TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AFP) — Honduran police used tear gas against protesters demanding the resignation of President Juan Orlando Hernandez on Wednesday in Tegucigalpa, hours after a march by thousands of the leader’s supporters.
The clash comes after a U.S. prosecutor said last week that Hernandez took millions in bribes from drug lords, including jailed Mexican kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, during a trial for Hernandez’s brother.
About 1,000 protesters gathered in Tegucigalpa’s central park shouting slogans against the president, when dozens of police officers arrived and tried to force them to disperse.
Some protesters fought back, attacking police with stones from under a cloud of tear gas.
The anti-Hernandez demonstration was called by a coalition of civil groups and took place just hours after a march in which more than 6,000 Hernandez supporters were estimated to have participated.
Many of the supporters chanted “Viva JOH (Juan Orlando Hernandez)!” and “He’s not alone.”
Honduras has been rocked by the allegations against Hernandez, who has long presented himself as a champion against drug trafficking.
“The Honduran people are good and have been with me in good times and in bad times,” Hernandez said in a speech to his supporters.
A country of 9.4 million plagued by gangs, poverty and corruption, Honduras has seen recent violent protests over the president’s controversial health and education decrees.
When U.S. prosecutors alleged in court documents made public in August that the president was part of the conspiracy in which his brother was charged, it brought crowds onto the streets demanding he resign.
© Agence France-Presse