Friday, September 24, 2021

Honduran president meets with Tillerson, lawmakers in Washington

Washington, Mar 21 (EFE).- Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez on Tuesday met in Washington with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and various lawmakers.

The Honduran leader is on a three-day visit to the US capital.

Tillerson had been scheduled to welcome Hernandez to the State Department at 5 pm, according to the department.

A State Department spokesperson told EFE that Washington has a solid relationship with Tegucigalpa and the US is working closely with the Central American nation to strengthen its democratic institutions, increase public safety and promote prosperity.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (R) and Honduran President Juan Orlando (L) participate in a photo opportunity prior to a meeting at the State Department in Washington, DC, USA, 21 March 2017. EPA/SHAWN THEW

Hernandez announced his visit to Washington on Monday, although he did not say which officials within the Donald Trump administration he would meet with or how long he would remain in the US capital.

According to the State Department, however, Hernandez will be in Washington until Thursday.

The Hondurans leader also met on Tuesday with a group of US congressmen interested in Central American issues headed by Democratic lawmaker Norma Torres.

Torres said that the legislators had a “constructive” talk about bilateral relations with Hernandez and spoke about areas where the two nations have common priorities, as well as about the need to effectively address human rights violations in the Central American country.

A small group of activists organized a protest near the spot where Hernandez was meeting with the lawmakers, and among them were a sister and a niece of Honduran environmentalist leader Berta Caceres, who was murdered a year ago, a crime for which eight people are currently imprisoned.

The protesters shouted that Hernandez was a “murderer” and asked why he has not allowed an independent investigation into Caceres’ murder, according to several videos posted on Facebook by the independent SAO Watch organization.

Hernandez’s visit to Washington marks his first contact with the Trump administration and comes just days after the Honduran leader confirmed that he will run for re-election in November after winning his party’s primaries.