Statement On The Dishonorable Legacy Of Juan Orlando Hernandez

Juan Orlando Hernandez had the chance to help his country. Instead he helped himself and his cronies, and the Honduran people lost their lives, their families, and their communities to the ravages of drug gangs, abusive police, corrupt officials, and grinding poverty. Honduras’ institutions became instruments of repression and greed. The police and the courts were used to threaten and silence those who sought to defend their land and their rights, the Congress acted as a rubber stamp, and the electoral commission was anything but independent.

Throughout the past eight years of decay, depravity, and impunity, successive U.S. administrations sullied our reputation by treating Hernandez as a friend and partner. By making excuse after excuse for a government that had no legitimacy and that functioned as a criminal enterprise, U.S. officials lost sight of what we stand for and that our real partners are the Honduran people.

This was just the latest example of supporting an autocratic, corrupt regime in Latin America because it claimed to be tough on drugs, tough on migrants, or both. The election of President Castro offers Honduras, and the United States, a chance for a new beginning to work together in support of justice, equitable economic opportunities, and accountable governance.