Honduran human rights defenders and indigenous activists marched in solidarity in the country’s capital Tegucigalpa on Thursday, with protesters hunger striking to demand the establishment of an independent U.N. anti-impunity body to investigate widespread government corruption.
The peaceful demonstration moved through the streets of the capital city to the presidential palace, where some 20 hunger strikers have set up camp. Some of the activists, including indigenous people, have been on hunger strike for over a month since starting their protest on June 22.
Activists from the indigenous organization COPINH march in support of hunger strikers in Tegucigalpa Thursday. | Photo: EFE
Caceres, who has received harassment and death threats for her human rights and environmental activism, also reiterated popular calls for officials guilty of fraud in the country's massive Social Security Institute embezzlement scandal be brought to justice for their crimes.
Demonstrators also voiced support for journalist David Romero, who broke the story of the National Party receiving US$90 million of more than US$200 million stolen from the Social Security Institute. Globo TV's Romero now faces a possible prison sentence as a result of trial for 41 charges, including slander and defamation.
HONDURAS: Huelguistas indignados, dan apoyo a periodista David Romero. pic.twitter.com/jPE0osx7gh— Gilda Silvestrucci (@GildateleSUR) July 23, 2015
“Honduras: Outraged hunger strikers give support to journalist David Romero.”
The multi-million dollar Social Security Institute scandal is just one of at least a dozen corruption cases that have recently come to light in the Central American country. President Juan Orlando Hernandez and his ruling National Party are implicated in siphoning millions from public coffers.
The high-profile corruption cases sparked the popular “outraged” movement, bringing tens of thousands to the streets in two months of weekly anti-corruption marches calling for Hernandez's resignation and the establishment of an independent body to conduct a government fraud probe, like Guatemala’s CICIG, beginning with the president.
Opposition parties have proposed a national referendum on the question of establishing a U.N. anti-impunity body, which would be known as CICIH, in Honduras.
WATCH: Imaginary Lines speaks with Honduran Solidarity Network’s Karen Spring about recent protests and consolidation of elite power