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Protesters block roads, clash with police in Honduras

June 20, 2019

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — Protesters blockaded highways, clashed with police and ransacked stores in Honduras on Thursday as part of demonstrations against President Juan Orlando Hernández.

The protests began Wednesday night after a separate group of officers expressed displeasure with some government actions and declared themselves to be in rebellion.

Government opponents took advantage of the momentum and burned tires at key highway points around the country, facing off with police who remained on duty. In the capital, Tegucigalpa, five gas stations were attacked and several electronics stores were looted of TVs, sound equipment and computers.

Protesters also clashed with military police belonging to an army unit created in 2014 by Hernández.

The protesters accuse the president of having been re-elected fraudulently in 2017 and are demanding he leave office.

Hernández called a meeting with security chiefs Thursday and vowed via Twitter that the state would safeguard the people and “rights such as free movement, protection of public property and more.”

Anger over Honduras’ political crisis flared up about a month ago when doctors’ and teachers’ unions opposed congressional decrees on health and education, arguing that they would lead to privatization of the sectors.

Those unions were later supported by other civil organizations and the political opposition.

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