TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Tens of thousands of Hondurans marched Friday in Tegucigalpa, many with torches in hand, as they demanded the resignation of President Juan Orlando Hernández over an ongoing corruption scandal.
Organizers estimated that a crowd of approximately 50,000 people gathered in the streets, sounding horns and carrying candle-lit torches, demanding the creation of an anti-corruption commission and rejecting dialogue with the president.
Many of the protesters carried banners and held anti-government signs with slogans such as “Honduras is ours” and “This is no president, he’s a criminal.”
The protesters crowded onto the city’s Suyapa Boulevard for more than a kilometer, marching to the presidential palace, which was guarded by police and soldiers.
The demonstration marked the fifth Friday in which protesters have hit the streets calling for Hernández to go.
The opposition charges that the president received approximately $90 million out of more than $300 million they say was skimmed from poverty-wracked Honduras‘s public health system for his 2013 election campaign.
Hernández has denied wrongdoing and drastically played down the amount.
On Tuesday the president called for a dialogue on forming an organization to combat corruption and impunity, but protesters rejected the proposal.
Hernández was not in the country for the march, but was in Guatemala for a meeting of Central American leaders.