Thousands of Hondurans hold a protest rally against what they call government corruption in the Central American country, calling on President Juan Orlando Hernandez to step down over a graft scandal in his election campaign.
Organizers of the event said about 20,000 people marched from a hospital in the east of the Honduran capital city of Tegucigalpa to the United Nations building on Friday.
Protesters also carried torches in honor of some 2,800 patients, who allegedly died due to a lack of drugs that, according to demonstrators, is a direct result of corruption in state institutions.
Speaking at the rally, which was organized through social media, Salvador Nasrallah, the opposition leader and former presidential candidate, emphasized the need to “remove the corrupt and … fight impunity.”
Shouting “JOH out!” — referring to the president’s initials — demonstrators called for the creation of an anti-corruption commission similar to the one which helped uncover graft in neighboring Guatemala, leading to resignations.
“We want an international commission against impunity to be installed,” said protest organizer Gabriela Blen.
Earlier this week, Hernandez admitted that during the 2013 campaign his ruling National Party accepted money that had been misappropriated from social security funds.
However, he denied any wrongdoing and vowed that investigators would “get to the bottom of all of this.”
According to a newly released congressional report, businessmen linked to the graft scandal gave USD 280,000 to Hernandez’s conservative party during his election campaign two years ago.
People staged similar demonstrations in several cities across Honduras last week, demanding the resignation of the president.