Thousands of protesters marched on the U.S. Embassy in Honduras on two separate occasions over the weekend, calling for U.S. support amidst a deepening political crisis sweeping their country. Protesters claim current President Juan Orlando Hernández stole the Nov. 26 presidential election from the Opposition Alliance candidate, Salvador Nasralla, who ran on a popular anti-corruption platform. This weekend, protesters also linked their struggle to U.S. border security and immigration concerns, saying the spike in U.S.-bound migration since 2014 can be blamed on violence and impunity perpetuated by the Hernández administration and his National Party. “Before the reason for migration was uniting families and looking for better paid work. Now violence, extortion, cartels and impunity are forcing people to leave Honduras,” said Darlan Alvarado, coordinator for the Honduras chapter of Doctors of the World, which helps treat immigrants’ medical needs. Hernández’s presidency has seen widespread human rights abuses, as well as a corruption scandal involving skimming money from the social security system.
Many protesters against a second term for Hernández tweeted @theRealDonaldTrump over the weekend using the hashtag #IDontWantToLeaveMyCountry to connect their struggle to immigration.
“It’s not ideal to leave my country. But many young people are pushed out by violence and lack of opportunity,” engineering student Oscar Alvarado told the Miami Herald about his tweet. He said he would rather stay and fight for a future than migrate. To him, a Nasralla presidency means change. His cousin, Moises Torres, said however he plans to leave Honduras.