Honduras: protesters demand president resign

Thousands of protesters marched in Honduras on June 26 calling for the resignation of President Juan Hernández and demanding an independent investigation into his role in an ongoing corruption scandal. Hernández is accused of knowingly using money from a $200 million embezzlement scandal at the Honduran Institute of Social Security (IHSS) to help pay for his 2013 presidential campaign. Hernández last week acknowledged that his campaign did receive funds from people involved with the scandal, but stated he and his party had not been made aware of where that money had come from.

Honduras has a history of struggling with corruption and its leaders being forced from power. In January 2013 the Honduran National Congress approved controversial amendments to the police law designed to eliminate corruption. Approval came after the congress voted to dismiss four justices of the country's Supreme Court, after the justices ruled that the police reform bill supported by then-president Porfirio Lobo was unconstitutional. Tension between the three branches of government in Honduras has risen recently, and Lobo has expressed concern that he may be forced out of office like his predecessor, who was removed during the 2009 military coup. In July 2011 the Honduran Truth and Reconciliation Commission declared that the coup was unconstitutional but stated that former president Manuel Zelaya was culpable when he ignored orders of the Supreme Court. Zelaya signed an agreement in May 2011 allowing his return to the country after nearly two years in exile.

From Jurist, June 27. Used with permission.