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  • Writer's pictureDahlia Foundation

‘Divine justice’: How Hondurans are reacting to an ex-president’s US trial

New York City, United States – Bundled against the cold gusts of a New York winter, Cecilio Alfaro braved the morning rush to arrive at Manhattan’s Financial District just after sunrise at 7am on Tuesday.

A longtime United States resident, originally from Honduras, Alfaro wore a beanie hat patterned with the colours of the American flag. He was dressed for a once-in-a-lifetime trial, overseen by federal prosecutors.

The defendant in question was none other than former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, who — after styling himself as a tough-on-crime conservative — now faces drugs and weapons charges.

Prosecutors accuse him of running a “corrupt and violent drug-trafficking conspiracy” while in office, in which he accepted millions of dollars in exchange for facilitating cocaine shipments to the US.

The trial has captured public attention within Honduras and its diaspora, with observers like Alfaro seeing the hearings as a referendum on Hernández’s two terms as president.

“There’s so much evidence against” Hernández, Alfaro told Al Jazeera after making it past the tight security inside the Southern District Court of New York.

Climbing twenty-three stories, Alfaro joined dozens of journalists and curious citizens who packed the courthouse, glued to a closed-circuit video of the proceedings.

“The people suffered so much in Honduras,” Alfaro said. “There’s going to be justice, divine justice.”

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