Flames dance in the air as several thousand people march with torches in Honduras to demand the resignation of President Juan Orlando Hernandez. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Thousands of angry, torch-bearing Hondurans marched on Friday (June 26) to call for the resignation of President Juan Hernandez and demand an independent probe into one of the worst corruption scandals in the country's history. Some 25,000 protesters chanted slogans against Hernandez as they marched to the presidential palace from a poor neighborhood in the capital, past a commercial zone filled with malls. A coalition of opposition political groups is demanding an independent investigation into a $200-million corruption scandal at the Honduran Institute of Social Security, where companies, some formed by institute officials, overcharged for services. "It has been the same since I remember but now corruption is tremendous," said Mirna Rodriguez, an elderly protester. "It's something that hurts as a Honduran. It hurts me as an old woman who has worked. It hurts me because people have died just because someone wants to steal the money," Rodriguez said. Hernandez on Tuesday (June 23) offered to start a dialogue with the groups, but they insist on an independent prosecutor staffed by foreigners, similar to a United Nations-backed commission that has led corruption probes in Guatemala. Hernandez admitted that his 2013 presidential campaign took some $150,000 from companies linked to the scandal, but said he and his party were unaware of where the money came from.