1000s protest alleged government fraud in Honduras
Thousands of people in Honduras have taken to the streets of the capital, Tegucigalpa, to once again voice their anger at corruption allegations against the government of President Juan Orlando Hernandez.
The Friday protest march was the latest in a series of rallies demanding a probe into the scandal involving a purported multi-million-dollar embezzlement of the nation’s social security funds by the president, with part of the money said to have been used to finance the ruling political party.
The massive demonstration came as two separate protest rallies came together near the country’s presidential palace, where numerous hunger striking protesters, who have become known as “indignados” or ‘the indignant ones,’ have been camped out in tents.
A number of protesters carried torches, as others held banners depicting Hernandez in a prison uniform under the word “corrupt.”
“Get out JOH!” the protesters shouted out during the Friday’s march, using the initials of the nation’s president.
Earlier on Thursday, riot police clashed with protesters near the presidential palace, with police forces using shields to keep the marchers at bay.
This is while Hernandez has confessed that his ruling National Party had accepted $94,000 in electoral campaign contribution that had been misappropriated from the impoverished Central American country’s social security funds.
Honduran opposition figures, meanwhile, allege that more than $300 million was skimmed from the nation’s struggling public health system.
The development came as huge protest rallies across Honduras have been regularly held since May against Hernandez, who is widely accused of using government funds to illegally finance his 2013 presidential campaign.
Hernandez has pledged to combat corruption and impunity “no matter who falls,” and he has begun to seek support among different civil society groups, but the indignants have refused to take part.