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Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández Responds to Calls for Resignation with Calls for Dialogue

LADB Article ID: 79687
Category/Department: Honduras
Date: 2015-07-02
By: George Rodríguez

As the regional popular saying goes, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández apparently "heard the footsteps of a big animal" (oyó pasos de animal grande) coming from neighboring Guatemala. There, amid a corruption scandal that shook the government, massive, relentless popular pressure forced Guatemalan Vice President Roxana Baldetti to step down—and thousands have also demanded the resignation of President Otto Pérez Molina . Just as in the Guatemalan case and 22 years after Guatemala's then President Jorge Serrano (1991-1993), also involved in corruption, was pressured by the people to resign, going into exile in Panama after a brief stay in El Salvador, where he was not welcomed, angry Hondurans are saying, by the thousands, they’ve had it with unpunished government corruption and are demanding Hernández’s—and other high officials’—resignation. The reason is major-scale wrongdoing in the Instituto Hondureño de Seguridad Social (IHSS)—which opposition sectors describe as "pillage," "mega-fraud," "embezzlement," and plain "theft" of public funds—involving ruling Partido Nacional (PN) leaders and top government officials.

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