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Thousands join anti-corruption march in Honduras

Tens of thousands of Hondurans have marched in Tegucigalpa to demand the president's resignation over a corruption scandal. They also want an independent probe into one of the country's worst corruption scandals.

On Friday, tens of thousands of Hondurans marched in Tegucigalpa, many with torches in hand, calling for the resignation of President Juan Hernandez.

The protesters crowded onto the city's Suyapa Boulevard for more than a kilometer (0.62 miles), marching to the presidential palace from an impoverished neighborhood in the capital.

'This is no president, he's a criminal'

The crowd, which organizers estimated at around 50,000 people, sounded horns and carried candle-lit torches, demanding the creation of an anti-corruption commission and rejecting any dialogue initiative by the president.

According to AFP news agency, many of the protesters carried banners and held anti-government signs with slogans such as "Honduras is ours" and "This is no president, he's a criminal."

With torches in hand some 50,000 Hondurans have protested against corruption

With torches in hand some 50,000 Hondurans have protested against corruption

The opposition has accused the president of skimming $90 million (80.6 million euros) out of Honduras' public health system budget of more than $300 million for his 2013 election campaign.

Hernandez

has denied wrongdoing and played down the amount. However, he admitted that his 2013 presidential campaign took some $150,000 from companies linked to the scandal, adding that he and his party were unaware of where the money had come from.

Asking for UN support

Following the allegations,

Honduras

has asked the UN for support to combat widespread corruption in the country.

According to the German news agency DPA, the Honduran Foreign Minister Arturo Corrales told the local news paper "La Tribuna" that a petition had been sent to UN secretary General Ban Ki-moon for this purpose.

With this petition they are asking UN officials to play the role of mediator in this process and to support a "national dialogue," German news agency EPD reported.

ra/ng (Reuters, EPD, AFP)

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