An American Interest Towards a Better and More Innovative Foreign Policy

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On October 18, 2019 Juan Antonio Hernandez, a former Honduran congressman and brother of the current Honduran president, Juan Orlando Hernandez, was found guilty of state sponsored drug trafficking. Over the following days large protests calling for the removal of President Juan Orlando Hernandez have turned violent. Citizens and opponents have been emboldened by the conviction of Hernandez’s brother of drug trafficking in a New York court earlier this month. The trial also implicated the president in the drug trafficking. Drug traffickers in the hearing testified that they gave $1.5 million to Hernandez’s various political campaigns in exchange for protection from security forces.

Honduras has already faced protests against the administration of President Juan Orlando Hernandez when he ran for reelection for a second presidential term, which had long been against the law in Honduras. After winning his first election in 2013, Hernandez sparked massive protests in 2017 when he ran for the second time, after he backed an unpopular 2015 Supreme Court decision scrapping the single term limit. Honduras is one of the poorest and most violent countries in Latin America. Over 50 percent of the population lives in poverty and there is rampant gang violence which force its citizens live in a constant state of fear for their safety. Many of the migrants in the 2018 caravan that headed for the U.S. was made up largely of people from Honduras, who were fleeing the corruption and violence plaguing the nation which has the backing of their President and congressmen. The protests are ongoing and the Honduran President continues to strongly deny claims that he or his brother have worked to traffic drugs into the Central American nation. 

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