A demonstration organized by the Platform in Defense of Health and Education of Honduras in Tegucigalpa turned violent on Tuesday, August 6, after police officers attempted to disperse the crowd with tear gas and water cannons. Teachers, doctors, students, and political opposition supporters gathered at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) on Tuesday morning (local time) before marching towards the School Hospital to demand the resignation of President Juan Orlando Hernández. Protesters then gathered at the National Congress building around 12:00, where police officers began firing tear gas. In response, demonstrators reportedly threw stones and sticks at the officers, resulting in several injuries. Several businesses in the area were also set on fire and isolated incidents of looting were reported.
Further associated protests are possible in the coming days and weeks. A heightened security presence is expected around all protest sites and clashes between demonstrators and police officers cannot be ruled out.
The protest was organized after a court document filed in the US on Friday, August 2, alleged that President Hernández’s 2013 campaign received 1.5 million USD from drug traffickers. Hernández denied the allegations, claiming that the report is part of a smear campaign by political rivals and drug gangs.
Honduras has experienced a wave of violent demonstrations against President Hernández in recent months, after the government presented reforms in the education and health sectors. Many doctors and teachers, with the support of students, have been demonstrating and blockading streets for over a month against two government decrees that, in their opinion, privatize health and education. On June 24, police stormed a university and shot at students in Tegucigalpa, injuring eight.
Individuals in Honduras, particularly in Tegucigalpa, are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all public demonstrations as a precaution, anticipate transportation disruptions and a heightened security presence in the vicinity of all protests, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
Copyright and Disclaimer