After the ‘Narco-President’: Rebuilding Hope in Honduras

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Manage episode 337354516 series 3295571
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When the president stands accused of drug trafficking, what hope is there? From 2014, for eight years Juan Orlando Hernandez ruled Honduras like his personal fiefdom. A Central American strongman comparable with some of the worst from decades past, under his presidency Honduras began a rapid descent into a so-called “narco-state”. The allegations against his government soon started to mount up: human rights violations, corruption and impunity; accusations of torture and extrajudicial killings by the police and military. And at its heart, the claim by US prosecutors of a multi-million dollar drug smuggling ring, overseen from the presidential palace itself. Just weeks after he left power in January 2022, Juan Orlando Hernandez was arrested and extradited to the US to face drug trafficking charges. American prosecutors allege he used his security forces to protect some drugs shipments and eliminate competitors.
Will Grant, the BBC’s Central America Correspondent, finds out what life was like under the disgraced president and meets some people trying to instil a little hope in a nation which hasn’t had any for a long time. He meets Norma, the mother of Keyla Martinez, who was killed in a police cell. Initially, the police said she had killed herself but hospital reports later proved this wasn’t the case. Now, can Norma Martinez’s campaign for justice bring a sense of hope to those who don’t trust the authorities and have endured years of rampant corruption and police impunity?
Producer: Phoebe Keane
Fixer in Honduras: Renato Lacayo

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