Violent Protests Disrupt Air Traffic in Tegucigalpa

Flights from Miami, Atlanta and Panama City have been diverted to San Pedro Sula as protesters clash with security forces.

Tegucigalpa
Toncontín airport, Tegucigalpa.

Several flights were diverted from Toncontin International Airport in Honduras’ capital Tegucigalpa in recent days as police faced off with protesters opposing healthcare and education reforms in the country.

Three flights, from Miami, Atlanta, and Panama City, were diverted to San Pedro Sula, about 250 km to the northwest.

Police used tear gas to disperse the protesters, who had taken shelter in the airport after blocking main roads leading to the terminal.

As the chaos engulfed the entire airport, officials resorted to diverting flights, fearing that international travelers might get caught up in the violent clashes.

The violent protests were the latest in a series of clashes between civilians and security forces as protests continue against President Juan Orlando Hernández.

Earlier this month, protesters set fire to tires at the entrance to the US embassy in Tegucigalpa in protest at Washington’s support for the Hernández administration.

Hernández recently issued two decrees to reform the healthcare and education sectors in the country.

However, many medical workers and teachers accuse the government of conspiring to privatize the sectors.

Meanwhile, US authorities are reportedly investigating Hernández over drug trafficking allegations.

The President’s brother Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernández is already in detention in Miami and is awaiting trial, according to Bloomberg.

Thousands of Hondurans have headed north in migrant caravans, crossing Mexico to attempt to enter the US, and in response to the subsequent influx of immigrants,,President Trump has threatened to cut financial aid to Honduras, and announced plans to impose tariffs on imported Mexican goods until the country stems the flow of migrants flocking to the US.

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