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Assassination Plot Resurfaces with Honduran President’s Re-election Bid

LADB Article ID: 80270
Category/Department: Honduras
Date: 2017-04-20
By: George Rodríguez

The plot dates back to 2014, when hitmen were reportedly hired to gun down Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández. The assassination did not take place, but six conspirators were arrested in 2015. And on March 18, the Tribunal de Sentencia (Sentence Court) in Tegucigalpa announced its decision on the plot participants—two Mexicans and four Hondurans, all involved in drug trafficking. A week before the ruling, President Hernández, who has made the war on organized crime a centerpiece of his administration, won the nomination of the ruling and rightist Partido Nacional (National Party, PN) for the November presidential contest. His bid for a new term in office was made possible by a constitutional reform approved by the unicameral Congreso Nacional (National Congress), the institution he headed for the four years preceding his 2014 presidential inauguration. Since he became president on Jan. 27, 2014, Hernández has been cracking down on drug-trafficking networks. The Hernández administration’s anti-crime effort has been criticized by Honduran human rights and other grassroots organizations, but has also earned praise. Hernández says he needs more time to accomplish his goals. Thus, after Congress reformed the nation’s Constitution, lifting the ban on re-election, he launched his candidacy for a new term.

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