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Juan Orlando Hernández
Juan Orlando Hernández Alvarado no Brasil.jpg
Hernández in 2018
55th President of Honduras
In office
27 January 2014 – 27 January 2022
Vice President
  • Ricardo Álvarez
  • Ava Rossana Guevara
  • Lorena Enriqueta Herrera
  • Olga Margarita Alvarado
  • María Antonia Rivera
Preceded by Porfirio Lobo Sosa
Succeeded by Xiomara Castro
President of the National Congress
In office
25 January 2010 – 25 January 2014
Vice President Lena Gutiérrez
Preceded by José Alfredo Saavedra (Acting)
Succeeded by Mauricio Oliva
Deputy of the Lempira Department
In office
25 January 1998 – 25 January 2014
Personal details
Juan Orlando Hernández Alvarado

(1968-10-28) 28 October 1968 (age 55)
Gracias, Lempira, Honduras
Political party National Party
Ana García Carías
(m. 1990)
Children 4
  • Hilda Hernández (sister)
  • Tony Hernández (brother)
Alma mater National Autonomous University of Honduras
State University of New York, Albany

Juan Orlando Hernández Alvarado ( born 28 October 1968), also known as JOH, is a Honduran lawyer and politician who served as President of Honduras from 2014 to 2022 for two consecutive terms.

A member of the National Party, Hernández previously served as the president of the National Congress of Honduras between January 2010 and June 2013, when he was given permission by the Congress to absent himself from all responsibilities in the Congress to dedicate himself to his presidential campaign. He announced that he would seek re-election in 2017, after the Supreme Court allowed it in April 2015. On 15 December 2016, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal decided, by two votes to one, to allow Hernández to stand in the primary elections by the National Party of Honduras on 12 March 2017. On 12 March 2017, he won the National Party's primary vote to allow him to represent his party during the 2017 Honduran general election on 26 November 2017. In the elections, Hernández was declared the winner by a narrow margin (0.5%), after a reelection campaign criticized as fraudulent by OAS, while the United States recognized Hernández as the official winner. The same day he ceased to be president, he was sworn as a member of the Central American Parliament.

On 7 February 2022, Hernández had his visa revoked by the U.S. Department of State, due to involvements in corruption. On 14 February, he was surrounded by the National police and DEA agents at his residency to process his capture and eventually take him to custody of the United States for possible trials. On 21 April, Hernández was extradited to the United States.

Early life and career

Ana García de Hernández, Juan Orlando Hernández, Eduardo Martinetti, May 2015
Juan Orlando Hernández (center), his spouse Ana García de Hernández, and Eduardo Martinetti, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Peru, in Lima (2015)

Hernández was born in Gracias, Honduras to Juan Hernández Villanueva and Elvira Alvarado Castillo, as the fifteenth of seventeen children. His siblings include Hilda Hernández (1966–2017) and Juan Antonio (Tony) Hernández. He has a master's degree in public administration from the State University of New York at Albany. On 3 February 1990, he married Ana García Carías. This union has produced three children: Juan Orlando, Ana Daniela, and Isabela. He was a coffee-growing campesino in his native Gracias.

Juan Orlando Hernández, who represented Lempira Department since 2001, was elected President of the National Congress where the National Party had a comfortable majority, on 21 January 2010, and took office four days later.

Presidential campaigns

In 2012, he fought a campaign against Ricardo Álvarez to try to become the National Party presidential candidate for 2013, and won the internal election of November 2012; Álvarez publicly denounced the result as fraudulent and demanded a "vote by vote" recount, which the Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE) rejected.

A poll conducted in May 2013 saw him in third place with a projected 18% of the vote. He began his presidential campaign in July 2013 in Intibucá and La Paz with a campaign entitled El Pueblo Propone (The People Propose in English). He campaigned for the military to police the streets, and claimed that his closest rival Xiomara Castro wanted to remove the Policía Militar (English: Military Police) which were already in Honduras' two main cities. He won the election, beating Castro by 250,000 votes.

Hernández said National Party accountants found that approximately L3 million lempira (about US$140,000) from companies with links to the Honduran Social Security Institute (IHSS) scandal had entered its campaign coffers.

On 22 April 2015, the Supreme Court unanimously allowed presidential re-election. On 12 March 2017, Hernández became the National Party candidate by defeating his rival Roberto Castillo during the National Party primary. The Honduran Constitution allows revocation of citizenship of anyone who promotes changing the law to allow re-election, however Hernández's National Party, which also controls Congress, says a Supreme Court ruling last year allows him to stand for a new term. Opposition Liberal Party claims that the court does not have the power to make such decisions.

The President was re-elected in the 2017 presidential election after a vote deemed fraudulent by the opposition and international observers. The government declared a state of emergency. Some 30 demonstrators were killed and more than 800 arrested.

Presidency (2014–2022)

Honduran President Hernandez Signs Secretary Pompeo's Guestbook (42167632814)
Hernández in 2018


Hondurans both in and outside Honduras have protested against corruption in Honduras, allegedly by the Hernández government as well as the judiciary, the military, the police and other public administration entities, demanding an end to embezzlement of funds and public money.

On 21 June 2018, president Hernández ordered units of the Honduran army and the military police in the streets of the capital after renewed protests. According to a Hospital Escuela Universitario spokesperson, at least 17 people were injured as a result of violence in the protests, and two of them died at the hospital.

In April 2019, new anti-privatisation and anti-corruption protests erupted, led by Tegucigalpa Autonomous University students and by health care workers. Tear gas was used against the protesters in demonstrations that took place in the center of Tegucigalpa.

Religious conservatism

The presidency of Hernández was marked by an increase in the influence of conservative evangelical organizations and Opus Dei on government decisions. Compulsory prayer at the beginning of the day was instituted in schools and in certain institutions such as the police and the army. At the beginning of 2021, the total prohibition of same-sex marriage was included in the Constitution, making it very difficult to change the law later on.

Foreign policy

Mike Pence and Juan Orlando Hernandez at VP Office - 2017
Hernández with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Washington, D.C., 23 March 2017

Hernández approached to the United States by having good relations with both the Obama, and the Trump administrations. Hernández was seen as a key ally in Central America given the presence of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua.

In 2019, during the Venezuelan presidential crisis, Hernández recognized the legitimacy of Juan Guaidó as president of Venezuela and joined the declarations of the Lima Group, against the Maduro government. In the same way, Hernández became close to the pronunciations of the Organization of American States (OAS), regarding the crisis in Venezuela.

In 2021, Hernández travelled to Israel, where he met with prime minister Naftali Bennett, and where he inaugurated Honduras's embassy in Jerusalem, becoming one of the countries which officially recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel.

Shortly before leaving office, in October 2021, contrary to his alliance with the US, Hernández met Nicaragua's Ortega in Managua, where they signed agreements regarding disputes in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Fonseca, on which there had been a ruling by a The Hague court years earlier. The summit between Hernández and Ortega was described as "strange", "surprising", and "unusual" by El País, given the leaders' differences in the previous years.


  • Order of Brilliant Jade with Grand Cordon (Republic of China)

See also

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