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  • Students demand the resignation of President Juan Orlando Hernandez, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, August 14, 2019.

    Students demand the resignation of President Juan Orlando Hernandez, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, August 14, 2019. | Photo: EFE

Published 15 August 2019

President Juan Orlando Hernandez has continued his heavy-handed crackdown against those rejecting his government which they label as a "U.S.-backed Narco-state."

The Movement of University Students (MEU) continued their mobilizations Thursday after a new wave of protests started a day earlier in an effort to remove President Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH), who has refused to resign despite his implication in a drug trafficking case.

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Protesters initially met at the campus of the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) in Tegucigalpa, the capital of the country. Subsequently, they made a march through Suyapa Boulevard, which was joined by other students from the Francisco Morazan University and high school students.

“Revolution is not violence. It is a movement of conscience," "Stop the U.S. interference in Honduras," and "Enough is enough" were some of the slogans shouted by the Honduran activists as they walked the streets.

Protests took place in a peaceful manner during the morning. However, police and military tried to disperse demonstrators with tear gas. The students then blocked the streets and stopped the traffic.

At the Valley's Gardens neighborhood, the police established a siege against the students, most of whom were trying to leave the area to escape the toxic gas. The military, however, prevented them from doing so.

Honduran students demand the resignation of President JOH.

Demonstrations were called for again Thursday in Tegucigalpa. Local media reported that the young protesters placed locks on the main gates of the UNAH campus.

“There are two ways to steal money in Honduras. You either take money from the narco cartels, or you steal from the public.. And the system for doing so... has been to set up these real or fake nonprofits where you send government business,” Sonia Nazario, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, told Democracy Now.

In November 2018, President JOH's brother, Tony Hernandez, was arrested for moving "tons of cocaine over more than a decade to the U.S.," Nazario added, recalling that he used to brazenly label his cocaine bricks with his initials, TH.

Nevertheless, on June 22, the U.S. Southcom leader Craig Faller arrived in Honduras with a special task force amidst protests demanding the resignation of President Hernandez.

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