Castro. On the same day, Hernandez was sworn in as a Honduran representative in the Central American Parliament.
With a weak and co-opted Honduran judicial system, Hondurans’ hope for justice had for years rested with U.S. federal prosecutors in New York, where a series of revelations against Hernandez were closely followed at home.
Speculation had circulated for months about whether Hernandez would be charged once he was no longer president, as U.S. prosecutors in New York repeatedly implicated him in his brother’s 2019 drug trial, alleging that his political rise was fueled by drug profits.
Hernandez has denied all charges and says the accusations are part of a revenge plot by the same drug lords his government captured or extradited to the United States.
His brother, former Honduran Congressman Tony Hernandez, was sentenced in March 2017 to life in the United States for drug trafficking.